Let’s embrace harmony...

What goes into creating a happy & healthy relationship? Bharat & Shalan Savur write...

When ego sets ‘you’ apart from ‘me’ in a derogatory way, how can there be an ‘us’?

Relationships are more fragile than we think. They are formed on perspectives, and perspectives can change. That’s why there are so many break-ups. The fact is: there’s simply no place for ego in a twosome. Why? The ego chooses anger to deal with most things. And anger often becomes part of the presence and personality of the person. Even when a problem is solved, the anger remains. There’s no peace, no harmony.

When ego sets ‘you’ apart from ‘me’ in a derogatory way, how can there be an ‘us’? And believe this, the point where we denounce the other is the point where suffering and illness begin. Apologising helps, but it doesn’t solve the egoic anger issue. Remember: you can heap blame and ill-will on another, but you have to carry the ensuing illness in you by yourself — the ego does not tell us this important fact.

Both partners need to shift their perspective from hate to acceptance. The Greek masters knew this. Based on their teachings is a lovely little practice that helps. Every time you think angry, nasty thoughts about somebody, deposit money in the ‘Compassion Box’ you’ve set aside for this purpose. When you have to pay for your anger, you become aware of your state. When you are aware, you observe, check and gently transform yourself. It’s also strongly symbolic — that you pay in other ways too for losing your temper.

Continue the paying practice for three years — the span suggested by the Greek masters. Then, donate this amount to the needy with gratitude. With this fine act, you get to know your better, softer side; you realise that by controlling your thinking, the relationship is harmonious, the environment is peaceful, and the biggest bonus… so is your mind!

Ah yes, acceptance means no disturbance internally — only a sweet silence, a wonderful peace, a soothing calmness. When we control our very thinking, put it on mute, the mind becomes a beautiful, quiet space. We can keep a check on the quality of thoughts, too. When thoughts are positive, loving, they are slow. Negative and agitated thoughts race. By being vigilant, we can cultivate a lovely thought-free mind.

One way to develop a restful mind in which thoughts move at a slow pace is to listen to guided meditation daily. The soothing, slow-paced instructions, the melodious accompanying music and sound of the sea and silence all become a beautiful and effective course in relaxed, measured thinking. As your mind clears, you will know what you want in a relationship — harmony. This knowing is deep, this wanting is authentic. Healing begins here. You must be very sure that you don’t want a confrontation ever, that you want harmony forever.

Once you are clear and sure of yourself, you can tell your partner that you want harmony in your relationship. Even if you get a cynical response, stay steadfast in your clarity. Harmony is healing, you say, peace is pleasant. Leave the subject. You can always return to it again. Refuse to be drawn into an argument, remain silent. Whenever appropriate, speak about harmony, about peace. Accept your partner including his/her resistance. If there’s a history that’s unpleasant, say softly, ‘Let’s forget the past, let’s start afresh and never refer to the past. Let’s be in harmony always.’ A beautiful idea repeated and re-affirmed does have an effect. Remember, each of us is in a healing process. Continue to keep a check on critical, disagreeable thoughts. Change them to acceptance, even loving acceptance. Consciously, conscientiously stop rejecting anything about your partner. A new year can begin only because the old year ends; a new way of togetherness can begin only because the old separatist judgmental way ends.

As much as we are concerned about each other’s physical health, be enormously concerned and caring about each other’s emotional health. It means strengthening the genuine forces of peace and harmony. It means ridding ourselves of the weapons of words, aggressive tones, all degrees of violent acts and passive manipulations. It means walking the gentle, serene path…together.

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