Generally we feel that the more strong our Attachment is with other person more strong is our Relationship with that person, but in reality Attachment is not a Relationship.

Attachment always comes with fear. Fear of losing other person, fear of losing acceptance of other person, fear of decrement of feeling in other person for us. Attachment always demands a lot. When our demands are not fulfilled we get hurt and want other person to fulfill our demands on any cost. Attachment generates fear, hatred, jealousy and many other unfulfillable feelings in us, which makes us unhappy and we start making plans to become happy again in which we make others unhappy. We may not be aware of this negative side of attachment but yes it is there! It just need to be looked into. Attachment and Relationship can not go together.

Even a slight variation in feeling of other person hurts us. Attachment is nothing but dependence of our feeling for other person on other person’s behavior, feelings and thinking towards us. It is a kind of dependence. As soon as other person’s behavior, thinking, perception, feeling towards us shakes we get hurt. Our feeling for other person is always uncertain in this case. We always have a fear of uncertainty of other person’s feeling towards  us. We always keep trying to ensure continuity of feeling of assurance in other person for us, so that we are secure, we are happy, we feel related, we feel good. We are always disturbed about the uncertainty of other person’s feeling, thinking towards us, we are always in fear. Fear and feeling of Relationship can not go together. In some cases we see that this Attachment in us become so strong that when other person remains no longer same with us as he/she was before we are ready to even kill that person.

At the first place the question which comes is, why do we get Attached?

A human being by birth has this expectation of living with Happiness. He wants certainty, consistency and continuity of happiness. Due to lack of understanding of what Happiness is and how it can be ensured he searches, expects and tries to ensure its continuity in those things where it can not be ensured. Expectation of Happiness in a thing which can not ensure its Certainty, Consistency and Continuity is called Attachment.

A human being wants to live with Trust (Resolution in all the dimensions) in himself. This expectation of living with Trust in him is ever actively present. Trust in the Self is Happiness. Due to lack of Understanding of Trust in a human being his Trust in himself is dependent on others Trust in himself, his position, his money and things associated with him.Due to lack of understanding of this trust only he expects unconditional acceptance from others around. Acceptance of others around remains basis of the feeling of trust in himself.This dependence of this feeling of Trust in him on these things is what is called Attachment and this is the problem of all the human problems. Due to lack of understanding of Happiness and Trust only he expects consistency in others feelings, thinking, behavior towards him and when that is not ensured he gets hurt and then wants to hurt others.

Trust is understanding of one’s absolute value in oneself.

Due to lack of understanding of one’s own value in oneself one recognizes it with the help of others perception towards him, his position, his money, his bodily beauty, his power, his status, his intellect and many other aspects. He recognizes his value relatively, according to the popular notions of society and many more things. Whoever makes him feel valuable or good he feels attraction towards him. His dependence on him keeps increasing with time if other person keeps making him feel good and valuable. The more dependent he is on other person the more severely he gets hurt when feeling of other person changes for him.

Every human being wants to feel secure. Secure in terms of physical facilities required and also in terms of emotional and mental security. Here I will talk about emotional and mental security. With whomsoever he feels emotionally and mentally secure, he start becoming dependent on him. Whoever makes him feel comfortable, secure, valuable he feels good with him. He feels valuable and secure with many more things also like his position, intellect, money he has etc. Whoever makes him feel less valuable for the thing for which he feels valuable he gets hurt. He start getting feeling of opposition for that person. He wants to get “up” from that person. It gives rise of a rat race which we already see.

The problem which comes here is, this feeling of security, comfort and being valuable which one tries to ensure from these things doesn’t ensure its certainty, consistency and continuity. One doesn’t recognize this fact that it is not able to ensure him continuity of feeling of security, so one keeps trying to ensure continuity of feeling of Security, Trust and Happiness from those things which can not ensure it. This is what becomes source of unhappiness, dissatisfaction in him.

Ultimately the whole issue boils down to understanding of one’s own absolute value, understanding what Security is, what Trust is, what Happiness is. Understanding one’s absolute value in existence is what is Trust, is what is Happiness.

Relationship in reality is free from all kind of Attachments. It is a kind of Unconditional Acceptance for other person. It is not because of something in other person. It is just Acceptance without any reason. This kind of feeling is what is Certain, Consistent and Continuous. When one starts recognizing his absolute value his dependence on recognizing his value on other person keeps decreasing. He starts loosing his fears. His Acceptance for other person start becoming more and more Unconditional. This is what is the way towards Happiness and Mutual Fulfillment in Relationships.

To understand Trust, Respect, Happiness, Acceptance, Relationships etc. we need Knowledge. Knowledge includes Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Entire Existence and Knowledge of Natural Human Conduct.



