Love is not an emotion, it is your very existence. You can go on speaking about love and reading books about it but love doesn’t happen like that. In a relationship we think of love as an emotion. We begin by saying, ‘Oh I love you so much!’  Then start demanding. ‘Look, I love you so much, what have you done for me? Don’t you see I love you so much, don’t you understand?’ Our tone changes from love to demand. Demand destroys love.

In relationships, you are mainly caught between two things. Love and respect. Love cannot stand distance. You cannot tolerate any secrets in love. In the process, you violate boundaries. Although there are no boundaries in love, you forget another aspect, respect.  

Every ego expects respect. When there is a fear of losing respect, you try to create a barrier and it is this distance that is not accepted by love. Respect needs a distance, unless you are like a child. When you are totally out of the small mindedness then it is not a bother. When you are like a spring of love, then there is no distance at all. Until then there is a barrier, there is an ego and that ego demands respect.

At the same time, too much closeness is also not accepted in love. When you gain love you are looking for respect, when you have respect you are looking for love. This goes on in life so subtly, we don’t even take notice of it as we are so caught up in the external happenings and events. We hook everything to an event but do we look inside ourselves at what is happening there? Then what do you need for long lasting relationships?

Longing enriches love and love enriches the longing. Click To Tweet

The ancient rishis devised a plan for this. They knew that not everybody can be in a state of total bliss without being mindful of whether someone respects them or not. They made a rule, although one loves someone very much, for one month in a year he/she has to keep apart, give space.

This is followed in some parts of India where the wife goes to her mother’s home for one month in the rainy season. Tradition says that husbands and wives cannot cross the same door during that one month. With distance, love grows. When one is with their partner all the 24 hours, there is no point. There is no communication unsaid, there is no longing.  Love and longing have to go hand in hand.

Longing enriches love and love enriches the longing. Both have to be there. In order to create that longing a distance needs to be created. You need to know the contrast and need to have experienced the contrast in order to experience anything.

Life is a multitude of such contrasts. Relationships also inflict pain. When you go through that intense pain, either you can go into a negative state or turn that into a prayerful state. You increase the power of prayer within oneself. Pain makes prayer more powerful, because when there is pain, you go deep within yourself.

When you experience any pleasure, the eyes are automatically closed. Like when you smell a flower or when you taste something very good. It indicates that the pleasure is coming from somewhere deep within. The external object was just a mirror to bring that out. It was just an apparatus to kindle something that is within.

That’s why Jesus said the kingdom of God, kingdom of heaven is within oneself.  Buddha said the world is full of sorrow only because when you know that sorrow, do you begin to search deep within yourself.

Krishna says in a beautiful couplet in Bhagavad Gita that intelligent people do not see the sensory; they do not get carried away by the joy in the senses. The sign of intelligence is that you seek the source from which joy comes and once you are in touch with it, there is no fear whatsoever. There is no hatred, jealousy, anger in life.

You enjoy the pleasure in the world but do not get immersed in it. When you are in a relationship without the feverishness, then it sails smooth. Feverishness destroys relationships. Feverishness takes you away from your centre. And once you have moved away from the centre, your partner loses respect for you. When respect is lost, the charm he/she saw in you is lost even without their knowledge.

Happy Valentine’s Day!