WHAT MAKES A RELATIONSHIP WORK
When you think of relationships that work, really, really work, whose do you think of? Not just the ones that manage to stay together, but the ones that are ever growing and expanding, romantic and intimate. It’s likely that not many come to mind.
What is it about that relationship that makes it endure through thick and thin? Because, thick and thin are going to happen. What it is it about a relationship that makes it last?
Those relationships that make it through the tests of time, that make it through the ups and down of life, from arguments, loss of jobs, money problems, teenagers, midlife crisis, health issues, and mothers-in-laws, to boot, are built on an integral strength that is based on real connection.
Real connection and chemistry look a lot alike, but they are not the same.And, yes, most often they will both be there. But there is a distinction between these qualities of love. Real connection is beyond chemistry. It is more likerecognition. When you meet, it feels like you already know each other. Like you always have. You could be opposites in every way, culturally, religiously, philosophically, and still, that recognition is there.
Real connection can include chemistry but is not dependent on chemistry.Chemistry does not, of itself, equal connection — or longevity. Without a heart connection it will be short-lived or forced. Sometimes we try to jam chemistry into the slot of real connection, and this can become a heavy woe. Trust that you will know the difference, because there is a difference, and you can feel it.
It’s not something that will escape you, or that you might miss, or that is illusive. It’s right there in the forefront – and very different than chemistry by itself. Real connection has a force to it, a rightness that is undeniable. It has a mandate about it. It’s like a cosmic instruction: “You two are one.” There is no doubt, there is no unsureness, and you will both know it.
From a spiritual perspective, real connection, is an authentic, undeniable, mutual connection built on real appreciation and respect for each other. Real connection is when we instinctively turn to each other, rather than to someone else. It is not a compromise or a settling. And, it’s not that “I can’t live without you,” it’s rather, “I don’t want to live without you.” It’s a relationship where who you are when you are not even trying is exactly what your partner loves about you. And vice-versa!
Of course, this doesn’t mean everything in every moment is perfect. It just means that at its heart, there is a real regard, even admiration for each other that is core to the relationship. It doesn’t need to be manufactured or forced. It’s just there. It’s like a love safety net.
Relationships will test everything we are, individually, and as a couple. But they also can heal old wounds, and break our hearts open to deeper and more profound levels of love.
Ultimately, time really will tell. For real love will grow you, and show you what real togetherness is.
It’s the little things, you know. The kindnesses, the forgivenesses. It is the mutual understanding and genuine affection for each other. It is being proud of each other, attracted to each, and at the end of the day, confiding in each other. It is about being able to truly be yourself, and that’s WHY your partner loves you.
Our relationship can teach us how to love, right through our confusion or our doubt. We can love each other right through our feelings of unlovability or broken hearts. Out of love for each other our relationship can teach us how to be the most sensitive listener, the consummate lover, the most compassionate forgiver. And all these things are tested — conversation by conversation, interaction by interaction.All built on the mindful, loving understanding, that by working through our disconnection, we are creating a deeper and more lasting connection. This connection then becomes strong — really strong, bonded by trust, bonded by forgiveness. Your love becomes forged by experience like steel.
It is all those little moments of holding hands under the table at the restaurant, having secret communications where not a word is uttered… but the other one knows. This is real love, and this kind of love is worth waiting for if you don’t have it, and building towards if you do.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com
HOW TO MOVE ON AFTER YOU HEART IS BROKEN
and fall in love again…
The first thing we are confronted with after a breakup is the plain old shock of it. We are literally gobsmacked. We find ourselves standing with our mouths open and arms hanging limply by our sides wondering what in the world just happened? Heartbreak can occur after six months in a relationship or many years! Breaking up hurts — and it hurts — bad. And there is just no way of getting around that fact.
After a breakup we can feel like we have failed. We feel unworthy and unlovable. We can worry that we’ll never be with anyone. Our worst fear is that there is no one out there for us. But I would counter that you just haven’t found each other yet.
There is a game that we played as kids called “Warmer, Warmer,” where one person hides an object while the other one has to find it. As the seeker gets closer to the object you say, “Warmer, warmer! As they get farther from it, you say, “Cooler, cooler.” If they start moving farther from it you say, “Cold as ice! Cold as the arctic! Frozen as the freezer!” But, if they are standing right next to it, you yell, “You are hot! You are on fire! You’re burning up!” until finally the seeker touches the hidden object.
Breaking up can be like that. When we meet someone and we fall in love, it’s definitely a warmer, warmer moment. It might not be the exact right person yet, but we are getting closer. These relationships along the way help us grow and learn. So, even though it does hurt, this different way of looking at it may help you let go and move on more easily, not looking at the breakup as a mistake, but rather a step along the path.
