My posting schedule has become a little erratic. After 3 months working from home at my parents house in BC, we moved back to Minnesota where I’m involved in a few research projects. I’m still finding my groove here. Reya is back at daycare. My husband and I largely work from home but I do go into the hospital on days where I have patients to enroll or meetings to attend.
I am applying for Internal Medicine residency later this year. It’s sort of a pinnacle moment of my life; something I’ve worked towards for the last few years, and I’ve battled a lot of inner demons to get to this place. The application process is extensive, and along with working and spending time with my husband and Reya, I don’t have a lot of free time at the moment. It’s something I need to prioritize over the next few months, so while I will continue to post consistently on here, the interval between posts may be a little longer.
That being said – today I want to talk about relationships and the little ways we can steadily show up to do the work of love. Here are some simple practices that grow love and connection between my husband and I during this busy season of life.
Make their happiness your priority
Every morning, I ask my husband 2 questions.
“What is one thing you could do today that would make you feel productive?”
This is usually one of his most important tasks of the day. The needle mover. Things like “Finish the brief I’m working on / this chapter / this draft / start my online course etc”
I have a juicy topic to discuss with you today. Marriage. Life-long commitments to love. Soulmates.
You may have noticed that I love love, and that I love my husband. I am romantic and I am a relationship oriented person. I learned many of my major life lessons through the relationships I’ve had – and though that is not everyone’s path, and perhaps not the path I would necessarily recommend, it has been my experience and I honour it as such.
Many of you may also already know that I had an arranged marriage. I believe I have a valuable perspective as a person who has had relationships and has ultimately had an arranged marriage. Picking your life partner, your ride or die is a very important decision. And it is something we have to do when we’re relatively young and don’t necessarily have the life experience, maturity or wisdom to pick a good one. We may not even have the skills we need to grow love, I know I certainly didn’t. It’s one of those things you learn while doing. It is the great work of love.
Note: I had been wanting to share some photographs from our wedding day 2 years ago, but for some reason never got around to it. So I have included them in this post 🙂 The photographs bring me back to such a wonderful day in my life, and I hope you enjoy them.
I have something to tell you. My marriage is blossoming.
It is so full of love. And joy.
It feels like a flower that is in bloom in the summer. The season is right. The atmosphere is right. The flower grows and blooms and it is beautiful. I don’t need to do anything, I only need to admire its grace.
But it wasn’t always like this. There were a lot of bumps in the beginning.
We couldn’t do much to celebrate our anniversary in December because literally everything made me nauseated. I wanted to share a post with you all on our anniversary dedicated to my husband, and here it is now – better late than never.
Usually for valentines day, I prefer to make a small, hand made gift for my love. But this year, I went all out. This is what not having a job will do to you. I literally dedicated my entire day (and some) to making his valentines day experience. I sent some of these photos to my sister in law and she said “Omg, this is so extra.” and I thought – yes, this is absolutely, unmistakably “extra”.
(She also introduced me to this word a few weeks ago. She keeps us cool.)
We tend to believe that we should have a good relationship with everyone in our life. But have you found that this is almost impossible? Even if you feel totally good about them, they might start to hate you for something eventually. Or vice versa.
This is why I believe that it is more important for a relationship to be right, than for it to be “good”. And as it often happens, things that are right in life, usually turn out to be good after all.
So what do I mean by a relationship being “right” and “good”?
According to the Vedas, we can live our lives under three main influences. We can live under the influence of ignorance and degradation, the influence of passion (how the majority of people live), and the influence of benevolence. This is a blog post on the principles of benevolence and some of the fundamentals of what it means to live a benevolent life.
Love is a spiritual attribute therefore it comes at a high price. That means that love is not something that comes passively, it must be worked at throughout life. All spiritually valuable commodities come at high price (such as patience, humility, kindness, optimism, honesty). That means that all these qualities are practiced consistently over time. You don’t become patient or humble overnight. Similarly with love, we do not become loving over night. We cannot achieve true love after 3 months with the partner we have chosen. A spiritually developed person, who has truly developed their ability to love, can feel this love for every living thing. They possess a special type of love for anyone.
It is impossible to decide to “love” and think of it in textbook terms. It is one thing to say “I have made the decision to love everyone” and it is a completely different thing to truly feel that genuine and sincere love in our heart for everyone. We can only start to nurture this loving feeling within our hearts, we can create an environment in our soul that allows love to grow without killing it. This can take a very long time, sometimes a whole lifetime, sometimes more than one lifetime. But that’s what we are here to do, so let’s get started today.
These days we throw around the word “love” like cheap currency. We make it synonymous with things like lust, passion, desire – but as you can see – there are other words for that. So we should try to keep the word “love” as pure as possible, and as true to it’s real meaning as much as we possibly can. Because love is not passion, nor is it desire, and love is definitely not lust. These feelings have nothing to do with real love, and don’t give any realistic indication of what real love is.
The rate of divorces and separations is increasing exponentially in our culture today. The Vedas actually predict that in the future, the couple who has remained together for life will be seen as saint-people – those who possess some mystical ability to hold a relationship together for life.
According to the Vedas, there are 7 stages of love in a marriage between two people.