Relationships are mechanisms through which we experience the world as it is. We always find ourselves relating to the “other”. It can be with things, people, events or even ourselves and who we define ourselves as from time to time. No matter if they are professional or personal, relationships create majority of our daily experiences. Hence, having good relationships is vital not only for our peaceful coexistence, but also for the quality of our life as they make us happy and content. Let us look at three secrets of healthy relationships.
- Communication: Expressions matter. Different relationships demand different kinds of communications and to hone that, we must have right perception of things and people around us, which in turn is governed by right observations. The way we express ourselves to our colleagues, children, spouse is different at different times. Clear communication can solve many problems before even they start. Meditation helps in this process by increasing our awareness and broadening our vision of who we are. Communication is a two-way street and can be maneuvered by even one person who is doing it right.
- Balance and boundaries: Relationships thrive on healthy balance of give-and-take. Some of us know how to give and we burn out in the process. Some of us are more open to receiving and at some point may get labeled as selfish. So we need to have healthy boundaries. We can do that by being kind and loving to not just the other while relating to them but also including ourselves in that process, even if that means saying No to some things. Yoga and meditation again can help bring out stress free balance in our life.
- Being natural and happy: Sometimes in attempts of forming or sustaining relationships, we tend to lose ourselves. We try to impress others and go completely off track, in the end becoming unhappy. It happens when we try to look for happiness in the “other”. We must know that being happy is an inner state and even if seems to come from people, it is an inner experience. Whenever we are natural, we relate to others with a natural ease and form relationships effortlessly. When we are happy, happy things happen everywhere around us. We can take time for ourselves in this world, where all our attention is mostly out all the time focused on the “other”. Taking time for ourselves is a form of turning in. I have found introspection and reflection very effective in doing this. In intimate relationships energetically withdrawing to ourselves can provide more space to the other. A healthy wholesome lifestyle goes a long way to sustain happy state of mind.
- Chemistry: Chemistry only begins with “attraction” but is sustained because of compatibility. It is important for bringing two people together and keeping them together as they evolve as two separate entities. It can help people grow individually without growing apart. What comprises of chemistry? It can be several things- anywhere from looks, habits, attitude to goals, shared goals or visions and similar values. Playing our individual roles and stereotypes associated with them wisely also makes for good chemistry. A man can be allowed to be a man and a female can accept the feminine in herself.
- Trust: A lot in this world runs just on trust. We have an idea of control on things but that is generally an illusion. A greater part of our existence is beyond our control. These issues surface up much more in intimate relationships but only point towards the inherent capacity of trusting the process of life and having faith on something bigger than us.
- Commitment: Love is not enough as our idea of love evolves as we grow up. We find ourselves redefining it everyday. It is a process. Relationships run on commitments. Sometimes these commitments are the ones that we made to ourselves or each other and at other times, these can be because of shared responsibilities.