In close relationships, even little gestures from the beloved bring great joy; it could be a simple smile, a gentle touch, or a kind word. But on the flip side, even insignificant things that come your way can cause great pain: an unintentional frown, a rough hug, or a neglectful silence. The trauma can be so acute, it could lead to permanent scars in the relationship, or even an immature breakup —if not handled properly.
So when you are amid the trauma of a let-down, before you text him or her, speak or do anything, please pause, and ask yourself these 5 questions.
1. Am I reacting too quickly?
Anger is impulsive, and pushes us to act quickly and irrationally. The Bhagavad Gita warns us:
From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory. When memory is bewildered, intelligence is lost, and when intelligence is lost one is ruined. — Bhagavad Gita 2.63
When we are crazed by anger, we forget all the good things the other person has done for us; we lose all sense of discrimination between right and wrong, and we end up doing everything wrong. So wait for your anger to subside, so that you can analyse the situation more rationally before you act.
2. Have I sufficiently analysed the situation?
The mind is expert at extrapolating a suspicion into an ‘unquestionable’ story. Don’t believe your mind.
For one who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best of friends; but for one who has failed to do so, the mind will remain the greatest enemy. — Bhagavad Gita 6.6
Figure out the real picture after a thorough cross-check: understand the real motivations of the other person, and revisit the incident — after putting on his or her shoes.
3. Are my thoughts selfish or selfless?
You should also analyse your own motivations. Is the other person’s happiness a priority for you? Or are you obsessed with your own selfish desires? A relationship is real to the extent it is selfless, because real love is selfless.
Perhaps it’s time to work on yourself to make the relationship more authentic; maybe you need to change more than the other person.
4. Am I possessive about this relationship?
As selflessness is important, so is the quality of non-possessiveness. But ironically, the more selfless you become in a relationship, the more possessive you can be about it. “I have done so much for him. He belongs to me,” one tends to think. What you label as a ‘let-down’ could be your own frustrated possessiveness in disguise. It causes you to suffer, and suffocates the other person by denying him his rightful space in life. Selflessness and non-possessiveness are two key ingredients that make any relationship great. But to have them both simultaneously is hard — unless you are grounded in spirituality.
The Bhagavad Gita says that only non-possessiveness can bring peace:
A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the ultimate beneﬁciary of all sacriﬁces, the supreme proprietor of everything and everyone, and the best well-wishing friend of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries.—Bhagavad Gita 5.29
And if you think deep enough, only if you are non-possessive can you remain peaceful – and not anxiety ridden – in any relationship.
5. Have I let-down anybody in the past?
When you feel let-down, reflect upon how many times you have let-down people who loved you. Now that you understand how bad it feels, vow to never let-down anybody who truly loves you. This reflection will nourish, not only this relationship, but all your relationships in life.
The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. — Bhagavad Gita 18.61
When we neglect Krishna, or God, our best friend and lover who is sitting within our own heart, he also feels let-down. This pain you are going through is perhaps the perfect opportunity to cheer him up by praying to him!