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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Relationships


I’ve been pondering over a talk by Sadguru in which he says that we depend too much on relationships to make us happy.

After thinking about it for some days, I think I’ve got to the wisdom of that. Best to be independent of all outside attachments. Love is so subtle, it can be expressed in spirit, from soul to soul, why seek physical connection? It’s the mind that seeks entanglement of the physical kind. Relationships. How we seek fulfillment in these. I’m glad that God sent me a few unfulfilling ones, some disappointing ones. It made me stop and look at myself closely, at what I was seeking, what I was giving. At where all the fulfillment and disappointment were being enacted. How desires were arising and clamouring to be met. How the fulfillment of each desire even though bringing a brief moment of pleasure, brought a more lasting void and how the mind seeks to fill that void by fabricating another desire. And so, the endless cycle continues. If all my desires were getting fulfilled, I guess, I would not have stopped to consider this. But some of them were not fulfilled and that forced me to look for answers. ‘Pleasure puts you to sleep and pain wakes you up. If you do not want to experience pain, do not go to sleep.’ Nisargadutta said it so well and succinctly. So, yes, pain has caused me to start looking inwards for answers and like the wise say, ‘all answers are within you.’

This is not to say that I’m going to ditch all my relationships. Not at all. Just that my dependence on them to give me happiness should be zero. Just as my dependence on anything external to me for my happiness should be zero. In reality, there is nothing external to me. The outside world that I see as outside me is merely a projection of my interpretation of it in my own mind. So, really, I should be saying, my dependence of anything that my mind conjures up should be zero. Which is really a smart thing to do. Because what the mind is conjuring up is merely a flickering movie the plot of which keeps changing every moment because the mind does not what it wants. Best to go beyond the mind, to the eternal reality, where no fickle happiness dependent on the mind is to be sought, but peaceful eternal bliss exists. Where joy is one undisturbed constant.

We tend to think that relationships are meant to bring us happiness, but actually they are meant to teach us lessons. And unless you are in a toxic relationship, in which case the lesson itself is to guard your dignity and walk out, I think one must stay and learn the lesson. Do the inner work, like removing all barriers to loving, respecting, accepting and forgiving oneself. That is of foremost importance. For unless we do that we cannot expect anyone else to do it to us. And once we do that, we stop expecting others to do it to us.