There’s a way out of the conflicting interests that seem to mar modern relationships. And the answer lies in looking inward

Relationships are under greater stress today because of the materialistic culture which is breeding more greed, selfishness and intolerance.

The prognosis is bad. So how did we get this way, and what is the way out?


The industrial and scientific age have re-created the world as we now know it, a world of burgeoning complexities and specialties, almost incapable of being understood holistically. Matter is divorced from mind and spirit, the earth from heaven, and man from God and mankind. With nothing to link us together, we have lost sight of the whole and slipped into the illusion that we are alone in an alien and even hostile universe.

The current impasse in relationships is further cemented by the fragmentation of social structures. The flux from agricultural to urban centers severs our links with culture, tradition and community. Lonely and lost in big cities, separated from everything that gave our lives stability, meaning and continuity, we have become more and more alienated from life and people. In the barren wastes of city life, our emotional lives dwindle and die.

Today’s man has been reduced to either labor or consumer, the earth to natural resources, countries to markets, and profit is the purpose and ultimate justification of all interaction. So where is the space for selflessness, altruism and disinterested service? Psychologist Erich Fromm notes in The Art of Loving: “Man’s happiness today consists in ‘having fun’… The world is one great object for our appetite, a big apple, a big bottle, a big breast.”

Further alienation in relationships is caused by our headlong dependence on technology. Technological inventions have ripped through our web of interconnections and established an illusion of self-sufficiency. Household gadgets have allowed for the existence of the nuclear family sans servants. Home entertainment like TV, music systems, CDs and home theatre permit us to derive our enjoyment alone at home. Automobiles let us slice through human traffic encased in a bubble of privacy, while home delivery and telescoping have further limited our interaction with people. In the computer age, we are rapidly reaching the stage when we will even be able to work in the privacy of our homes, and network if we must, with our Internet buddies.

As a metaphor for our times, Internet friendship couldn’t be more apt. Faceless; voiceless, it is possible for us to manipulate our identity, for the other person is unlikely to know which parts of us are authentic and which not. It is friendship without risk or intimacy. A virtual friendship, an illusion of one. Is it any wonder that deprived of human warmth, we are swamped with loneliness?


If the advances of the 2Oth century changed the role of relationships in our lives, social revolutions such as the women’s lib, the cult of the individual, and even the human potential movement have redefined its very nature. A good relationship today is not one that just lasts but one that coexists with self-respect, individuality and the need to grow. The rules and narrow certainties of the past have given way to a more fluid, open-ended approach.


In search of the perfect relationship, ‘for peace, happiness and harmony, individuals meet and part, unwilling to settle for less. Often, the seeker ‘outgrows’ a relationship and must perforce let it go to continue his spiritual quest. Given these diverse and wide-ranging factors, what hope is there for relationships today? Turning the clock back is futile, but what is the way forward?


To make relationships work today, we have to look for a way to straddle both stability and fluidity, constancy and change. What could the way be?


It’s clear that when individual interests are pitted one against the other, relationships cave in. Man is pitted against woman, the parent against the offspring, the employer against the employee, capitalism against environment, and so on. The great challenge of our times, therefore, is to look for a way that will correlate individual welfare with general welfare.

The need is for a vision that will fuse the contradictions and conflicts between the two and move towards unity. Such a perspective does exist. Indeed it underlies all traditional wisdom. I refer to the spiritual understanding, which asserts that we are part of a whole. That the universe is one entity and all that is in it is intimately interconnected. Not only does this mean that we are already related, it also means that I cannot possibly act without regard for your interests, for your interests are ultimately mine. In sharp contrast to the individualistic view of life, which separates, this one integrates.

Says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the Art of Living course: “True intimacy is to take for granted that you are intimate. They belong to you and you to them. Don’t make an effort to convince the person that you. Love them and do not doubt even a little whether they love you or not.” Taking responsibility for the universe opens us to the possibility that our external conflicts in relationships are a reflection of our own internal conflicts. That it is lack of knowledge of ourselves that prevents us from seeing the other as ourselves. As conflicts are created by us and not by the external world, the solution to happy and harmonious relationships is to know ourselves.The root cause of poor relationships is inadequate knowledge of self. My true relationship is my relationship with myself—all others are simply mirrors of it. As I learn to love myself, I automatically receive the love and appreciation from others that I desire.”


Going within helps us become aware of our feelings, needs, desires and thoughts. It also makes us aware that the cause of our conflicts rests not in the events and circumstances of the outside world but in our reaction to them. When our partner throws a tantrum, we don’t have to yell back. Being aware of choices in behavior leads us to take responsibility for relationships.

