Love - The sweet love.

27, Feb, 2014, by Seema Bhatnagar

love quote from Mahatma Gandhi

Love is the sweetest emotion of all and possesses power to transform and heal. Those who are blessed to experience it know its' power. Very few people possess a power to express and feel it; mostly feel deprived of it throughout life. Fortunately or unfortunately, love is one of the most frequently used words and also the least experienced one in personal life.

Why do we need love?

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. ~ Lao Tzu

Love is that fundamental emotion through which all beings on this planet feel connected to each other. There is no other emotion like this which can bridge the gap of differences. Other emotions like jealousy, ager, hatred, envy etc. are emotions which create distance and repulsion among beings. One of the basic human needs is to feel loved and cared for. People who were deprived of love during childhood or initial years of life, grows into very rough and dry individuals, it is difficult for them to express their own love even when they feel like expressing it.

Love has that warmth which helps us to express our deepest core in full colors. All sweet memories filled with love always make us feel energetic and charged. Love is a very subtle emotion but it invigorates us deeply and one doesn't need to use any language to express it. The face, the eyes and the whole body can expresses it with ease, no doubt it is something very instinctual.

Relationships are beautiful and profound ways to express self rather than a way to let personal demands met by other. There is no need to feel desperate to get into relationships. Just wait for the right individual, until then work on your personal growth and make yourself suitable for a person who has stronger and larger than life personal values.

What goes wrong?

Why is it that, even on being such a powerful emotion, having a power to transform an individual, it turns sour and people feel strained in romantic and marital relationships? Out of several other possible reasons, one reason could be that people don't know how to express it or another reason could be, people don't want to express it. The first reason cannot be true because only due to love all relationships started, so conclusively, the potential cause of marred relationships is the second one, which is mostly due to ego factor.

People are not committed and lack the required level of motivation to keep the relationships, on the slightest jerk or a bump, people starts looking for an alternative. Partners lack mutual understanding about mindsets, emotions and ambitions.

Most romantic relationships are based on physical attraction or on the bank balance, but the fact of the matter is, the fundamental requirements of any relationship are, understanding of each others'mindsets, behaviors and emotions which remain completely unaddressed in majority relationships. Moreover, people enter into relationships with a set of expectations without any discussion, which surfaces later on and on mismatch and inability to handle them results in frictions and finally leads to break-ups. The only reason of not discussing personal expectations is the fear of losing the relationship. Even in marriages, the sole reason of bitterness is not meeting each others' expectations. With constant weight of expectations from each other and tiffs to prove oneself superior from other, the love factor simply dries up and relationship becomes a baggage for both partners. Then comes a point when friction and conflicts becomes the dominant part of a relationship, and both partners decide to part ways.

It really gives me pain when I look at break ups and divorces. It makes me think, what goes wrong in such cases, was it a misunderstanding or lack of understanding. Soured relationships are constant pain for lifetime not for one but for both. Each and every person who comes in life leaves some memories behind - if those memories are sweet, you relish it for lifetime while bitter ones haunts for lifetime.

Why people fall in suboptimal relationships?

The giving of love is an education in itself. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Marriage needs a highest level of personal growth, which majority people lack in the beginning and end up experiencing bitterness and suffering, not just to one but for both. Personal growth is the most neglected aspect of self, due to which most relationships fail.

The fantasy to have some relationship especially at teen age is very hazy, physical attraction is the only criteria of choosing a partner. So the commitment also lasts as long as the interest in the physical attraction, as soon it is lost, a new search starts for new and more attractive partner.

After exiting from one relationship, people starts search for the next one to find solace from the previous one. The desperation factor to form new relationship is so high that the fundamental of relationships, which must be discussed, remains unaddressed and then again the same story of mutual conflicts starts. For some, it becomes a vicious circle and they suffer lifetime because of painful relationships and constantly feel deprived of love. This bitterness makes partners to look for love outside marriage or relationships and they tend to form suboptimal relationships out of haste to feel loved and cared for, simply because each one of us has a basic human need to feel loved and cared for.

One must understand the fact that any loving relationship you are forming in life is a commitment for a lifetime; it is not for fun or for earning good scores in dating, simply because it involves emotions of two human beings. Either you develop that level of personal growth so that you can understand and accept other person unconditionally or you must not enter any relationship. This approach would prove good and healthy for both the partners.

Hinduism and Marriage

According to Hinduism, marriage stands as a strong institution of society and one must contribute his/her personal best to make it work for the benefit of society. Children born out of happy and healthy marriages prove to be good human beings and spreads love and compassion in society.

Hinduism suggests that marriage is such a strong bond which keeps life partners bonded for seven births. In today's age it might sound ridiculous but today also in all Hindu marriages, the 7 vows, taken at the time of marriage, express this spirit. The bond of marriage is considered pious and each partner is considered as an embodiment of God.

Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are epitome of true love in Hindu Mythology. They are also known as Shiva and Shakti. It is said, that Lord Shiva made Goddess Parvati his half part of body so that he doesn't exist without her presence.

From Yogas' point of view, Ashtang Yoga, has Brahmacharya as one pillar of Yama. Brahmacharaya means a Divine conduct. The literal meaning is "Brahma" means divine, "acharan" mean "practice", that mean practicing divine conduct. It advocates celibacy when single and after marriage, faithful to only spouse for sexual activity. Before marriage, one must use vital energies for study and acquiring valuable skills, after marriage, in making happy and successful family. An individual mustn't waste the sacred force (referring to sexual energy) by promiscuity in thought, word or deed. Be restrained with opposite sex, seek holy company, dress and speak modestly, shun pornography, sexual humor and violence. Practicing this will enable an individual to experience the divine force inside and can open a new level of spiritual consciousness.

love quote from Rabindranath tagore

Fundamentals of strong relationships.

Love does not dominate; it cultivates. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Relationships are the bonds between human beings; we seek and form relationships to experience love and connection. For any relationship to work there are certain fundamentals which must be understood before one even think of forming a relationship. Majority people are so desperate in forming relationship that they completely ignore the fundamentals and land up experiencing the bitterness. There is surely no formula to make relationships work but there are certain fundamentals which must be kept in mind if you are in relationship or planning to have one. Following are some:

  1. Beauty is only skin deep
  2. Understand it to your heart, character which means personal values is more important than appearance which surely fades away with time. You must understand persons' values to understand what s/he believes in. You can surely bank upon this if everything else is not as per your liking or expectations. A person with strong personal values is a reliable one than a person who looks stunning but really insensitive towards others.

  3. Different backgrounds
  4. Both partners come from altogether different and diverse backgrounds which could be culture, religion or a faith. Both the individuals must develop willingness to accept these differences with full respect. Due to different backgrounds and experiences in life, individuals tend to have different mindsets about the same things, so, one must develop understanding to accept these differences in mindsets too.

  5. Develop trust
  6. Trust is that glue between the partners which keeps the bonds stronger and intact for lifetime. If you do not have trust in your relationship, it is bound to go bad and ugly very soon. Develop trust in your partner even when s/he is wrong sometimes, considering that fact, to err is human.

  7. Be honest
  8. I believe, it is good to have honest enemy than dishonest partner. Dishonesty is like a termite which eats up the bonds of relationships. Your honesty is reflected in each and every act that you do. If you find yourself hiding things from your partner or have some kind of fear in opening up, you are surely not honest with your partner which will surely surface somewhere in future and would create holes in relationship. Just be honest and brave to accept your wrong doings in front of your partner, this is something essential to build trust.

  9. Different emotional responses
  10. Based on personal experiences one develops different emotional responses to situations and circumstances, one individual might behave very relaxed and other might behave angrily to the same situation. Understanding and accepting this difference is must for relationship.

  11. Set of new responsibilities
  12. Marriage or any relationship brings new responsibilities to each individual, so both should develop willingness to carry out those personal responsibilities with total understanding and commitment rather than considering them as a burden and running away from them.

  13. Different habits
  14. Considering the differences in upbringing and background, individuals do have altogether different set of habits which sometimes is difficult to accept but this acceptance has to be there because it comes into play in each and every action right from personal hygiene to social connection.

  15. No manipulations
  16. It is commonly seen, because of the various fundamental differences, couples develop a tendency to manipulate each other to make the other one suitable to him/herself. First of all, if you believe you are a person who understands others then you must shun the idea of changing others. Sometimes the manipulations are so subtle that you might not consider it as a manipulation but the fact of the matter is there are traces of manipulations in almost all relationships. You must understand that manipulating others absolutely is not fair and that too especially your better half. You must accept your spouse or special one absolutely unconditionally, for that, first you must accept yourself unconditionally. Do not try to control other to show your superiority. In relationships, both partners are equal and must given due respect for this equality.

  17. No expectations
  18. Do not keep expectations rather seek ways to fulfill spouses' expectations. This is something really fundamental to relationships. If you keep expectations from your partner, and on finding it fulfilled, you are sure to lose interest and liking in your partner, so it is better not to have any expectation rather fulfill others' expectation to your heart.

  19. Mutual growth
  20. Encourage each other to achieve more and more on personal growth, it can be about pursuing higher studies, new skill, hobby, interest or starting new business. Give your heartiest and honest support in each others' pursuits.

  21. Communication
  22. Communication is the oxygen of relationship, if you don't communicate your heart to your partner, then you are living in a stale and suffocating air. Make sure you discuss each and every difference to its' depth, irrespective of the fact if your partner agree or disagree to your point. It is extremely healthy for relationships. In most relationships communication is a big issue because somewhere there is a feeling of losing face. Remember, in loveful relationships nobody is superior or inferior, both are worthy of respect and there mustn't be any feeling of losing face.

