THE BLOG

What Spirituality Has Taught Me About Relationships

02/12/2015 06:03 pm ET | Updated Apr 14, 2015
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In today's world, so many of our relationships have become a mere give-and-take barter system. Each person finds relief from their emotional inadequacy through the other. Though there is nothing wrong with this, I have found that such relationships are quite unsustainable. If one individual's needs change, or they happen to find someone else who fulfills these needs better, the other is left in the lurch.

Spirituality, however, has helped me craft better relationships based on more than the need for a "proxy" emotional fulfilment. I have begun to build relationships as a means to share the joy and love that have blossomed within me, thanks to my spiritual journey.

Creating a sense of oneness
When love is an innate quality within you, this sweetness of emotion finds its way into every aspect of life, including interactions with others. Faith and spirituality contribute to a sense of oneness-- a necessary prerequisite for a long and happy relationship. Only when one sees the other as an extension of yourself - essentially, when there isn't an "other" - can you build a healthy partnership.

Thus, spirituality works as a valuable key in appreciating the other individual and in being committed to each other. And, commitment is after all, one of the most important aspects of a relationship. Sadhguru, in a beautiful post on live-in relationships says, "Uncommitted relationships can cause an enormous amount of insecurity in people. People may do something because it seems fashionable right now, but most people do not have the stability of mind to handle such uncertainty."

Extending your understanding
That isn't to say that successful relationships don't take work. Being loving is entirely in your hands, but building a healthy relationship takes effort, understanding and involvement. Irrespective of your nature, your partner could be a different prospect altogether! To extend your understanding to include your partner's limitations and possibilities takes time and attention, but it will create a strong bedrock on which your relationship can grow.

Putting things in perspective
Spirituality also gives us a proper perspective of our place in the universe, and eliminates any ideas of being superior or inferior. Every human being is unique, and that uniqueness is to be appreciated. This perspective allows for better communication, which is the lifeblood of relationships. Relationships thrive on open and honest discussions, which are possible only when a couple trusts each other and avoids criticizing, evaluating or acting superior. Issues do pop up, but the ability to move past such hiccups is greatly enhanced by a spiritual practice.

Love and attachment are different
It is only when we realize that, as an individual we are complete by ourselves, that we can move past looking for fulfilment through a relationship. Only then can we love without the burden of attachment. Love and attachment are two different things. This is beautifully encapsulated in a third century BC text from India, written by Chanakya. As a minister to the king, his text on administration included aphorisms on governance and defence, as well as on the welfare of subjects and on creating a vibrant, healthy society. Speaking about the family, the basic unit of society, and the love between husband and wife, one of Chanakya's popular quotes states, "Drop the idea that attachment and love are one thing. They are enemies. It is attachment that destroys all love."

Dropping this connection between love and attachment becomes possible only when we blossom fully as an individual, which is essentially what spirituality is all about.