“The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” – Rumi
Rumi makes a great point about relationships when he says that lovers are within each other all along. It’s true: a lover experiences the highest peak when he or she becomes love itself. When people ask me what divinity feels like, I tell them to fall in love. An incredible relationship has the power to shift your consciousness like nothing else can.
So then, why is it so hard to find that incredible relationship? And once you’ve found it, why does it seem like it’s so hard to actually keep? There is no golden rule for, or secret to, a successful relationship, but here are a few ways to improve the quality of your romantic life.
Stop worrying about titles.
There is no single way to define love. It goes beyond societal descriptions. Love cannot be limited to just a few words or a recollection of a single experience. That's what makes love so beautiful. The mysticism and madness of love is what makes it special. When you’re in love, stop thinking about love. It’s just like when you’re meditating: you have to allow the experience to happen without trying to control its outcome.
That silly argument from last week? Let it go.
Unconditional forgiveness is the most powerful tool in your relationship toolkit. Holding on to a grudge can turn into a slow-burning pain. It will drain the life out of you, and leave you feeling nothing but grief. Stop acting like a victim in your relationship, and start getting into the forgiveness zone. Every time you feel that you are in the throes of your anger, and you’re just so mad at your partner, remind yourself to forgive him or her unconditionally. It’s the only way you can set yourself – and your partner – free.
Start with self-love.
In pursuit of the perfect relationship, don't forget the most important part: you. We often tend to ignore ourselves in a relationship. Eventually, this ignorance will turn into frustration due to unfulfilled personal goals. Without self-love, we neglect ourselves. Give yourself time to learn to love yourself before you fully love someone else. If you love yourself, you’ll have more love to shower on others.
Don’t try so hard.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot force love to come to us. It’s easier said than done, I know, but if you just let everything go smoothly, love will happen by itself. Likewise, if you’re in a relationship that requires a ton of effort, it may be time to move on. Love should be effortless. Think about gardening: You sow the proper seeds, pour the right amount of water on them everyday, and take proper care of your plants, but not all of them turn out as good as the others. Each plant has its own journey. We should treat relationships the same way. Have the right intentions, drop the expectations, and cultivate a feeling of giving … then eventually, I promise that love will flourish on its own.
Quit being picky.
We often put certain specifications on our relationships, such as desiring someone who doesn’t talk too much, or wanting to be with someone who is more social. But true love doesn’t require any conditions ... it does not come with a set of rules and requirements. These conditional contracts result in a lot of frustration in a relationship. Every morning, the sun gives you an ample amount of light without asking for anything in return. Radiate your own light in your relationship, and don’t require anything in return.
Try This: Meditation for Couples
This meditation exercise is specifically designed for couples. You may try it on your own, but it’s best when practiced daily alongside your loved one, for at least 15-20 minutes.
Light candles and incense to create a positive aroma in the room.
Sit across from each other and acknowledge each other’s presence.
Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes.
Gently, bring your awareness onto your heart. Feel the presence of its powerful energy.
After a few minutes, ask yourself, "What is the most kind and loving aspect about me?" Simply meditate upon the question. Keep yourself open to the answers.
Visualize the face of your partner and ask yourself, "What is the most kind and loving aspect about my significant other?" Simply meditate upon the question. Whatever answer comes toward you, let it happen.
Meditate upon the heart and feel the stillness within. If you feel like laughing, crying, or expressing any other emotion, do not hold yourself back. Let it flow. Express your soul during these moments.
While continuing to keep all of your awareness on your heart, release unconditional love toward the person sitting across from you. Send that love without expecting anything in return.
During the final two minutes of your meditation, count all of your blessings and express gratitude for your relationship. Take a final moment to hug one another.
"To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."