Our fundamental need is to love and be loved. If these two needs are not met, no matter what we achieve in life, we remain unhappy. We talk of love, and that God is love and love is God, but where and how exactly do we experience God?
It is only through our relationships; they amplify our experiences and give us joy. As you look at the world today, a family consists of a father, mother, children… all these would be mere labels if there was no connectedness among the members; that is, if there was no meaningful relationship.
Interestingly, 80 per cent of our fulfilment comes from our key relationships that are satisfactory. Without such relationships, we feel incomplete. Acquiring fame, wealth and prosperity become meaningless if our achievements are not appreciated by our partner or the people we care about.
This would apply to organisations as well. While working with them, we would realise that when organisations collapse, it is due to clash of personalities and failed relationships.
If we do not connect with one another, if we do not feel for one another, we have relations, not relationships. There are no shortcuts to relationships and love. A fundamental shift in consciousness; a new level of awareness is required if we want to create successful relationships.
Stop and reflect
Often we are attracted to another perhaps because we like each other’s ideals, sense of humour and physical appearance. However, these very things stop enchanting us after a while. This is because our mind has the tendency to make everything cold. That is why relationships come under so much pressure. Parents have a difficult time with their children; it is difficult for people to get along with their siblings or colleagues, for instance. Why is this so? Awareness of interconnectedness of existence is missing.
For example, a couple has a beautiful relationship. They spend time taking care of each other. But they don’t seem to be working on nurturing reflective consciousness. There is no space for reflection in their life. To improve their relationship, they need to find time to appreciate the contribution the other is making to create joyful moments. When they start doing this, they will automatically become grateful, and grow to respect each other more. No relationship can survive without gratitude. Love is not just about taking care or being taken care of or having some fun moments. It is all that but that’s not all; it is also about experiencing each other’s presence in one’s life — being grateful for the other’s presence and respecting the other’s presence.
Reflective consciousness stops you from blaming each other. When we are angry, we tend not to see the factors that are responsible for the situation; instead, we only blame people. If we start living on a daily basis with gratitude and compassion, the attraction we feel will graduate to love and possessiveness will give way to togetherness. Awareness of interconnectedness will give rise to gratitude, which will, in turn, generate respect for each other. Awareness of interconnectedness will enable you to be more compassionate.
courtesy: Times of India