When a relationship is in conflict, we check where we went wrong rather than where the other did; and we take the first step in fording the breach without regard to who is in the right. Our greater awareness of our internal states also inches us towards first accepting and then controlling them. As the conditioning obscuring our whole and perfect selves dissolves, we begin to love and trust ourselves more and more. We become more true to ourselves. Our defenses drop away and we allow ourselves to be more vulnerable.

In time, fear dissolves, allowing us to lift the barriers that separate us from others. With nothing to fear and much to give, we pour ourselves into our relationships. Complete within ourselves, we love unconditionally, wanting nothing in return. As we continue our internal journey, we reach an apex when we see ourselves in the other. There is none other than me, say the enlightened ones. All is me.


If knowing the self is one way of knowing the other, the reverse is also true. Knowing the other can be a guide to the self. All relationships can teach us about ourselves. “Love is active penetration of the other person, in which my desire to know is stilled by union,” writes Erich Fromm.

I found that to be particularly true in my own case, when the end to an for me mostly happy, sometimes unhappy relationship focused my attention so intensely on happiness that I succeeded in wresting its secret from the innermost core of my self: Our happiness lies in focusing on that of others. Focusing on the happiness of others helped me vault across the narrow barriers of personal feelings, thoughts and desires that separated me from others.

Moving beyond the ego helped me to see situations uncolored by self-interest and helped me resolve conflicts. Only by your own experiences will you one day be able to go beyond all relationships. Then you can be happy alone. And the person who can be happy alone is really an individual.


In a world of flux and change, in the growing, paradoxical world of the New Age where to hold is to destroy and letting go is the only way to have, the key to a successful relationship is to move beyond the need for it. The search for completion that is behind our burning quest for love can only be over when it leads us back to ourselves. The primal union between the self and the Self, the atmaand parmatma, is the source of all completion, and the purpose of all relationships.

However, as we struggle to hold on to these blissful states by controlling the other, conflict enters and disintegrates the relationship. Romantic love, no matter how short-lived and imperfect, is the closest many of us get to the joy and bliss of merging with the Divine. It is for this reason that the West, particularly, deifies it.

In India too, they seem to be importing the western obsession with romantic love. To see romantic love as only a precursor to divine love. In new-world relationships, the focus is on building your relationship with yourself and the universe. You communicate to keep your channel clear and to give yourself more of what you need.
But how to conduct relationships is here the questions? Maybe to ask honestly for what we want and express how we feel. If rejected, we express our feelings of hurt and then let go. The bottomline, then, is that all relationships exist to enable us to grow and to know ourselves better, helping us, in turn, to develop better relationships. Seeing life as a growing process, rather than as a static state, helps us acknowledge that relationships too are subject to growth and change.

Many relationships flounder because we expect them to retain their intensity rather than allowing them to run their own course. If we tune into ourselves, trust ourselves, and express ourselves fully and honestly with each other, the relationship will unfold in its own unique and fascinating way… At times it may take you closer to one another. At other times it may take you further apart.

You have been given the idea of a permanent love which is going to destroy your whole life… real love is as uncertain as your life is uncertain. The truth, paradoxical as always, is that the more we want relationships to last, the less they will and the more willing we are to let go, the more they survive.


relationship counselors stress the need for space within a relationship. Space is that willingness to acknowledge the other as an individual in his own right, and not the repository of one’s own needs and desires. Tolerance, love, understanding and mutual respect as the foundation for a successful relationship. A relationship that has space would also accommodate the inherent differences between man and woman. Says the author of “Emotional Intelligence” Danial Goleman: “Therapists have long noted that by the time a couple finds their way to the therapy office, they are in a stage of engage-withdraw, with his complaint about her ‘unreasonable’ demands and outbursts and her lamenting his indifference to what she is saying.”

The reason, says Goleman, is that women have been brought up to be more emotionally open than men. The solution for men is not to sidestep conflict or offer solutions too fast, but to genuinely listen and empathize with the feelings behind their wives’ complaints. Above all, there is the need to listen to each other. He suggests a technique called mirroring, in which the spouse repeats what the other says, down to its emotional subtext.

A relationship that safeguards the other’s individuality and self-respect is what most gurus and counselors define as true love. In Be Still and Know, Osho says: “You will not depend on anyone in particular and you will not allow anybody else to depend on you. You will not be dependent and you will not allow anybody to be dependent on you. Then you live out of freedom, out of joy, out of love.”

Adds Erich Fromm: “Mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality.” He describes four qualities of such a relationship. They are: care (the active concern for the life and the growth of that which we love), responsibility (feeling responsible for one’s fellow human beings as well as for oneself), respect (the ability to see a person as he is), and knowledge (to respect a person we must first know him).


