As most of us know, relationships are one of the most strained and common topics in the world. Relationships are addressed in books, websites, seminars, workshops, movies, and television shows. People are consistently talking about relationship challenges, endings of relationships, or their search for their “soul-mate.” It doesn’t seem to matter if we are rich or poor, young or old, gay or straight, male or female . . . the topic of relationships is one of our greatest struggles.
Having Fulfilling Relationships
The topic of relationships passes far beyond the boundaries of intimate partnerships. In fact, all of our interactions with human beings end up as one type of relationship or another. But what is not understandable is why people allow themselves to remain so perplexed and dis-empowered around the topic. It’s really not that complicated. If we have issues in our relationships, it’s never an accident or coincidence. Instead, the roots of such issues lie in one of the following areas of our own unhealthiness or neglect, which means that improving upon these areas increases our odds of having fulfilling relationships with others. These areas are:
- Having a strong and faithful connection to God
- Being a psychologically healthy human being
- Being a responsible human being
- Being committed to honest and clear communication with all people we meet
- Practicing the art of healthy affection and kindness
Advice to Men & Women
But again, people tend to remain perplexed by the unhealthy status of their relationships (which includes the status of not having a relationship). Men, all-too-often, prefer ignoring their relationship issues until it’s too late to repair them. Women, all-too-often, run around trying to find a solution to their relationship issues, or instead, do the opposite and drop into a slump of despair that there is no solution for their current problems and/or that there is no chance of finding the healthy partner of their dreams.
The best advice to men is that if you are not willing to step up and meet your partner (male or female) at the level of their concern and together find a solution to joyously stay together or joyously part ways, then you should cut your partner loose and release them from the captivity of hope that they hold. To not do so ensures some very bad karma for keeping them hostage—literally or figuratively.
The best advice to women is that you accept that even if there is a “dream partner” out there, they are a “dream” and not a reality. So stop dreaming. Get in your body and recognize what’s not working and fix it or bid it farewell. Also, you need to know that it’s far better to be alone, learning to take care of yourself than it is to fall prey to the ignorant words of your friends and family members who persist in trying to guilt you into finding a partner (and/or having children) because they tell you that it means you are somehow less than a valuable and complete person. THEY ARE WRONG!
The best advice for both men and women is that you need to stop using other people as your excuse for being held back from moving forward on your spiritual path. And stop giving your relationships titles and roles that simply are not there. Don’t expect romance from a friend; don’t expect true partnership from a housemate; don’t expect love and safety from people you assign to use you or to be used; and don’t refer to your relationship as a romantic partnership if you haven’t been intimate for months or years. This only leads to more bad karma and bewilderment. Instead, be honest with yourself and each other.
And, stop fooling around and having affairs if you are supposedly in a “committed” relationship. Why lower yourself to being second on someone else’s list of priorities? And why put yourself into the position of creating bad karma for the harm you are causing to all other people involved in the affairs? Instead, treat yourself with the same love and respect you would advise to anyone else you care about. This doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to have more than one intimate friend, but in such cases, we must make sure there is not a belief or agreement of monogamy.
Getting our Priorities Straight
There is simply NOTHING more important than our relationships with God and ourselves, and our personal awakening. Nothing else matters because everything else is just a reflection of our inner self and holds no real value other than mirroring and facilitating our lessons. So, the sooner we learn our lessons, the sooner we can release everyone from playing their karmic roles, thus releasing everyone (including ourselves) to a world of peace and happiness.
The bottom line is that it does us no good to eat right, do yoga, and try to become increasingly more prosperous if, in our heart, we continue to fail to recognize our value and bargain ourselves away to others for the mere “hope” of getting something from them.
If people truly love us, then the gifts they bring to the relationship should come easily, naturally, and often. If such is not the case, it’s either because we don’t believe we deserve it or it means that our partner is incapable or unwilling to offer it. If this is the case, why sit around and wait for it? Isn’t that the general description of insane behavior?
Instead, let’s create the love right where we are (and with whomever we are with), or walk away and create it for ourselves. Chances are, before we know it, we will find we can easily create at least as much love as our former unhealthy relationships offered, and probably more. Although we will sometimes wonder if we are crazy for daring to make such a move, more often than not, we will ask ourselves why we didn’t make this decision sooner.