Romantic relationships mean different things to different people. On the one hand, they can be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling endeavours we ever undertake, while on the other hand, they can leave you feeling completely depleted and heart broken.
There are some things that are important to remember if you’re looking to have a spiritually satisfying relationship:
Nourish Your Spirit—Don’t Starve It
Although the spirit is not something that can be broken, there are certain experiences that can make you feel as though you are broken and depleted. There are also certain partners that can uplift, empower, and inspire you. When you choose a partner that creates chaos and drama in your life, you are choosing to allow that partner to be the focal point of your day.
If you’ve ever been in a toxic relationship, you know that it takes a lot of time and energy to maintain. In some cases, it takes a lot more energy from you than it gives. So, it’s important to recognize that when you have a toxic partner (or friend) in part of your life, you are agreeing to spend a great amount of time and energy on that person — and the challenges that come with them — rather than on yourself.
When you have a partner that uplifts and supports you and challenges you to grow, your relationship becomes about self-betterment instead of self-depletion.
Own Your Happiness
One of the most common relationship traps that I’ve found myself in on multiple occasions is to expect your partner to make you happy — or anyone else. We put a ton of pressure on the people in our lives when we do this and it’s simply unreasonable.
No one is “supposed” to make you happy. You are.
Make time to do the things you love. Make time to spend with those you love. Choose the career that fits you because people rarely say, “Stop making me happy, make yourself happy instead.” It takes someone who already owns their happiness to say something like that and mean it.
Let Your Partner Be
Osho said, “If you love a flower, don’t pick it up because if you pick it up, it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”
I love this quote because it presents an entirely different view of love. So many of us fall in love with our partners and then spend the relationship trying to change them into what we think they should be. If we maintain a stance of appreciation instead of possession then we release the responsibility of changing them. We allow them to be who they are and we give ourselves the opportunity to sit back and learn from what they have to teach us.
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Enjoy The Journey
Relationships take us places. We learn from each other, get married, have kids, grow old, have new experiences and so on. But that’s the highlight reel. Relationships aren’t only about the moments that we like to share on Facebook. There are dark moments in every partnership. There are highs and lows, just like life. When we are consistently looking for the “big moments” we miss out on all of the beautiful times in between. We forget to appreciate the challenges that helped us grow into the people we are today. It’s important to remember to appreciate the journey every moment we can.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. After a few rough relationships, I went through a period where I retreated so far deeply away from everyone but a select few people that I trusted. I built up so much emotional baggage and I hid behind it all. Hiding behind our barriers give us the false impression of safety. In truth, there is no way to avoid pain. Even when you prevent yourself from making new, healthy relationships, you’re depriving yourself of growth, learning, and moving forward, and that’s painful too.
After years of denying myself new relationships I realized that the pain was never the problem, it was the fear of having the same experience that was the problem. Humans are interesting creatures. We get hurt and our ego tries to keep us from repeating that same action because we believe that it will happen again in the same way.
This mechanism can be useful. For example, we usually only need to touch a hot stove once to know that it hurts, so then we don’t do it again. In the case of a painful relationship, the solution isn’t to avoid relationships altogether but to determine our feelings and deal with them appropriately. When we hide from our feelings and new experiences, we prevent ourselves from learning from them, and we often repeat the same experience. In spiritual terms, hiding from our emotions would block the heart center (or heart chakra).
If you have a blocked heart chakra, days can feel emotionally very heavy, relationships can be difficult to maintain, and it can be difficult to connect to others or be vulnerable at all. It can also make it difficult to go into social situations and meet new people. If you feel like this is the case for you, try out the mediation below; it’s specifically designed for unblocking the heart chakra of “heaviness” and opening it to new, positive experiences:
New relationships are exciting. So exciting that we can get lost in them.
There are some things that cannot be compromised. Always be aware of your own wants and needs in addition to your partner’s.
The key to harmony is a union of two complete, independent souls walking alongside each other.
All relationships are different but these are a few of the ingredients that I’ve found I cannot go without in any relationship. I hope that you’ve found them useful and if you have any to share, feel free to post them in the comments below.
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