  23. Shun stereotyping
  24. Our society has designed few roles and responsibilities for relationships, to some extent they are right but with changing times and lifestyles these also demand change. Personally, I believe, there is no work which cannot be done by any gender except the biological roles assigned by nature. If you believe in stereotyping genders and roles, you would surely experience bitterness too soon in your relationship. Consider each task just as a task without thinking to attach any social image to it. Well, if you are a believer in equality you would never believe in stereotyping.

I bet, if partners discuss and agree to above points, they can form long lasting and happy relationships but sadly there are very few who pay attention to these. Those who pay attention to these points are the fortunate and blessed ones born to experience love and connection in their relationships.

My Personal Experience

Love is the greatest refreshment in life. ~ Pablo Picasso

It is true that I do not have experience of marriage or any loving relationship but I have tried to experience it by looking at my friends, family and some life coaching clients. During my long years of experience at job, I developed lots of friendships and also interacted with lots of male friends and with some I enjoyed very healthy relationships and for some I felt attracted too, to a level to get married, but very soon I lost that thought and attraction. The reason of losing that thought was my own sharp edges and their average thinking with a bent of mind towards stereotyping. Looking back, now I really feel myself fortunate enough for not getting married to people whom I liked, because by now I would have experienced multiple divorces.

Being a career minded person along with sharp edges, love and relationships could never take good shape in my life. My home environment also never gave me permission to waste energy on such affairs and always made sure that I am focused on my career. This saved me lot of energy which I could invest in my career and personal growth.

I am yet to meet a person in this life who can proudly say that "marriage is the best thing happened to me and it has filled my life with happiness and joy". Mostly, I have seen people cribbing about their decision of choosing that partner for marriage and living life in a hell everyday. It really makes me feel sad, when I see people proudly sharing "Husband Wife" jokes on social networking sites. No, sorry, it is not humor at all but a way to vent out personal frustrations of relationships. This is ridiculous, staying together and making fun of each other. Couples who are really happy and respectful towards each other cannot even think of doing it.

It is interesting to highlight, all married people whom I meet, who are not so happy or really unhappy in their marriages consistently ask my plans for marriage and give me advice to get married. How ridiculous it is? Unhappy people giving advice to try luck, I might prove luckier or I might join their club. It is pitiful that people consider marriage as some kind of panacea for happiness and are after it to find the truth without giving a thought to required level of commitment and dedication.

By the way, for marriage, I was approached by many, but I never found anybody of strong character who can really ignore the stereotyping and keeps different perspective of looking at people and situations. A really intense person who is highly evolved. I let many opportunities to get married go, just because I was never convinced with a fact that how can I stay with a person who cannot think high and beyond. Over the period of time, I have developed a strong belief that it is better to have no relationships than having sub-optimal relationship. Looking at future, until I find a person of my choice, I am fine without any relationship. I am perfectly ok, contented and happy in this phase of life and at the same time willing to be open and welcoming for new experiences and people in life.

love quote from jiddu krishnamurthi

Give your best to relationships.

Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Relationships are beautiful and profound ways to express self rather than a way to let personal demands met by other. There is no need to feel desperate to get into relationships. Just wait for the right individual, until then work on your personal growth and make yourself suitable for a person who has stronger and larger than life personal values.

Remember an important point, relationships are not at all transactional in nature, if you feel that what I did to other must be reciprocated, then you will never be able to experience that nectar of love in relationship. You must break this mindset of taking or expecting love, but develop a strong belief of giving and only giving and fulfilling expectations of your partner. If you find it tough to digest then drop your idea of forming relationships because relationship is all about giving.

Your most intimate relationships demands your most intimate emotions to be at test. If you feel vulnerable in relationships, it is alright, because this is step higher in personal growth. If you do not have money, fame or success but enjoy intimate and loveful relationships you are no lesser than a millionaire. To believe in it, ask those people who are thirsty for true love and waste their whole life in finding a right relationship.

Love is the beauty of the soul. ~ Saint Augustine

If you are already in relationship or planning to have one, then decide how much power you have to give unconditionally. Develop a core belief to give your best and consider your partner no lesser than a God, worthy of respect, care, equality and abundant love because love is spiritual and not logical. If you are spiritual or have a willingness to become one then you must develop an idea of getting committed to only one person, your partner, else it is a sheer wastage of personal energy, time and emotions.

Love is the only money which multiplies by giving, so, be a millionaire in a right sense with a power which nobody can take away.

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Seema Bhatnagar
, Blogger, Writer, Life Coach and Founder of Abundance Thinkers, site for personal growth and development. Empowering people in achieving and living the best of personal potential.

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