Don’t Mistake Control For Connection
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.” — Dalai Lama
I’m sure we can agree that love is a beautiful emotion. It feels good to love, and it feels good to be loved. The ability to love is a valuable quality, and we must strive to make it our purpose to allow love to flow in and through us abundantly. Relationships have many wonderful aspects to them, but they can also be difficult and trying. A relationship that is vested in love must contain all three elements mentioned in the opening quote. In other words, as the roots of a tree embrace the earth, love should entwine our hearts, intertwine our thoughts, and nurture our bond with those we cherish.
Our hearts have the capacity to experience a multitude of love, each unique in its essence. We can feel brotherly love, romantic love, friendship love, a superficial love, a general love for everyone, etc. When we love others, it is important to know a few things about love, so we are at our best for them. For example, if you love your partner, but you experience a jealous rage if they are a few minutes later, you are not showing them the love and respect they deserve. Or if you have teenagers and won’t let them venture out for fear of something bad will happen, your actions may feel justified, but they need love that lets them discover their world with increments of freedom.
For instance, if you know couples that deeply love and respect one another, chances are they have come to such a deep connection through wisdom and effort. Sometimes people learn through their relationships that when they try to cling to someone, it can drive them away. A bridge between hearts is vital, but beware the trap of shackles that masquerade as a connection. Allowing your loved ones to be themselves and have the freedom to do what they want is a connection in the making. But forcing them to do something against their will for fear of losing them will not create a deep connection.
Deepening Your Connections
“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride.” — Pablo Neruda
The Dalai Lama’s quote reminds us to sow good seeds into those we love. This could mean performing loving acts, giving complements, and being supportive. Give them roots means to invest time and energy into them. This could mean taking the time to teach them valuable life lessons, share interesting and meaningful moments with them, or showing unconditional love. Our loved ones will want to stay connected with us if we do these things.
We give our children wings and roots so they can go off on their own one day and be productive and loving human beings. We give our spouses wings and roots so they can grow and develop into their best selves as they journey beside you throughout life. Many spouses assume if their partners have interests outside of theirs, their connection will suffer, but it is important to have interests outside of each other. It is healthy for the relationship.
Considering this, reflect on how your relationships are going. Are you taking time to invest in them? Are you being loving toward your family members and your friends? Do you struggle with control or jealousy? Often, your relationships with others are a mirror of your relationship with yourself. If you find you are struggling in your relationships, take some time to gauge how you are feeling about yourself. Work on taking care of yourself and increasing your self-worth. Life without meaningful and deep relationships is not optimal, so do your best to learn what you can to have such. You and your loved ones will be happier as all of you work on deepening your connections and sharing a wonderful life together.