Developing Healthy And Positive Relationships With Mindfulness
Think about your last or perhaps your current relationship.
Did you look forward to seeing this person? Spending quality time with them?
What is it that you like about them? There may even be qualities that you’re not fond of but you accept, like having an action figure collection.
The first healthy relationship most people experience is with their mothers, fathers, grandparents and perhaps siblings. But this situation doesn’t have to be true for everyone, every family is different, but these interactions often lay the foundation for our future relationships.
We see how our parents interact and assume that’s how all families interact. We learn respectful behavior. How to nurture someone in time of sickness or other need. We learn how to trust. We learn love. We learn conflict resolution. And we learn boundaries.
But not every family is warm and nurturing. Sadly, some homes are not so pleasant and this may result in perpetuating suffering in your own relationships in the future.
So how may we learn how to mindfully develop and nurture positive and healthy relationships?
Before we talk about how mindfulness can help, let’s look at some examples of unhealthy relationship traits. Keep in mind that the dynamic isn’t only male on female, but may be female on male, male on male, female on female, or any of the vast array of family relationships that exist.
- A codependent relationship
- A relationship this involves verbal, physical, and sexual violence
- A relationship that involves some form of addiction such as, alcohol, drugs, gambling.
- A relationship that is financially abusive.
- A relationship this is emotionally abusive.
Although there are more examples, a majority of unhealthy relationships will combine one or more of these traits.
We often relate relationships to a journey. A journey along our own individual path as we seek spiritual enlightenment or at the very least a harmonious and wholesome life.
And along this journey we’ve embarked upon we’d like to have company.
This is normal since people are social beings. And a partner helps us enjoy what we mindfully encounter along the way.
A partner helps us during times of illness. A partner is there to help us celebrate joyful occasions. And a partner helps us see the world with a different perspective which helps us remove preconceived notions.
Preconceived notions and ideas about others, including our partners, takes away from your understanding of who they truly are, an individual being like yourself. And maintaining preconceived notions promotes suffering.
For example maybe we say ‘you aren’t the same person any more’. Here we make a prediction about a person, a negative illusion, about some ones expected behavior. You are suffering as a result of this expectation and so is the other person as a result.
Or on the opposite side maybe we have a positive illusion, ‘my partner can do no wrong’. Here you are clinging to an idealized version of them which may lead to unrealistic expectations about their behavior. Again, more suffering for the both of you.
Before we may offer space for a partner along our journey we need to be sure we are ready and that we are healthy to do so. Meaning that we are with mindful awareness, opening ourselves to being vulnerable, and accepting another as they walk along their path as well. You are in the here and now, in the present moment.
If you feel you are ready then I offer you some gentle suggestions of what to look for.
- Gentle speaking
- Not jealous or possessive
- Compassionate towards you, himself, and others
- Empathetic towards you, himself, and others
- And certainly you both love each other.
Mindfulness is a wonderful way to help value and strengthen a relationship both with yourself and others. And so as you continue on your journey, breath in and say ‘as I breathe in I walk in peace’ and as you breathe out say ‘as I breathe out I open myself to the beauty of others’.
And with that my friends I wish you all peace and ease,
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