My Spiritual Master, Gurudeva, always says, “We can survive without food for a few weeks, and without water for a few days, and without air for a few minutes, but without love and affection we cannot survive even a single moment.”
Love is an intrinsic part of our soul therefore it is natural we are always seeking it. Sadhus, saints and spiritually evolved mystics try to find it within the heart through spiritual revelations. Most of us search for it outside of ourselves within relationships.
What makes relationships successful and fulfilling?
Various cultures have their ideas about how relationships are played out and what is considered successful or acceptable. An example of this is demonstrated by an interesting encounter I had at a restaurant in the holy town of Vrindavan, India. An elderly Indian gentleman sitting with his wife on a nearby table looked over and very curiously questioned me, “Is it true that in the Western countries husbands and wives have secrets from each other?” He seemed to be horrified at the thought. They had married at a young age and I can say with full confidence, they will not be getting a divorce.
What is their secret? When two people join together as husband and wife and become a unit, a team or an entity in and of itself. The relationship then becomes one of catering to the needs of this new entity. In this way both partners can be nurtured and supported, rather than trying to behave as two autonomous individuals as you would with a separatist mentality. In a true team spirit even when there are reasons for personal antagonism or conflict, the long term commitment to the unit or entity can override the dissension, with healing, therapy and love. Similar goals, aspirations, and lifestyles can support the compatibility of the ‘unit’. Respect and honest, open communication are the foundation of a long-term healthy relationship. We see this in any truly successful organisation; people work together as a team, each member of the team supporting the whole with his or her own contribution.