“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.”
— Rabindranath Tagore
Relationships, relationships, relationships
There are many different kinds and they are made up of many different dynamics. Our lives consist of relationships strong and long term, like the ones between us and our childhood besties, or fleeting, like the one with the kind stranger who sparked a conversation at the coffee shop this morning. In looking at more powerful relationships (and even the initial phases of some others!), there are things we can do to strengthen them. Here are just a few:
Say what now? It’s true – meditation can really help strengthen all different kinds of relationships. First of all, it helps us build up our relationship with ourselves. It allows us to practice self-love, acceptance, and vulnerability. This is hugely important since a completely successful relationship with someone else isn’t achievable until we are confident in the one we have with ourselves. Patricia Karpas delves deep into this idea with meditation teacher Ashley Turner in an episode of the Untangle podcast.
In order to understand what we truly want in a relationship, we must first be able to recognize what that is exactly. The only way to do that is to become aware of the various aspects of other relationships that we appreciate. While every relationship is different, a lot of the positive traits that they’re made up of may overlap, and if we know what those look like, we will be better at attracting those qualities in a new relationship.
Whether we’re talking about friendships or romantic relationships, it’s inevitable that you will need to forgive someone that you care about at some point. Forgiveness is necessary for you to be able to move on from whatever situation requires the forgiving and also for your relationship to continue to grow.
And for the relationships that are past mending?
There are strategies for keeping those healthy, too. A recent episode of Sacred Sundays focuses on Katherine Woodward Thomas, M.A., MFT who is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After. It was nominated for a Books for a Better Life Award, and she also wrote the national bestseller, Calling in “The One:” 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life. Thomas is a licensed marriage and family therapist and teacher to thousands from all corners of the world. Anyone in any stage of a relationship will find meaning in her work.
Any other relationship-focused content I should know about?
Yes. The Mindscape Film Festival Audience Award went to a film called ‘Leave-Taking,’ which is about a woman’s relationship with her father. When Laura was five years old, her father moved out of the home and into a trailer in the backyard. He never told his family why. At 26, Laura delves back into his unusual life to unfold the secret behind his leave-takings, in an unsentimental, unvarnished family mystery. This film examines outside factors that can have serious effects on our relationships.