Healthy Relationships Continued ...
Healthy Relationships - Harmony
Keeping it as simple as possible, in healthy relationships those involved are happy. They are happy because there is harmony and expectations are being met.
Harmony, when working or playing with others, brings sustainable ease. Sustainable ease fuels sustainable happiness. While there probably will be emotionally charged conflicts, damage is repairable when there is a willingness to repair it.
Harmony can be at a distance - for example ex-lovers can be in harmony if, after a nasty breakup, they don't see or speak with one another, at least for a while. I'm reminded of the line from Fiddler on the Roof, "God bless and keep the Czar far away from us."
Describing harmony in analytical and scientific terms never gets to a full experiential understanding. It is like describing sugar to people who have never tasted it. Until they have a taste for themselves, they will not know sugar. One knows harmony beyond intellect and analysis.
For example, you get a coffee at your local cafe and in the exchange with the barrister there is an easy flow. A dance. You say what you want, the barrister smiles, repeats the order and soon you have your drink. There is respect and no sense of hierarchy; no negative feelings; only a desire to serve and to be served. Once, you were in a hurry and snapped at her for making an error. The next day you apologized. The dance went on and the flow became even easier.
With happiness and harmony as a goal, let's get back to working on yourself to overcome the obstacles to achieving healthy relationships.
Relationship Yoga - Working on Yourself
Relationships are gyms, classrooms, ashrams and yoga studios, for confronting and dropping away all the things that get in the way of connecting with others in a healthy way.
It begins with a view that accepts that in an absolute sense we are all one in a boundless ocean of love AND we are, at the same time, in separate bodies with individual egos who often forget that we are all one. In each relationship, recognize the essential quality that all share.
Remembering this in the face of strong urges and feelings provides a base for all your relationships. It is a major part of the work on yourself. Step back from the urges and feelings behind them and choose what to do. Mindfulness practice cultivates this remembering and stepping back.
Practice brings with it the ability to see what's going on, to feel the feelings before they transform into unskillful behavior. You can be responsive. You can drop the shield that keeps the love from flowing. You can put up your shield when that is appropriate.
The choice is a tough one. It is between acting out to get rid of the offending feelings, and staying with them, accepting them for what they are, and creating a gap between the feelings and the reaction. Remembering the intention to be in healthy relationships makes the choice easier.
Working on yourself is the hardest work you do. You do it because you know a resilient, responsive, loving and wise you will be happy. You become free of the obstacles to serving others while taking care of your own needs and being responsible for your own feelings.
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