Whether it is about piloting an airplane during turbulent times or it is about maneuvering a relationship during unruly times, the easiest option is to press the eject button. Most people prefer to abort a troubled relationship than to handle it maturely. Yet at the same time, there is a hankering deep within the soul for a relationship that lasts all tests of time no matter how complex and unnerving it may be.
That innate longing is what drives a man gasping for water in a parched desert into finding newer relationships time and again in spite of failing and falling repeatedly. Just like plants grow healthier when exposed to a lightning storm, similarly the search is for a formula that ensures that relationships grow healthier when it passes through an emotional storm.
In the Ramayana, Vali, also known as Bali, had the boon of mystically getting half of the strength of whomever he stares at. If instead he had the power to get half the understanding of anyone he faces, he wouldn’t have lost his brother and his life. Vali understood less and concluded more. Sugriva, his brother had made one error in his life and Vali chose not to forgive him for that mistake.
In spite of repeated pleading by Sugriva, Vali became aggressive and strangled the relationship violently. He preferred a relationship that was based on one-sided power and control rather than based on mutual understanding and love.
Sugriva ran from Kishkinda kingdom and settled on a mountain that Vali could not step his foot on due to a curse. In spite of that, Vali kept flying over that mountain and kicking Sugriva on his head reminding him of his mistake. That’s when Rama entered into Sugriva’s sad life.
Understanding Sugriva’s dilemma, Rama decided to do something for Sugriva, which he couldn’t do for himself. He helped Sugriva get back his kingdom, his dignity and his wife by killing Vali who had abducted her. By investing his energy on fulfilling Sugriva’s need Rama proved to Sugriva that this was a relationship that was worth investing in.
Sugriva became so grateful to Rama that he rallied the whole monkey army to assist Rama in fulfilling his need to find mother Sita. Much beyond their needs being met, the mutual love and affection Rama and Sugriva shared remained all through their lives as a symbolic representation of how relationships can thrive lifelong.
While Vali focused on his need, Rama chose to focus on Sugriva’s need. While Vali was a self-focused brother, Rama was a Sugriva-focused stranger. While Vali chose to strangle the relationship, Rama chose to cultivate the relationship.
Love in any relationship is about action and not just a feeling. Active love is about prioritizing others’ needs, not just in words but also in your actions. It means that in a relationship we may have to prioritize others’ needs even if we have no interest or gain from it. To the degree one is ready to sacrifice to satisfy the greatest need of another, to that degree love in the relationship will escalate.
Gaps that people have in their lives are the best means to leverage out that love in the relationship. The moment people understand that you have accepted their problem as your own, that very moment they accept you as their own.
Love means prioritizing other’s needs over self.
When people see you giving more importance to them than yourself, then their hearts solder with yours.
The environment of mutual acceptance brings hearts together