How do we get to this stage? Easy solutions don’t exist. Fromm suggests the cultivation of discipline, concentration, patience and a supreme concern with the mastery of the art of forming relationships. By practicing these four qualities in all aspects of our lives, we may one day acquire mastery over the art of loving.

Richard Bach celebrates such a relationship in his book, The Bridge Across Forever. ” A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys and keys that fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.” This then is journey’s end.

Through the paradoxical route of embracing the fluid and ever-changing nature of relationships, by letting go of the need for them or for permanence, by using them to bore into the deep recesses of ourselves, we access a permanent, unswerving love. A love that lasts, not just through one lifetime, but forever.

Not only is this an enormously satisfying conclusion, it also stresses the importance of relationships. One can wonder at our concern with amassing wealth and possessions which will not last beyond our death, when we could be concentrating on those that do: our capacity to love and our relationships with others. To come down to more mundane levels, relationships are vitally important for our earthly well-being.

Our emotional health, so intimately connected with that of our mental and physical aspects, is best nurtured and nourished through human warmth and interaction. Freud defined the mature individual as one capable of love and work. At the end of this long journey of discovery what can we take back with us?

Only this: that while the odds in today’s society are loaded against the formation of a network of intimacy, the final choice is ours. We can take responsibility for our relationships and work towards investing them with life and dynamism. We can use them to grow. Through them we can move towards health, happiness and harmony. And unravel the secrets of life and love.


If you pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation.

Unless and until you access the consciousness frequency of presence, all relationships, and particularly intimate relationships, are deeply flawed and ultimately dysfunctional. They may seem perfect for a while, such as when you are “in love,” but invariably that apparent perfection gets disrupted as arguments, conflicts, dissatisfaction, and emotional or even physical violence occur with increasing frequency. It seems that most “love relationships” become love/hate relationships before long. Love can then turn into savage attack, feelings of hostility, or complete withdrawal of affection at the flick of a switch. This is considered normal. The relationship then oscillates for a while, a few months or a few years, between the polarities of “love” and hate, and it gives you as much pleasure as it gives you pain. It is not uncommon for couples to become addicted to those cycles. Their drama makes them feel alive. When a balance between the positive/negative polarities is lost and the negative, destructive cycles occur with increasing frequency and intensity, which tends to happen sooner or later, then it will not be long before the relationship finally collapses. It may appear that if you could only eliminate the negative or destructive cycles, then all would be well and the relationship would flower beautifully – but alas, this is not possible. The polarities are mutually interdependent. You cannot have one without the other. The positive already contains within itself the as yet unmanifested negative. Both are in fact different aspects of the same dysfunction. I am speaking here of what is commonly called romantic relationships – not of true love, which has no opposite because it arises from beyond the mind. Love as a continuous state is as yet very rare – as rare as conscious human beings. Brief and elusive glimpses of love, however, are possible whenever there is a gap in the stream of mind.The negative side of a relationship is, of course, more easily recognisable as dysfunctional than the positive one. And it is also easier to recognise the source of negativity in your partner than to see it in yourself. It can manifest in many forms: possessiveness, jealousy, control, withdrawal and unspoken resentment, the need to be right, insensitivity and self-absorption, emotional demands and manipulation, the urge to argue, criticise, judge, blame, or attack, anger, unconscious revenge for past pain inflicted by a parent, rage and physical violence. On the positive side, you are “in love” with your partner. This is at first a deeply satisfying state. You feel intensely alive. Your existence has suddenly become meaningful because someone needs you, wants you, and makes you feel special, and you do the same for him or her. When you are together, you feel whole. The feeling can become so intense that the rest of the world fades into insignificance. However, you may also have noticed that there is a neediness and a clinging quality to that intensity. You become addicted to the other person. He or she acts on you like a drug. You are on a high when the drug is available, but even the possibility or the thought that he or she might no longer be there for you can lead to jealousy, possessiveness, attempts at manipulation through emotional blackmail, Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. blaming and accusing – fear of loss. If the other person does leave you, this can give rise to the most intense hostility or the most profound grief and despair. In an instant, loving tenderness can turn into a savage attack or dreadful grief. Where is the love now? Can love change into its opposite in an instant? Was it love in the first place, or just an addictive grasping and clinging?…If in your relationships you experience both “love” and the opposite of love – attack, emotional violence, and so on – then it is likely that you are confusing ego attachment and addictive clinging with love. You cannot love your partner one moment and attack him or her the next. True love has no opposite. If your “love” has an opposite, then it is not love but a strong ego-need for a more complete and deeper sense of self, a need that the other person temporarily meets…

