BABNITA NARAYANAN

Complex relationships can be made simpler

In the last column we examined how best we can deal with relationships and with people who are already in our lives. Since we cannot change that, we have to do what we can under the circumstances. It can be trying, arduous, test our limits, make us scream with frustration and even fail. But we cannot give up without trying. At least then we have the satisfaction of having genuinely tried. This will help us to move on in life without the baggage and the burden of guilt!

There are people and relationships in life that we choose, sometimes consciously, otherwise unconsciously and at times even due to circumstances. The feelings and emotions we share with each of them vary, so does the degree, intensity, duration, value and level of the relationships.

How much they influence us, how much we get affected by them and their behaviour towards us again vary. And the same applies to us also. How much do we give? How much do we mean to others?

Some relationships are short-lived, some go on and on. As human beings we have so many needs-physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual and so on. They can be immediate, short term or long term. They can even be superficial or deep seated; to fulfil external needs or the needs of our heart and soul.

Relationships, friends and acquaintances are necessary in our lives to address and fulfil each of them separately. We need people tending to and fulfilling our various needs. We need external reinforcement for these needs. Even our closest family member cannot fulfil them.

Let us learn of a few universal truths: Nothing is permanent. No one is permanent. There are no guarantees. It is now that matters. No one is indispensable.

Over dependency on anyone or anything can be detrimental or damaging to us. Desires give rise to expectations. If expectations are not met they result in disappointments. When disappointments accumulate they become frustrations. This results in unhappiness. Again this gives rise to expectations and the cycle goes on!

From the heart

In relationships of choice, there are no compulsions or obligations. They have to come from the heart. In such relationships one cannot demand, neither can anyone demand from you. At the end, the only person we can depend on is ourselves.

There will be a stage in our lives when our needs become minimalistic. This is Nirvana or the complete freedom. Anyone can get that.

(The author is an image makeover consultant.)

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