I will use an example that most of us can relate to: love relationships.
Often when we meet someone and fall in love, there is almost a very special magical feeling of it all. We experience literally an emotional high, bliss and happiness. Everything and everyone in life just fade into the background and our every thought and focus lies on our partner. We could not have been more happier. We want to cuddle together with our partner, whisper sweet nothings….. and we can’t even resist doing that in public places.
There are times we come across couples, especially those with kids in shopping complex, restaurants, etc. Being so much in love, we feel so sorry for these couples: why? Because everything in their behaviour and body language suggest that they are not that happy and plain bored with one another. Where’s the spark? There is just none and sometimes we wondered why they even choose to get married. “That will not happen to us coz we are just so in love”, we are so sure of that.
Then we get married to our partner and somehow, the sparks that once besotted us just sort of fade into the background. We realise that our partner is not so perfect and all the rosy tinted perceptions and we find our hopes and dreams shatters. During the evening and weekends alone with our spouse, it is greeted by silence- with each one doing their own thing. We also bear inner resentment at our partner’s bad habits- and those behaviour that we used to think as “cute” is now driving us up the wall. We start to blame our spouse for our unhappiness and discontentment.
The worst is yet to come- if we are an adrenaline junkie who needs to feeds on the excitement of highs and lows, we find that we are unable to tolerate the predictability and mundane marriage life. Our eyes started straying to another person. We find the other party is everything our spouse is not. Sad, if only we have meet that person earlier….
In truth, when we come across any new interests- such as falling in love with someone, a new hobby that totally engrosses us or venture that we are totally crazy about, we will pursue the interest with all the zest and enthusiasm.
But after a while, the adrenaline rush will fade and it will come into a period of stabilization. It is during that phrase that will determine if we were to make it or break it. The truth is every single new venture will ultimately arrive at the phrase- and if we were to feel bored and tried to run away, in our lives, that’s what we will be just doing- running away.
The answer is not in another person, but is within us.
I know some people are adrenaline dependant and seemed to need the adrenaline high just to survive. Once the rush is over, they’ll turn to something else. And as they tried to escape more and more, their lives felt more empty. Such people also tend to take up habits that really harm their health such as excessive smoking and drinking.
What we need to realise is that no matter what we pursue, be in a person, a new diet, exercise program, spiritual attainments or adventure, we will arrive at the stabilization period. If we are on to something really good, we need to stick around to reap the pure benefit of it, instead of immediately drawing to the conclusion that it is not meant to be and just give it up. Of course in a relationship, it does take two hands to clap.
Real sustenance:In Asia whereby arranged marriages were prevalent in the past generation, the marriage sustained through the trials of times. Most of the time, the bride and bridegroom would only meet each other a short time before the wedding or on the wedding day itself. These relationship does not start with sparks, but by 2 people who constantly accommodates and provide space for the other party.
The language of love lies also in caring for our loved one when he/she is sick, being patient and understanding when the person gets angry instead of fighting at the same time. It takes humility and real character to stop focusing on one own self’s pride and ego. It takes patience and maturity to stop proving who is right. And you will see these old couples sitting quietly and contentedly together- no words, TV, movies are needed. I used to see so many of these old loving couples when I was young. They complete and compliment one another like yin and yang. When one of them passed away, the other never become the same again. But they had at least 20, 30 or 40 years together.
The media, chart songs, trends has changed our perception of true happiness. It’s always to have more of the latest gadgets or to have the perfect body. I am truly shocked by some people who have so much self hatred that they choose to mutilate parts of their stomachs, thighs or where ever. In the operation, you can see the skin and bodies are removed like just how the skin of a slaughtered pig is removed. And after that, does that guarantee our happiness? For how long before discontent and emptiness sets in?
Gosh, what have we become?