Addictive relationships

Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain. That is why, after the initial euphoria has passed, there is so much unhappiness, so much pain in intimate relationships. They do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you. Every addiction does that. Every addiction reaches a point where it does not work for you anymore, and then you feel the pain more intensely than ever.This is one reason why most people are always trying to escape from the present moment and are seeking some kind of salvation in the future. The first thing that they might encounter if they focussed their attention on the Now is their own pain, and this is what they fear. If they only knew how easy it is to access in the Now the power of presence that dissolves the past and its pain, the reality that dissolves the illusion. If they only knew how close they are to their own reality, how close to God. Avoidance of relationships in an attempt to avoid pain is not the answer either. The pain is there anyway. Three failed relationships in as many years are more likely to force you into awakening than three years on a desert island or shut away in your room. But if you could bring intense presence into your aloneness, that would work for you too…

Enlightened Relationships

Can we change an addictive relationship into a true one?
Yes. Being present and intensifying your presence by taking your attention ever more deeply into the Now. Whether you are living alone or with a partner, this remains the key. For love to flourish, the light of your presence needs to be strong enough so that you no longer get taken over by the thinker or the pain-body and mistake them for who you are… . To disidentify from the pain-body is to bring presence into the pain and thus transmute it. To disidentify from thinking is to be the silent watcher of your thoughts and behavior, especially the repetitive patterns of your mind and the roles played by the ego. If you stop investing it with “selfness,” the mind loses its compulsive quality, which basically is the compulsion to judge, and so to resist what is, which creates conflict, drama, and new pain. In fact, the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace. First you stop judging yourself; then you stop judging your partner. The greatest catalyst for change in a relationship is complete acceptance of your partner as he or she is, without needing to judge or change them in any way. That immediately takes you beyond ego. All mind games and all addictive clinging are then over. There are no victims and no perpetrators anymore, no accuser and accused. This is also the end of all codependency, of being drawn into somebody else’s unconscious pattern and thereby enabling it to continue. You will then either separate – in love – or move ever more deeply into the Now together – into Being. Can it be that simple? Yes, it is that simple. Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realisation of oneness. This is love. What is God? The eternal One Life underneath all the forms of life. What is love? To feel the presence of that One Life deep within yourself and within all creatures. To be it. Therefore, all love is the love of God…
Humanity is under great pressure to evolve because it is our only chance of survival as a race. This will affect every aspect of your life and close relationships in particular. Never before have relationships been as problematic and conflict-ridden as they are now. As you may have noticed, they are not here to make you happy or fulfilled. If you continue to pursue the goal of salvation through a relationship, you will be disillusioned again and again. But if you accept that the relationship is here to make you conscious instead of happy, then the relationship will offer you salvation, and you will be aligning yourself with the higher consciousness that wants to be born into this world. For those who hold on to the old patterns, there will be increasing pain, violence, confusion, and madness.


Ten Commandments

1. Unconditional love for each other.
2. Accept the person the way he is without being judgmental or analytical.
3. Have loving communication for any misunderstanding. Don’t be egoistic.
4. Nurture the relations with loving words on everyday basis.
5. Unshakable faith and trust for togetherness.
6. Have lot of humour and fresh enthusiastic energies.
7. Give space to each other respecting each other’s views, choices and feelings.
8. Compromise and adjust wherever possible. Don’t be egoistic.
9. Share your day-to-day activities.
10.Expect out of each other but do not feel irritated if expectation are not met.

Freedom from bondage

A loving relationship is, like beauty, a joy for ever. But, from experience I know that we have to work on it. Make some effort to achieve it.


Long-distance love

Love happened quickly and easily to us as the cupid’s arrow struck really hard the very first moment we met. My boyfriend worked with a cruise ship and was on a three-month leave when our love blossomed. It was almost a ‘fairy tale’ come true for me and his care and affection unplugged all energy in me. But soon it was time for him to leave for Brazil for six long months. That’s when the true test of our relationship came. We had no contact for weeks and slowly it became very hard for me, as days drifted by, without any communication. Seeing me bereft of all cheerfulness, some of my friends condemned ‘long-distance relationships’ with the view that they hardly lasted and were often tainted with infidelity.

But something inside me subdued all the external voices and asked me never to give up on love. From then on I never did; in fact we never did, and our relationship has successfully sailed over four years.

Even today, when we are trying hard to get our parents’ consent to our marriage, I know inside my heart that it will work out because the secret of a good relationship is faith, honesty and the vow which says, ‘Always with you through the best and the worst.’

Symphony of souls

The very thought of what if I were married to someone else, sends shiver down my spine. I feel that I would have found it really hard to adjust with another person. My husband and I both have very firm personalities. You can’t easily move either of us from our ideas and beliefs. But, he has this wonderful quality of being flexible at the same time.

