Q: I’m struggling with relationship anxiety – I have a strong fear that my feelings for my partner will change in the future, because you hear so often that couples do separate. This anxiety has gotten worse since the Coronavirus outbreak. I haven’t seen my partner in 5 weeks because he lives 100km away. Is there anything I can do, meditation wise, to help myself during this period?
A: Let’s start with a reminder about what’s causing the feelings of anxiety.
Anxiety is a particular flavour of stress. We experience many demands in life and each of those demands is an opportunity to interact and adapt to new information. Let’s say you have a phone call from a friend who needs your advice. If you’re able to respond, adapt and meet that friend’s need appropriately, then fulfilment flows. If you can’t adapt, you gain some stress. Your inventory of stress will grow every time you mal-adapt to the demands of life.
Fear is one of the most common flavours experienced by those who are stressed. In these times of heightened tension, it’s not surprising the feeling of anxiety is increasing. The collective upsurge of change is bringing a lot of uncertainty and this enhances the tendency to speculate and worry.
The good news is, the deep rest of Vedic Meditation is the fastest way to reduce your stress inventory. With every meditation you release more stress than you gain and at the same time you increase your ability to adapt. Being diligent about your twice-a-day meditation is the most important way to reduce your anxiety levels.
When stress is being stirred up it very often looks for a home – a subject to latch onto. In your case it’s about the future of your relationship. Interestingly when anxiety levels increase there’s very often a commensurate increase in the tendency to control. “If only I can keep everything (and everyone) under control and in line with my expectations — then I’ll feel safe and happy”.
There’s a fundamental problem here. Everything and everyone is changing, all the time. This is the over-arching nature of life – progressive change is the theme of the universe. You’re right, your partner will change in the future. As will you. Problems arise when we invest all our happiness and fulfilment in our partner notchanging. As long as they continue to be the way I want them to be then everything will be fine. This kind of expectation is unrealistic and will always lead to misery.
These feelings about your partner are not about them. It’s about you. There’s no one on earth who can make you happy. Your job is to develop you own self-sufficient state of fulfilment. Again, this is where Vedic Meditation is key. In meditation we go into our deep inner Self and establish ourselves in that least excited state of Being – a field of bliss. Regular, twice-a-day practice means that baseline of self-referral happiness becomes more and more stable and ultimately unshakeable. In this more evolved state, neediness goes down. The tendency to control circumstances and others decreases.