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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Maintaining Stable Relationships, The Art of

The Art of Maintaining Stable Relationships
by Pavan Choudary

A relationship can be called stable once it is accurate. The word 'accurate' is derived from the Latin word curare which means 'to care for'. It follows therefore that you strive for accuracy in relationships with those you care about.

Accurate relationships are caring relationships. When you really care for someone, you are concerned about his feelings and you behave, not in the most expedient way, but in a way that your behaviour doesn't distress him.

The first step is to realise that the disturbance stems from the imbalance created in your relationship with your dear one. Cultivating sensitivity to recognise there is an imbalance means you need to stand in his shoes. You need to feel his heart beat. To build accurate relationships, sensitivity is essential.

Sensitivity has two aspects — internal and external. Internal sensitivity can also be called awareness, which begins with the ability to observe oneself. Observe how you are feeling and what makes you feel that way. Go existentially a little deeper than the surface. Explore the spring of your emotions.

The Dalai Lama says, "When you are aware of your pain and suffering, it helps you to develop your capacity for empathy, the capacity which allows you to relate to other people's feelings and sufferings".

External sensitivity or the ability to relate to other people's feelings and sufferings. Can sensitivity be acquired? First, you have to get to know your internal organism and the rainbow of emotions within you.

Once you acquire the ability to watch your emotions, not only will you sharpen your instincts, you will benefit in myriad ways. External sensitivity also cannot be acquired directly.

There is something else , which if we allow to grow within us, often brings sensitivity as a by-product — that is, kindness, the mother of several virtues. Once you cultivate kindness, many other virtues follow like fairness, humility and sensitivity.

If you have not been appreciative enough of someone who deserved appreciation and that person felt his efforts had gone unsung, you should wait for the next right moment to express support. If you have been unduly harsh to someone and that has brought an imbalance in the relationship, you should restore balance by making amends.

An appropriate word or even gesture can help you do the needful. Actions, in fact, speak louder than words. Tensions get diffused and this is where patience comes to play. Sometimes when the wound is fresh and you try to heal it, you end up doing more harm than good. Very often you will find that the wounded like to be left alone.

So, patiently, you wait for your loved one to get ready for the healing process. You withdraw a little from the scene for you realise that any over enthusiasm on your part could turn out to be counterproductive. When the right moment presents itself, you make your move; you apply the balm of soothing words or act in a manner that aids healing.

Remember, you are not in search of a perfect relationship. You are merely striving for that sustained balance in a relationship, bringing bliss and stability. When circumstances disrupt the balance, you go to work once gain to restore the balance. You work hard at relationships because you love and you care.

Here's one that I think is often spoken about, especially in a very idealistic sense. I mean, we all know what things 'should' be like...but faced with signs of difficulty there are many people who'd rather step back and let things happen, while others will turn their back on the relationship and walk away. It's sad, but love today, like most other things that we can buy in the supermarket, is disposable. I guess that's because we're not sure about what love is. I know I'm not. I think that love is a feeling on some days. But other days, I think it's more than just a fleeting emotion...it's about a lifelong endeavor. Still on the path to figuring it out. And, then I realize something. It's the simplest thing on the planet. But we try and complicate it by thinking about things that will cause this 'love' to fail. And so, like self-fulfilling prophecies have a way of doing, think of the worst and watch it happen. Here's to a simple love. A love that finds us ecstatic in the never-ending moment.

I'm following this up with what I thought was a very sweet piece on relationships. I don't know who the author is, but it seems to me that this is an example of one of those 'simple' expressions of love. Let me know what you guys think. Is there such a thing as true love? Or is love's truth found in its very existence?
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