When we were studying together, he never hurried to know my mind. He allowed me the freedom to process his unsaid liking for me. He patiently waited for me to reciprocate and express my feelings for him.

In togetherness he has gracefully accepted my imperfections. We have had our own share of arguments. But, the quickness with which he leaves the baggage behind, gives me an inferiority complex. He finds a myriad ways of expressing his love at the most unexpected times. I have come to have such a level of understanding with my husband that so many times we find that we are having same thoughts at the same time. It does scare me a bit that my thoughts are no more secret!

But, that synchronicity is what makes this relationship beautiful and special.

Virtue wins

My one trusted formula that pays all times for solving relationship issues is to always focus upon the other person’s good points or virtues. One must highlight these virtues in the mind. When this is done the immediate issue takes a backseat and holds little importance.

One single negative incident cannot wash away a dozen good incidents can it? That would be unfair.

This does not mean that abuse should be ignored or taken lightly. One must weigh the situation rightly and arrive at a solution.

The most important point, however, would always be, “How important is this person or the relationship to me”?

In my own life this one simple secret has worked wonders. There was a time when things were out of hand and we almost gave up on our relationship. I need to mention here that ours is a love marriage. My husband has always maintained a simple thought: “Do not praise me when the going is good and do not rebuke me when the going is tough.” In short, always maintain a stable mind.

In the 15 years that we have been together, we have been through a lot of turbulence and now finally we have reached that stable state where the above lines hold true.

A relationship saved rightly should be praised highly.

Bond with yourself

The only secret to having great relationships is to have a great relationship with yourself. There is actually no other person out there with whom you share a relationship. The other is just perceived in your mind. If you remain true to your true self which is the same in all, you shall start relating with each and everything around effortlessly and unconditionally without really getting bogged down by duties or responsibilities. And if two people share common vision, then that relationship strengthens and evolves in a more sublime way.


You can never give up on the relationships that really matter
Things weren’t going right in a very close relationship of mine. No matter how much I did, no matter what I said, no matter what I became, it never seemed enough. I was questioned, I was condescended to and I was made to feel I would never be good enough. I was at my wit’s end. There was love, there was respect, but there was just no more joy in the relationship. Leaving the relationship was not an option either. Often, I felt stuck and troubled. The predominant emotion was one of resentment and self-pity – how much more could I give? What more could I do? Why wasn’t something changing – either within my friend, or me or in our relationship?

It was at this time that I visited a dear friend, Francis. Somehow, her calm and always introspective  mood made me feel good. I especially enjoyed watching her teach her little son, Elias. That day, the child seemed to be in an especially bad mood and it seemed almost impossible to make him say his A, B, C properly. And yet she didn’t give up. Ultimately, after hours of cajoling, and making studies appear like a game, he gave way and completed everything he was supposed to.

She gave him a big smile and sent him down to play. Making a cup of coffee for both of us, she sat beside me and asked what was up. I immediately blurted, “How are you so patient with Elias?”

She laughed and said, “What other option do I have?” I said, “Come on, you know what I mean. Don’t you ever feel like you can’t do any more? Don’t you ever just feel like giving up?”

She said, “Sandra, in close relationships, in relationships that really matter, you can never give up. There is no such word as enough. You have to keep doing till you get the result you want – there is no other way out!”

I watched her closely, and asked, “There is no other way out?”

“No”, she said firmly, “And when you know there is no other way out – why not do what you need to do happily and with a lot more love and enthusiasm?”

I just watched her, silently.

She continued, “Either you take the tough decision and step out of the relationship. And if you can’t, stay in it happily. Give it whatever it takes. Someday, something will change. But until then you have to keep giving it everything it takes. You have to give it your best shot. The surprising fact is that while it may initially seem difficult, over time, it becomes easier. What’s more – you feel like a much better person. After all, whether it is you who is loving, or you who is being loved, the fact is that love remains in the relationship. If you also give up, what hope do you have for things to change?”

Everything about me changed within those few moments. Suddenly, I was ready to give and give happily. In close relationships, it was never about giving enough; it was about giving until the transformation took place.

Today, I would love to say it with authority – when you give happily, without a sense of ‘see how much I am doing for us’, things do change. Either you reach the point where you realise that the relationship is just not going to work out – but at least then when you step out you do so with the knowledge that you gave it all you had. There is no guilt. It is a matter-of-fact decision that despite giving it everything you had, it didn’t happen.
Or, the happier consequence would be that the relationship improves, blossoms and transforms.



As long as we are shrouded in the illusion of separation, relationships can be a source of pain and conflict. Therefore they also constitute a path that can return us to our wholeness and perfection.

