By Vijaylakshmi Nadar
Two relationships that followed each other in close succession afforded Vijayalakshmi Nadar a powerful submergence in spiritual growth and understanding
What happens when you are rejected in love? The only person you ever want in your life cocks a snook at you, and you experience what the world terms heartbreak. More often than not, the initial glow, the joy, the happiness you experience, unwittingly leads you to feelings of hurt, rejection, anger, a crushed ego, sadness, a destructive tendency, and an endless supply of tears. Time, as they say, is a great healer and so sometime soon, the sunshine smiles are back, and you are able to deal with the world at large, ready for love again. Yet a part of you keeps hurting. You keep returning to it, setting a negative pattern for all future relationships. I have had my share of heartbreaks, until I reached a point of ‘no more.’ Just when every cell in my being screamed out for guidance, to help me figure out what I was missing, I got two of the most memorable relationships I could have asked for.
My spiritual journey began four years ago, when I believed healing occurs outside, and so I set about healing past hurts with reiki, EFT, Silva, past-life regression, and more. I have done it all. Though all these modalities helped me unload some of my mental baggage each time, there was still a nagging feeling of something elusive missing in my life.
So, when a supposedly spiritually enlightened being crossed my path, willing to invest his time and energy into providing me succour, I grabbed at the opportunity with both hands. Very soon, the complications that happen in a man-woman relationship took over, and what followed was a period of angst, tears, despair, and bruised egos. This is what I understand by ‘falling in love,’ and then began a soul-stirring journey of awakening my real self, and subsequently to ‘rise in love’ if possible.
The journey was provoked by my desire to know why I had to go through this. Why did love happen to me, when I was not even looking for it? The avalanche of emotions that followed was, of course, too much to handle for my otherwise helpful mate, who tried to hang in there for me, insisting on my dropping the whys. However, it was not long before my expectations took over and clouded the equation.
After the initial fight of wanting to stay in the relationship for what I thought was right, the constant need to explain myself, the desire to cling on to what I thought was mine, led to more despair. I would have filed this painful chapter of my life away, but for the entry of relationship number two, who materialized into my own personal guru.
My personal guru
He is a ‘regular’ guy with an engineering and MBA background, ensconced in a family business of catering. One of the first signs I got that this is no ordinary being was when a painful lump that I was carrying in my heart region for days simply dissolved in a matter of minutes, when we observed silence during a telephonic conversation. After a couple of conversations, during which I tearfully raved and ranted about how miserable my life was, he would actually start singing Bollywood numbers, inviting me to do so too. Though it startled me at first, I played along, thinking I had nothing to lose anyway. His tuneless singing made me join in full vigor in an equally tuneless singing, unmindful of the lack of lyrics or even a decent voice. A couple of days of this mindless singing and I realized that I had just learnt my first lesson of being in the moment. The tuneless singing did what I struggled to achieve in meditation. As I relaxed, the next lesson that quickly followed was awareness. For the first time I realized it is my thoughts and actions which are dictating my experiences, not something outside. Both the constant fear of being hurt by my love, and the headiness that followed in the presence of my beloved, made me intensely aware of not only my bodily sensations, but also every feeling and thought of mine. Awareness helped me make the distinction between my pride, ego, my wants, and genuine needs.
Watching your mind is emphasized by every master. However, to my untrained mind, it seemed such a ridiculous notion, and I wondered how one could watch the mind, as if it were an entity outside of you. All thanks to my friend and guru, I managed the difficult task of watching my mind. It involves watching dispassionately all the thoughts that cross your mind. So often in a relationship, the moment we identify the man or woman we want to be in love with, the mind goes into an overdrive. A mere glance across the room would be all it takes for the mind to not only dash headlong into a world of passion and romance, but marry, have a baby, and spin a happily-ever-after tale. The reality may actually be very different. With increased awareness, I realized how I had pruned my longings to some intimacy, an occasional date, or just a call. The increased awareness helped me realize that by begging for crumbs of affection, I was laying the grounds for my own hurt.
Unconditional love is a particularly big one to grapple with, since it goes against all our learning and experiences until then. We assume instinctively that when we choose to love, the other will automatically love us back in return. We forget that we are dealing with live human beings, who can change their responses any minute, according to their own needs and wants. My own disillusionment following rejection, made me look closely at this concept of unconditional love. It dawned on me that my love even when triggered by the other is still my own, nourishing me, and complete in itself, and there is no point in diluting it with resentments.
By de-linking love from my expectations, my friend made me realize that I not only empower myself, but also lay the ground for more satisfying relationships. If it were an infatuation, it would dissolve on its own, but if it is a soul calling, then it is a valuable opportunity for one to dive inwards, and work towards self-realization. These invaluable learning opportunities, I realized, can free you from your karmic cycle.
Acceptance and dropping the need to judge, once mastered, frees you from the trauma you encounter in all your relationships. By not accepting the person or the situation the way it is in the present, with all the flaws, you are not only weighing yourself down with resentments, you are also cutting off chances of a more fruitful encounter with your loved one every moment.
What follows the learning process in a tumultuous relationship is an emptying out. It was the intense pain that I encountered at the rejection, which released the flood of tears washing away all my grief and angst in a way that short-lived pleasure cannot do. More often than not, we hold the other guilty for all our outpourings of grief, not realizing that the hurt, pain and anger was all pent up within us, only triggered by the other. Through such hurtful encounters, we can rid ourselves of it all, and soon be expansive enough in love to include others in the love you presently feel for just one. Past relationships too had offered me the same privilege, which I kicked aside, paralyzing myself with fear and grief, until my being cried no more, setting me up for an encounter which I could not walk away from, pride and ego be damned.
My journey has just begun, for which I am grateful to both the men, one for emptying me out, and the other for not only holding me through the process, but also decoding it for me. In the process, I have encountered my self, and realized that self-love has nothing to do with doing up your nails or your face. It is about not letting toxic feelings and experiences take hold of your being, beyond the moment.
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