Love that’s happy & harmonious

Emotional intelligence can hold your relationship in good stead while helping you tide over bad times, writes Kamlesh D Patel

Let harmony be a priority. Put harmony before being right.

If you ask someone in their 20s what matters most to them in life, they will usually say, “My relationship and career.” Relationships and careers are the stabilisers in today’s world, bringing security, contentment and purpose in life. Yet, we don’t seem to be very good at the relationship part, because many people are isolated, lonely, dissatisfied with their partner, divorced, or simply struggling to nurture and sustain healthy long-term relationships.

Is this symptomatic of a throw-away consciousness? Whether we are talking about containers, appliances or people, we now live in a world where we very easily throw things away. The environmental issues caused by plastic bottles and bags are a case in point. Similarly, when it comes to relationships, the consciousness has become: ‘if there are problems, end it’; ‘if there is a hardship, look for something better’. We are turning into a culture of quitters. But the tide has been turning of late: plastic bags and bottles are banned in many places, and people want sturdier appliances that last instead of cheap ones that fall apart easily and end up in the landfill. Will our attitude towards our relationships also move towards valuing longevity and commitment over the throw-away mentality?

To sustain for a long term, we need some basic emotional intelligence and maturity around relationships. Let’s ponder over a few things that can help:

* Let harmony be a priority. Put harmony before being right. Does it really matter if your partner is wrong? Will you ruin the peace of a whole day by having an argument that could have been avoided by simply saying, “Okay, yes honey.”

* Learn to pause and listen to the other person’s point of view. What are they feeling? Pause often in a conversation and try to understand. Listen to what is being communicated behind the words.

* When there is any tension, what can you do to nurture the relationship instead of putting it under more stress? Tension is not necessarily a bad thing. It is like a warning bell telling you that something needs to change. Rather than expecting others to change, try to see what you can do.

* What happens when you have had a bad day at work and you come home to a partner who has also had a tough day? Are you kind to one another? More often than not, you have an argument simply because both of you are tired and out of sorts. If kids are also in the equation, it can be even more hectic. Dinnertime can be the cause of indigestion! So, be kind. Remember, your attitudes and thoughts are more important than your words.

* Be humble and open-hearted. If you learn how to keep it open, your heart will thank you for all the joy it can hold.

* Cultivate the way you speak so that your voice flows like nectar, in a soothing way without harshness or sharp rise and fall in your tone. People will enjoy listening more to you when you speak sweetly.

* Be patient. Some struggles will not resolve overnight, no matter how much you try. Let things heal naturally and have faith that all will be well.

* Let go of resentment. See every situation as an opportunity to become a better person. Generally, other people don’t mean to hurt you. They are also imperfect, just like you.

* At bedtime, take a minute to close your eyes and feel sorry for anything you have done to hurt others. There is no need to feel guilty, just promise yourself you will not do it again. You will then sleep with a clearer, lighter conscience.

* Accept the other person just as they are, without trying to change them.

* A sense of humour goes a long way!

For a healthy relationship, you need emotional intelligence and that requires some basic inner practices. The four core practices of heartfulness are perfectly suited to that purpose, and together they allow you to master your emotional universe and learn to love. At the end of the day, what makes the world go round? It is love.

(The author is global guide, Heartfulness)

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Love that’s happy & harmonious

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