For all of us there are just two entities: I and the Other. This inconvenient Other is the source of all our pain, anger, misery, jealousy, revenge and yes, fleeting moments of joy and ecstacy. It appears that the shadow of the Other, looming large over us, obscures our access to peace, happiness, success, love, self-esteem, self-actualisation and so on.

What do we do with the Other? Is it possible to live in a state of zero conflict with them? Is it possible to be free and yet available to them? Can we fully be there for the Other without impoverishing ourselves? At the same time, how do we come out of their hold and stand firm and strong in our own ground? This is the cipher of human existence. The reason why we take birth again and again. To learn the supreme lesson of what to do with the Other. It is not for nothing that Jean Paul Sartre, the well-known French philosopher succinctly said, “Hell is other people.”

Instead veiled in the illusion of separation we have worn for lifetimes after lifetimes, we love, we hate, we laugh, we cry, we attach, detach, fight, and make up, we kill, give birth, we nurture, we destroy, we give, we take, we teach, we learn, we part, we come together.

There is great beauty in this dance of duality, but let’s face it, it is essentially unsatisfactory. We are pulled between I and the Other, sometimes pandering to their ego, getting pulled into their magnetic force, often forsaking our own needs, dignity or self-respect. Or else, we pander to our ego by pulling the Other into our magnetic sphere, forcing them to do what we want them to do, and rendering them into abject slaves. All relationships have power struggles that are often fought silently but to the death. The slippery art of balancing this pull between I and the Other is one of the key lessons that relationships teach us.

The relationship school begins at birth when we are born into a family. The family is the crucible of socialisation, and depending on the kind of family we are born into and the kind of nurturing we receive, we develop our patterns of relating to others. If we have been lucky enough to have been invested with good self-esteem, our relationships with others are more likely to be harmonious and less needy. However, no matter how ideal a family we may belong to, or how much self-esteem we have, as long as we labour under the illusion of duality, relationships will still be a source of pain and conflict. Yes, they are also a source of happiness, joy, security and love. But if we want to get to a state of absolute happiness, then we must cross the hurdle of the Other.

It is in man-woman relationships that the conflicts inherent in duality become most pronounced. The couple duels between physical, emotional and psychological needs for the other, the need to control the other and at the same time, forge a life together. It is the field of the most intense drama, the greatest of suffering and the most ecstatic moments of oneness. When couples get it right, they almost if not quite, tear the veil apart, or at any rate, rent it in places. When they do not, and mostly today they do not, the conflict can be savage.

Perhaps the relationship between mother and child is the one that comes closest to oneness, especially in the initial years when the child knows no separation and the mother willingly focuses on the welfare of her young. Even in later years, parents are usually willing to put the interest of their children ahead of theirs, but unfortunately often stoop to controlling and manipulating them too.

Whether at work, at home, in public or in private, we remain all too often at odds with other people.

So where does it all stop? The sages quite rightly say that because the Other is ultimately an illusion, the only way to come out of it is to go within; into our own inner world of thoughts, feelings, reactions, fantasies, traumas and so on. It is here that the journey of dissolution begins.

As we go deep within, we become better acquainted with ourselves. We discover the defenses behind which we hide our sense of inadequacy. We discover the many masks we don when in company with others and perhaps even with our own. We also see our tender emotions, often hid for fear of being hurt – the part of us that longs to connect, the part that is hungry for love.

For all of us there are just two entities: I and the Other. This inconvenient Other is the source of all our pain, anger, misery, jealousy, revenge and yes, fl eeting moments of joy and ecstacy.
We discover the shadow side we often do not own – our need to control and manipulate, or the parts that are greedy or lazy or covetous. On and on goes the discovery. This is perhaps the hardest part of the spiritual enterprise – to see ourselves fully and objectively. But if we do our spiritual practice faithfully, and that should definitely involve some aspect of loving and accepting ourselves, we will find an increasing capacity to accept all that we see.

The more we can accept, the more space we have for ourselves and that is when we make the astonishing discovery. The Other never really affected us. It was our reactions, feelings and thoughts that they brought up in us that we could not accept. If I can accept the anger the Other brings up in me, do I have a problem with the Other? If I can accept the lust the Other arouses in me, will I want to possess the Other? If I can accept the resistance I feel when the Other wants to manipulate me, will I allow myself to be manipulated? If I accept the loneliness I feel, will I long for the Other? If I accept my inadequacies, will I want to prop up my ego by putting down the Other?

