Relationship Is All About Being Mindful- By Reshma
Being Mindful In Your Relationship Matters!
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. -Henry Miller
A conscious relationship involves paying attention to your partner, while an unconscious one means being oblivious to needs that fuel conflicts.
Most of the time we bring our past patterns of thinking, childhood issues and warped perceptions into our relationships. So what is it that couples prescribing to ‘mindfulness’ in their relationships do differently?
Partners in a mindful relationship become committed to the process of helping each other heal the wounds of long ago. They openly discuss their childhood traumas, and commit to meeting each other’s needs and desires. How? By working on their own specific behaviour to meet the others’ needs, and help in the healing without asking for anything in return. This acts as a blueprint for personal growth and learning. Partners know that it can be challenging, however they recognise ‘intentionality’ as the key to progress.
Relationships built around ‘mindfulness’ involve absolute separateness. Partners accept this about each other wholeheartedly. They function as two individual ‘whole’ people, with a unique perception of the reality around them and within them. They explore each other’s worlds, mirror them and validate each other’s experiences. However, all this comes from a place of independence and equality and journeying together in that separateness.
When they feel uncomfortable or when their needs are not being met, couples usually bring out their concerns instead of withdrawing from the relationship or getting their needs met outside. Rather than acting out, feelings are usually communicated in a constructive manner, as a ‘dialogue’ or ‘discussion’. Blaming and shaming, manipulation or provocation are out of the window. Partners try to become aware of themselves during dialogue and see this as an opportunity to get to know themselves better. There are no ‘exits’ in a relationship based on mindfulness.
As much as partners accept each other’s positive feelings, it becomes important for them to accept ‘anger’ and ‘frustration’ as well. Anger is an expression of pain. And usually this pain has many a root in childhood. Anger and frustration usually aren’t expressed spontaneously because partners realise that dumping negative feelings can be destructive. Even though it is arduous, couples generally help each other to convey their low days in a non-judgemental manner, and keep trying to learn constructive ways to express negative feelings. Laughing and humour play a huge role in changing perspectives about sorrow. Mindful couples emphasise on changing the way they look at issues from a place of fun and abundance, rather than from a place of lack. This gives way to deeper bonding and passion.
Responsibility for all aspects of themselves is also very integral to the relationship. Partners are constantly learning to own, manage and integrate their negative traits, instead of constantly projecting on each other. Partners develop their own capabilities and strengths instead of relying on the other to fill what is missing in them. As a result, such individuals are competent, intelligent, powerful and caring. They can willingly direct their energies to the world around them, and contribute to society generously. Truly, consciousness empowers them to take care of each other and the world.
‘We set ourselves up for a mighty dreary time in marriage when we hang our ability to be happy on our spouse’s ability to change’ – Ngina Otiende
There is no self-doubt about their commitment in the relationship. In awareness and unconditional love, partners don’t attempt to change each other (since self-growth and transformation is all about change). It is no wonder that warmth and spontaneity takes centre stage. Couples honour space between and create space for each person to have their own experience. It means still being able to love someone without setting boundaries.
In the mindful relationship, the couple asks not “what can the relationship do for me?” but rather “what can I do for the relationship?”
Couples gradually begin to accept ‘what is’ instead of ‘what is supposed to be’. They are in the relationship because they want to be with one another and enjoy the companionship and growth it brings. The joy is in this. No one keeps score. There is no element of clinginess. Each partner acts in a very helpful, empowering and loving manner to the other. There is a strong belief that giving love to the other is a reward in itself. And so, there is a healthy respect for the values that feed the relationship.
“By bringing mindfulness into your relationship, you gain the power to consciously participate in how your relationship develops and how you develop as a loving person”
Mindful partnerships foster a certain commitment to love. This is the base from which couples address whatever life brings. Couples stay emotionally present and honest no matter what arises. They are transparent. They are able to avoid defensiveness and getting caught in fear. Partners maintain kindness and compassion even when feeling vulnerable, uncertain, fearful and sad. They hold their own very gracefully through the storms. They believe that their relationship will not lose the messiness or its troubles, but by bringing this into their awareness, even the difficulties become meaningful.
Ultimately this is what it’s all about isn’t it? Meaning.
In a mindful partnership, there is absolute delight in giving happiness to your partner, to see your partner through the lens of love, not because he or she is perfect, but because love is about being non-judgemental, not keeping score, or seeking advantage. He/she is what he/she is.
To become a mindful couple is an ever-evolving journey, not a destination.
By Reshma Raju
Certified Women’s Health Coach (USA)
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