Creating and maintaining a healthy relationship isn’t easy, and there is plenty of evidence to support that observation. Divorce has never been as prolific as it is now, and people living alone is almost an epidemic. That said, I am not so sure that relationships in the past would have been as sustainable if people were as free of the religious and social constraints as they are now, and women had the capacity to live as independently as they do now. I have also observed that in many of the relationships that have ‘survived’, either one or both of the partners have lost the freedom to be ‘self-expressed’. Many having forfeited personal dreams, values and beliefs, being the price to be paid for security, companionship and the absence of conflict. Obviously, it was a price that many, up until now, were prepared to pay.
More recently, here in Australia, we have observed a sickening trend of women being killed by a current or former partner. Statistics now suggest that we have passed one per week and are fast approaching two deaths per week. In NSW alone in 2015, more than 27,000 domestic violence assaults were reported. This link to a Victorian domestic violence information poster reveals some very sobering statistics. DVRCV Facts on Family Violence 2015
It is my hope that you the reader have not been the perpetrator or recipient of domestic violence, but I suspect that you have experienced times of serious discombobulation in your relationships, and that some of you are choosing to stay in unhappy and difficult relationships for a plethora of justifiable reasons. The question remains – Is there a effective way, to not only remedy this, but to support people to live more harmoniously and lovingly in committed relationships? The key is in understanding the sort of qualities one would have to possess that would result in loving relationships. Once the qualities are identified, we would then have to identify how one would develop such qualities.
The short answer, in terms of the required qualities, they are empathy and compassion. Obviously, if you possess these attributes there would be no way you would treat anyone else, or yourself for that matter, in a harmful way. In fact, you would turn up in the world with understanding and a natural desire to serve. That being the remedy, the challenge is in how to acquire and develop empathy and compassion.
I would like you to take a moment to look at two short video’s (about 2 minutes each) that perfectly explain this remedy. The first video explains that mindfulness is the pre-requisite to being compassionate. Mindfulness is the choice for how we relate to life, when maintaining inner-stillness as the thing we desire most. Of course this requires you to possess enhanced awareness to have stillness as your priority.
Video 1 – How mindfulness empowers us
It’s this next video that explains how awareness and mindfulness is naturally converted to compassion and empathy. Once again, this only goes for 2 minutes and it is worth watching.
Video 2 – Where does compassion really come from?
So let me sum up. The two qualities of character necessary for changing discord in relationship, in all of its expressions, are empathy and compassion. To possess these qualities you first have to be mindful, which naturally arises from an enhanced state of awareness. In the majority of cases, the commitment to enhance one’s awareness arises from an irrepressible desire for inner-stillness. Typically that desire is the consequence of wanting to be free of suffering that has reached a point of saturation.
The Enhances Awareness Program (EAP) help you to convert your desire for stillness into compassion and empathy. Possessing these qualities makes for loving relationships which have at their foundation, empowerment, mutual respect, transparency, trust and unconditional love.
This Weeks Video