Let’s face it, most people tend to think of meditation as a very solitary pursuit, perhaps an opportunity to get some ‘me time’, to escape from the world and the relationships we have with others. But traditionally meditation was just as much about getting some ‘you time’ - in fact arguably more so.
Many people I know say that they struggle to find time for their loved ones in the day - in fact most people I know say they struggle to find time for themselves! They tend to wake up thinking of everything they need to do and then disappear off to work or get involved with family life at home. By the time they come home or finish up for the day they find themselves carrying all this accumulated stress, and wanting to just switch off, rather than be there for someone else.
Clearly this is far from the open, receptive, attentive and caring state of mind that would most benefit a relationship. It’s understandable that we occasionally get caught up in all our own stuff of course - and I’m sure it’s something we can all relate to in one way or another. But that’s not always easy to remember when we’re on the receiving end of it. In fact it can be very tempting to react to the situation rather than meet the other person where they actually are. It’s as though we become so focused on what we think they ‘should’ be like, that we miss the opportunity to relate to them how they are actually ‘are’.
Much of this is to do with our own conditioning, our habitual patterns and emotional tendencies. What we seek from a relationship and the way we respond has an impact in every area of our lives - family, friends, colleagues and, funnily enough, even strangers.
So if you happen to be in a relationship at the moment, notice how you relate to your loved one today. Are you allowing them to be as they are, to be themselves, and celebrating that with them? Or are you secretly wishing that they would meet your expectations of who you want them to be? As long as there’s a gap between the reality and what you want it to be, there will always be an element of conflict - if not in the relationship, then at least in your own mind. And that doesn’t leave much room for Cupid!
There’s some real fun to be had today if you make the time, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not. So spread the love, commit some acts of random kindness... and maybe even finally pluck up the courage to send that Valentine’s Day card to the person you’ve been wanting to send one to for the last few years. Whatever you decide to do, have fun and a very Happy Valentine’s from us all here at Headspace.
If you're keen to discover how you could have a calmer and clearer mind, no matter what's going on in life, then make sure you check out www.headspace.com or download the Headspace on-the-go app for our free meditation trial.