I recently attended a virtual talk titled Waking Up Through Relationships by Susan Piver, a renowned Buddhist teacher and author. I appreciated how she created and framed these four relationship truths. Do not let their simplicity fool you. Really. I summarize her words of wisdom below:
Truth #1: Relationships are uncomfortable.
Through various stages of our romantic relationships, we experience both comfort and discomfort. The early discomforts come simply from the “unknown”: Will this relationship last? Will he/she call again? What kind of impression do I want to make? How do I not repeat mistakes from my last relationship?
As the relationship progresses, the discomforts morph into irritations. Irritations are usually signaled by thoughts such as, “Why are you doing that thing again?”.
Truth #2: Thinking relationships should be comfortable makes them uncomfortable.
Most people seek love from their relationships but what they really seek is emotional safety. However, there is nothing safe about love! Love does not offer any guarantees. Love does not disguise that which you seek to avoid. If anything, it shines a giant spotlight on what you find most uncomfortable.
Truth #3: Meeting the discomfort together is love.
Susan said that a relationship never stabilizes. I’m not sure that I agree with her however, I do agree that relationships are unpredictable with their constant ebb and flow. Couples demonstrate commitment and love when they can ride the waves together.
Truth #4: There is a way to work with it all.
Strengthen your relationship through the following three concepts. These establish a sense of goodwill which helps soften conflict and inspire love.
- Precision: Be precise with your beloved. Precision involves a deeply thoughtful way of living. Always think of the other in addition to yourself. Skillfully speak your truths, declare your intentions and be decent in your actions.
- Be Open: This requires you to think beyond yourself. Consider your partner as important as you or even more important than you without abandoning yourself. Offer your love, practice kindness.
- Beyond: Everything in your relationship is an opportunity for deep intimacy. Look for those moments! New love energy may fade away after the honeymoon phase but intimacy can take you to deeper levels of love.