The more we learn to love and accept ourselves, the more the dents and scratches, the scabs and wounds, the hurts and traumas of separation begin to heal. We take back the power that we had falsely invested in the Other. Compassionately, we refuse to support them in their need for control, manipulation, possession or otherwise, for they too are inherently whole. Our emotional, psychological and physical needs fall away. Strength, power, and self-reliance rise. We feel protean, capable of coping with any challenge that life throws at us. We stand before life, whole and perfect, open to all that comes our way.

However, those who are ready to discover their own selves will take their cues from us. They will seek out our company and when we give ourselves permission to be who we are, we give them the permission too.

Free of needs, we freely give and freely take. Relationships become full and joyous, vibrant with love and care. As we become more essential we focus more and more on the welfare of the other and through it discover an endless source of happiness. Conflict drops because what the Other wants we want also.

And so we learn to live in total freedom and yet in total engagement with the Other.


Love is emotion in motion, evolving consistently into higher forms. The moment a relationship fathoms this evolutionary principle, it becomes a relationship for life

“For ever it was, and ever shall befall/That Love is he that all thing may bind,” wrote Geoffrey Chaucer with his marvelous medieval twang. You’d doff your hat for that, albeit there’s nothing really esoteric to it. Love is something that just happens to us.

Remember your first crush: how you were swept off your feet and were in complete ecstasy? So much so that you never argue with the extraordinary formula. On the contrary, you’d always wish to add novel ways of thinking about love per se.

Love is more than an activity, the only light, as philosopher J. Krishnamurti called it. It’s also, in essence, emotion in motion. Which explains why there are multiple definitions of love, why they coexist in harmony, and why each person chooses the definition that suits him/her best at any given time. You would also notice how these denotations—including responses from your beloved—change with circumstances such as time.

According to Patricia H. Taylor, a noted counselor and relationships researcher and author of The Enchantment of Opposites (Traveling Artists Press, USA), love encompasses an attachment where people are actively and continually creating their experiences. They are thinking of themselves and their partners as refreshing, interesting and lovable persons to be with. In the process, couples consciously decide to be the kind of people who often explore what they want and how they wish to connect. They affirm to communicate with each other about roles and rules. The bottomline, according to Patricia, is that couples must become increasingly willing to write, and even rewrite, their rules of relating on an ‘as-needed’ basis.

Just ask anyone to list qualities necessary for a great relationship and you will be flooded with a host of commonplace answers—vitality, frolic, spontaneity, more than just conjugal bliss, meeting of the minds, mutual cheering club, soul mate, warm family life. The list is endless. You could add on a few more, if you like.

But the point is that the reasons for a relationship change over time. Which also explains why our representative list encases most of the sought-after qualities and roles for our times. That’s not all. These are also qualities that successful couples tell others to embody.

Simple? Not really, because it needs a man and a woman to play the first partnership game—a pledge that allows us to explore and discover who among us is attuned to the psychical chemistry of the opposite gender. This is also a primary reason why a marriage of these differences creates a lasting alliance—notwithstanding a few ‘jerks’ that may take place during the course of any relationship.

Patricia places the idea thus: “Men and women bring their own special skills, desires, and differences to the partnership.”

Perfection, says Patricia, “is a starting point, a state of being that exists already”.

The best way to find someone you want to be with forever, she adds, is to become that person yourself. Put simply, this means you have to imbibe the qualities you seek in others. Then, and only then, will you be able to attract a like-minded person. The golden rule, Patricia elaborates, is to believe that no matter how good our lives are, they can always get much better than most of us ever dare to imagine.

Add to that the importance of treating each other like successful singles on a date for life, and you have a truly great relationship in front of you—one that has come to stay. Such a relationship not only complements the feeling that you and your partner are doing the best you can every minute, but also works as a magical potion to develop security. It loves and receives love.

Great relationships don’t contradict individual rules. It does not matter whether we are really biologically different. Indeed, our identities as male and female are not just anatomical interpretations but also culturally distinct. So, there it is!

Any great relationship needs to be personalized with an element of natural design, and more than a prospect of an attached sense of detachment. To find that ‘space’—both within and without. To recognize how willing you are to start creating the relationship you want, how inclined you are to become the type of person who is deeply desired, what actions you can take now to start making yourself, and your partner, even more alluring. Great relationships also evolve in the mind. Even strings, as philosopher Marsilio Ficino extolled, seem to respond to strings that are similarly tuned, and one lyre resounds in answer to another, or a solid wall would echo to one who calls.

Love is something like the two sparrows flying outside your window, accelerating in an instant into an ascending, intertwined spiral of their ‘enchantment of opposites’ jig. It’s also a fine symmetry of the spirit. One that denotes life as a relationship, the most vibrant, beautiful, and mystical framework of this universe—with love per se being its essential and most basic principle.