As the old adage says, when one door closes another one opens. This is important to remember, because in those first days and weeks while you are reeling and refinding your balance again, you can hang on to that phrase like a lifeline. It may not give much solace at first, but it is a spiritual truth, and remembering this will steady you. Natural law says: nature abhors a vacuum. Meaning, once you are truly able to release the old relationship, new love can find you again.
Finally, every relationship defines better and better what you want and don’t want in a partner. Every time you engage with someone — even just one date — you learn a little more about yourself and what matters to you. All of this will help you recognize your true partner that moment when you meet.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION www.DianaLang.com
Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang
Life can be so overwhelming. We can get distracted, confused, and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of it. We are bombarded with information and stimulation. We are trying so hard to make money, raise kids, be a good person; we end up getting over-stimulated, over-amped, and finally overwhelmed!
What we are really looking for, though, is meaning self-love and understanding. We are looking for a way to get back to ourselves — to that part of us that is sacred.
The fastest, most direct route to self-awareness and learning to truly love yourself, is meditation. Meditation takes us straight to our true selves. It teaches us about forgiveness, compassion and acceptance. Meditation reconnects us. It awakens that part of ourselves that is pure presence. When we meditate we have the actual experience of inner peace and a deep inner calm. We learn to authentically love — everyone — including ourselves.
It’s simple to mediate. You can try it right now.
First, make yourself comfortable.
Relax your attention a bit . . . even as you’re reading these words.
Simply, let your attention become softer.
Then, take a deep breath.
Notice if it’s full, or shallow, or held.
As you continue to observe your breath, notice if it feels stressed or calm.
Now, take another deep breath — through your nose.
Exhale slowly . . .
Notice how you feel.
Let your body relax.
Let your mind relax.
Then, take another deep breath
and relax even more . . .
You see? In just a few conscious breaths you can begin to change your state of mind. Even in this very short exercise you can get a feeling of what it’s like to meditate.
Within a meditation many things can happen: insights, understanding, forgiveness, resolution, and inspired ideas, all from this simple process.
There are no rules for meditation. The only thing to focus on is being present. When you are meditating, you are allowing yourself room for stillness and reflection — a vacation from the rushed flow of daily life.
By meditating we discover our most true and authentic self. When we meditate we begin to feel calm and sure. We begin to feel guided in every moment. Meditation connects us to our higher knowing. We begin to know the love that is all around us — all the time. We realize that we are worthy beyond measure.
Meditation connects the soul to the self, and by meditating we are building a conscious bridge. Inside this sacred container there is a whole new world. You’ll come to discover that your inner world is as rich as your outer world is!
By meditating you are sending out a signal that you want to connect, that you want to open your heart to the universe and receive all of its gifts. There is no rush. Meditation is a healing process. It is supreme love in action.
Meditation is a return to love. It will teach you to respect yourself, forgive yourself, and finally love yourself. It creates a clear path to real peace and happiness. The place to start is exactly where you are – as you are. And the time to start is . . . now.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION — www.DianaLang.com
Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang
There is a wonderful Japanese proverb that says: Fall down seven times, stand up eight.
In life, we get many chances, many opportunities, many do-overs. When we’ve been hurt, abandoned, embarrassed or ashamed, we can be left feeling as though we are on our proverbial knees. It’s hard to care or even want to try again. We become apathetic, indifferent, numb or hard. We are tired. We get beat up in love and just don’t want to bother. Teenagers say it best in that slangy, twangy way, and with a dramatic roll of the eyes, “what…ever.” These hurt feelings can get buried deep in our bones, and over time, a deep sense of resignation can begin to apply to everything, especially our hearts.
And it’s our hearts especially, because this is where we are the most vulnerable. More than almost any other subject, love is where it hurts most, because it’s personal.
We never want to be in that position again. We say, “I am never going to open my heart up again like that to anyone!“ And then, we don’t.
And there we are.
So, how do you open your heart again, knowing full well that you could get hurt?
Love is vulnerable. And vulnerability feels, well, vulnerable! It must, or it would cease to actually be vulnerable. There is just no getting around this part of it. To open our hearts, we need to take our guards down – and be vulnerable. If we don’t our lives will suffer for it.
And, if somehow, we do manage to get into a relationship with our hearts closed and guarded, the relationship will suffer for it. Our partner will complain that they can’t reach us, that we’re not really there. Because we’re not.
If you close your heart off to love, you are basically closing your heart off to life, too. You can’t close off love in just one place. It will be global. Every part of your life will be affected.
From a spiritual perspective it is ALL about love. It’s only about love – the love of our family, our friends, our neighbors, our enemies, and most importantly, ourselves.
So, you have to take the risk, right? You have to know going in that you likelycould, and maybe will, get your heart broken. And still, be willing to love again.
That’s love in action.
That’s falling down seven times, getting up eight.
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com