Today’s practice was a very interesting one for me, in that Deepak heavily focused on the collaborative relationships we form with others, how we evolve them, and how we sustain them. He teaches us that in order for relationships, of any kind, to exist, we must understand our own beings, in order collaborate, effectively, together, to create the experiences we hope to share.
It hits home with many of us because oftentimes, we fail to remember that our reactions (whether positive or negative), are a direct reflection of our consciences and not because someone else has projected it onto us.
Let’s give an example of how this works… Your partner comes home late from being out without you and they are, perhaps, a bit inebriated when you see them. You stayed home to relax, perhaps read a book, take a bath, watch TV, etc. because you’ve had a long week. You are angry towards them for 1) Being on a different mental level than you at that moment, 2) Having a good time without you, 3) Perhaps they didn’t respond to your text and it made you wonder what they were really doing. They try to reason with you that they didn’t do anything wrong, they don’t understand why you’re angry, and they wish you would just be happy they had a good time. Internally, you’re jealous/angry you didn’t get to have a good time; are dead sober (and maybe tired) and their current state of being is not much fun to be around; and perhaps you had a convinced yourself they were up to something negative.
Your partner comes home late from being out without you and they are in the same inebriated state. You stayed home to relax, perhaps read a book, take a bath, watch TV, etc. because you need some down time. You are happy they went out to have a good time because you just weren’t feeling it. You are happy when you see them because 1) They came home 2) They are funny when they are in an altered state 3) You can trust them to go out without you. You are in love with them, are happy when you go to bed, and glad you have a great partner in life.
As you can see from the examples above, it’s the same situation, just a different filter! The difference lies in how YOU CHOOSE to interpret your evening. You had a long week and were tired. You were easily set off by your partner because of it. Alternatively, you were grateful for the quiet time, chose to stay at home to wind down, and were happy and relaxed by the time your partner returned. Your partner is completely neutral in the situation!
No matter what the type of relationship is, there are three things we must always keep in mind, in order to maintain a healthy balance: Cooperation, sharing, and communication. You cannot have only one or two of these – it must be all three, and all parties involved must equally bring those to the table, in order to have an effective relationship.
In addition to this, you have to be aware of YOU and who YOU are. You should ask yourself the following questions when you begin to feel an imbalance:
- What are YOUR needs?
- Are the relationships you maintain, fulfilling those?
- If so, what feelings do you generally have towards the other person(s)?
- Does the other person(s) set off a certain trigger?
- If so, do they know about it?
- Do you give more than you take?
- Do you take more than you give?
- Are you honest with each other?
- How do they make you feel 90% of the time?
Sometimes, when doing this type of self-reflection, you realize that the other person(s) might not be the best fit for YOU, and that’s okay. When we create things in our relationships, we look for someone who will be a balance in our lives; who will compliment us, not clash. We look for peace and harmony, understanding that there are good times with the bad but that we are equipped to handle those because both parties are capable of doing so. We want to feel open and receptive, not closed and wary.
As with all meditation practices, awareness is the number one goal to achieve in order to create a sense of balance and harmony in our lives. It gives us the ability to think rationally, from a place of peace and openness, which allows us to expand our collaborative creativity, ultimately creating the relationships we crave.