You have decided that something- school, travel, career, family, friends – has taken priority. You might have had decided not to settle and walked away from good and/or bad relationships.
You have probably been so busy that you missed the one human of your dreams, your better half because you didn’t pay attention when they were walking by…
Really? Have you thought that? If you have, I want you to know, you are wrong. If you were too busy doing something that mattered to you and or walked away from a relationship to pursue your passions, it wasn’t meant to happen. If it was, she or he would have been doing something next to you, a conversation would have started, then one date, another and then you get married and have babies… well you are wrong again, at least the last part. You are attaching yourself to a storyline. You are putting enormous pressure on chance. You are forgoing enjoying the present to live a future that is mostly based on society’s view of a how it should work out. If you attach yourself to a storyline you set yourself up for suffering. In Yoga and according to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras there are 5 kleshas. What am I talking about? Let me pre-empt this, I tend to find ways to rationalize my world, the kleshas are negative mental processes that we gravitate towards because of our ego. I identify them and group my thoughts in the five categories, by doing this I address ways in which I can grow. I believe identifying the kleshas is useful when it comes to relationships. The Kleshas are ignorance, egoism, attachment, aversion and clinging to life.
1. Avidya: Ignorance
The first obstacle is Ignorance or our rejection of the Truth. In relationships, this happens specifically in three ways: we believe in permanence, we see our value linked to our partner, and create pleasure where there is pain. Have you ever held on to a relationship so hard that you choked the life out of it? I have. He was awesome and what I needed for a short time, not forever. I not only wanted it to be permanent, but I also changed a lot of who I was to meld into him and his family. I ignored a giant red flag at month four. If I had let it end there, I would have saved myself so much pain. The pleasure we had for the next eight months was tainted by the fear of cheating emotionally. He happily lives with her in another country now.
I should have been able to let go, and value the divine in me, my own worth, if I had just trusted myself and let go of the kleshas I clung to.I had attached to the idea of who I wanted us to be, more so than our truth: Two great people that had different paths. Yes, hindsight is 20/20, but identifying the belief system gives us an opportunity to change. I have, a lot.
2. Asmita: Ego
Our ego is the second obstacle because it limits us. We become a Russian matryoshka doll, constantly boxing ourselves around labels and judgments. Our ego’s attachment to labels plays out specifically when it comes to dating. We have ideas of what we are attracted to and make judgments. The problem is that this restricts who we are open to meeting. There is an entire world out there, there isn’t just one “ideal” mate, there are many people that can be part of our lives and help us evolve and grow into who we are intended to become.
3. Raga: Attachment
Raga is related to desire, and the third obstacle. It has to do with attachment, we all have something we desire and hold on to, the problem arises when it causes suffering. When it doesn’t inspire, illuminate or give you a sense of happiness you need to let it go. The goal is to understand the attachment and set ourselves apart from it, not identify it so strongly that it governs our identity.
4. Dvesha – Aversion
We all have things we dislike, don’t want or avoid, there lies the fourth negative thought process. The importance is understanding where they come from and asking ourselves if is it uncomfortable because it will lead to growth? In our asana practice, we are constantly delving into territory that might make us feel awkward but we weather it because we are growing strength as we practice. Dvesha can also be interpreted as an avoidance of something, or feeling of dislike towards something. The ego is usually involved in this choice.
5. Abhinivesha: Clinging to life
Abhinivesha is a last and culminating fear stemming from attachment (raga) or an aversion (dvesha). This happens because of our fear of loss of control, we fear of losing what we want and being stuck with things we dislike.
Connecting the kleshas and relationships may be the key to 1. why some couples work out and others don’t 2. why being accepting of either outcome is the way of enlightenment and 3. why they can provide their acknowledgment can make our next relationship the best one yet- sans suffering.
What is True love?
True Love is a great mystery
because it can stand the test of time and say goodbye.
Standing the test of time and saying goodbye might seem contradictory. They are not. We are told to hold on to true love without realizing that it is something you can’t hold. You can nourish it so that it stays alive, you can make it comfortable so it doesn’t want to leave, but love is an intangible force that lives, transforms, dies, returns to life at its own whim. It has more to do with timing and the journey we are each here to navigate than a simple “happily ever after”. In the Princess Bride, Buttercup & Westley say goodbye and it is destiny/fate/luck and mostly amazing timing that brings them back together.
The truth is, contrary to all romantic comedies, if the timing is wrong, it is ok to walk away. You should also reconsider if you see red flags or if you partner treats you like you are ordinary. The universe will put the same situation repeatedly to know if you have learned. So take note, because you will find a greater love than you have ever experienced if you are aware of the five kleshas.
True love can happen more than once. Remind yourself that your definition of true love will evolve as you do, as you are more aware of who you are- and that is a blessing. Can you imagine marrying that one guy or girl you loved for a hot second in high school? Probably not.
It gets hard when you have to un-attach from someone that is amazing and has everything you think you want. In an episode of Rizzoli and Isles, I was a surprised by the response to the loss of love when Maura and Jack broke up.
A woman not being devastated by the loss of an amazing man, a woman not chasing him, a woman not drowning her sorrows in ice cream and rom coms. Yes! She is single and yes! it is her choice.
And that is how it is.
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