Overcoming Relationship Anxiety Through Spirituality
Managing Relationship Anxiety
When was the last time you had a disagreement with your partner? When was the last time you went for a movie genre you disliked greatly, only for your partner’s happiness? How often do individuals in relationships feel unhappy?
Disagreements and compromises are a part of any relationship that has strong emotions like love attached to it. But what is also a byproduct of this immaculate feeling is relationship anxiety. Throughout world history, almost every story, ever written about love, deal with relationship anxiety, and ways to overcome it.
Romeo and Juliet. Adam and Eve. Ram and Sita.
If there is one archetype that is truly timeless, it centers on a good relationship placed under inconceivable stress. Much of human history is filled with tales of two protagonists who unite and must subsequently vanquish forces of division. Each story, while framed differently, presents new challenges that ultimately cater to our unquenchable curiosity for managing the stresses of a relationship.
Many authors across the spectrums of science, literature and spirituality have tried to demystify the laws of attraction and love that bring and keep people together. Unfortunately, the diverse nature of relationships renders this noble pursuit Sisyphean. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes; some are written in the stars, some require luck. Some are meant to stand the test of time, some are momentary.
Regardless, for most people, the desire to be in a healthy relationship is often a significant life goal. In fact, much of art and innovation in modern history is even geared towards helping people enter into and navigate through relationships. While the idea and approach of relationships may have changed over time, the yearning to feel complete and seek mutual happiness remains steadfast. Put simply, antiquity and invention find themselves in rare agreement: relationships are important but unfortunately stressful!
How to deal with this relationship anxiety? How to overcome insecurity in a relationship? And finally, So how then does one effectively manage the stress symptoms of maintaining something as significant as a relationship?
Comfortable outside your own skin
A healthy relationship between two people is equally mysterious and enlightening. It can manifest in a variety of ways, from a simple feeling of excitement to a higher state of complete calm, security, and peace. When manifested as a state of clarity, one can argue that a relationship truly becomes symbiotic and spiritual.
Much of the dissonance caused by a relationship under pressure arises from our individual inability to understand or appreciate perspective outside of our own. The true beauty of a relationship is ultimately uncovered when we can start observing and appreciating the world through our partner’s eyes. When their happiness brings us happiness and vice versa, we have truly achieved a special union. In this sense, spirituality offers us comfort with uncertainty and can help us broaden our horizons and remain calm when faced with opposing viewpoints.
Relationships in the Epics
In the Indian context, this spiritual connection in a relationship is glorified through the tales of Rama & Sita. Throughout the Hindu epic, Ramayana, Rama and Sita, the two protagonists, are faced with a variety of challenges designed to place their relationship under stress; the most significant of which centres on Sita’s kidnapping and Rama’s subsequent struggle to overcome the forces of evil. From shape-shifting demons to seemingly invincible enemies, Rama’s undying love keeps him motivated to, quite literally, move mountains in order to ensure Sita’s rescue. Are such extreme and heroic feats, however, the only methods at our disposal to maintain a relationship?
Of course not; at least not physically. One could argue however that training ourselves to appreciate views outside of our own is a herculean task of its own right. Much of the intricacy and nuance of Rama and Sita’s relationship involves their mutual understanding and appreciation of each other. Through a spiritual lens, Rama and Sita are a manifestation of each other. The Ramayana goes out of its way to allude to the divine connection between the two protagonists, and how each is incomplete without the other, literally and metaphysically. The central antagonist, Ravana, also realizes that, after several failed attempts at direct destruction, the only way to defeat Rama would involve capturing Sita.
Abstracting from the literal, Rama and Sita serve as personifications of our highest spiritual potential. Many scholars have noted that Rama is a representation of the true self on a journey to regain true knowledge, as represented by Sita–who herself is a personification of the deities of education (Saraswati) and nourishment (Parvati). Rama’s spiritual journey in effect is a metaphor for an incomplete “true self” in the absence of education, nourishment, and transcendence. A true self without knowledge is incomplete, just as knowledge is incomplete without a true self.
So… what does this have to do with Relationships
Holding Rama and Sita as an archetype of a symbiotic relationship, we have an opportunity to focus on spiritual potential. Neither Rama nor Sita is complete without each other. They are reflections who both have the innate capacity to see things from each others’ perspectives.
Relationship Anxiety is a natural outcome of any relationship, but the ability to empathize with each other, to see the perspectives of the other is what makes a real bond last, isn’t it?
A relationship is a long journey, filled with challenges designed to test strength, endurance, and commitment. It requires nourishment and active understanding, and most importantly, two perspectives to unite as one.
Try taking your mind oFf it
Spiritual practice can be a healthy way to calm and open the mind to different perspectives. There are many ways to practice spirituality ranging from reading, meditation, and mantra recitation to name a few.
The Rama-Sita Janaki Mantra is a simple incantation designed to centre the mind on mutual contentment. It draws on the archetype of Rama and Sita and is intended to allow the mind to focus on the highest spiritual potential of a symbiotic relationship. Try finding a quiet place, take a deep breath, and recite eleven times. It could be one of many useful ways to find that little moment of zen in even the most heated of times.