What are some best practices for maintaining strong, healthy relationships? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Relationships give meaning to our existence. They hold the potential to give us what we most want-an experience of love. The frown or laughter, distance or contact of someone who matters can set us into a trajectory of depression or ecstasy.

Often times when people look for great relationships, they look for people with a similarity of tastes, similarity of status & backgrounds. However, in my experience of having guided millions over the years, relationships endure when both members hold a shared commitment for their mutual evolution. People often ask us why the initial attraction fades in a relationship. Perhaps since nature is only interested in the furthering of our species, our neural chemistry is so designed that attraction and fascination can only hold up to a point; beyond that, our ability to evolve internally needs to take over.

Let me share with you a spiritual skill and a beautiful state a couple, a family or a team has to nurture if they seek to experience enduring relationships.

Firstly, the spiritual skill we must cultivate is to dissolve emotional hurt as and when it arises. Instead of indulging in it for a day, a month, a year or over a lifetime.

If we do not learn the art of dissolving emotional hurt, disappointment grows into judgment, judgments build into anger, anger leads us to aversion and aversion will lead us to physical or emotional estrangement.

Regardless of how intimate we are and how many years we have known each other, we are two different people with our own bag of life experiences and views.

Therefore differences in perception and expectations bound to happen. Hence there will be numerous occasions of disappointments in the best of relationships.

Therefore the key is not to lay hooks on others for your unhappiness. Do not hold the other person as a prisoner in your mind demanding that they unlock you from your unhappiness or anxiety.

The simple yet powerful 3-minute practice of serene mind, whenever you are disappointed will set you free of the habit of unhappiness.

Secondly, the beautiful state you need to cultivate is that of connection. What is the experience of connection?

Obviously connection more than interaction. That's why we call it connection. It is nice to be kind in our speech, generous in our actions or humble in our attitudes. But the connection is more than an attitude. It is a beautiful state of being.

To connect is to feel the other.

To connect is to celebrate the joy of another as if it were your own. Not to separate your joy from the others.

To connect is to be sensitive to another's inner pain.

Not to run away in fear or deem it a nuisance. But to stay and help the others become free of their inner pain.

To connect is to be present to another.

Not be lost in self-obsession. Not to be lost in wanting to be pleased or wanting to please.

To connect is to recognize and to appreciate another person's presence in your life.

And these are the most beautiful and nourishing moments of our lives. When you live and respond from a state of connection it heals you the giver, heals the receiver and also impacts the onlooker.

The connection is neither a masculine or a feminine experience. It's a human experience.

Most people spend their lives searching for the right life partners. But unless you awaken to the experience of love beyond the self, yesterday's right person will become tomorrow's wrong person.

In our book, The Four Sacred Secrets, we reveal how every human being needs to make an inner pilgrimage--a journey in which we will unburden the pain and limitation of our past. I would like these transformational inner journeys to a king cobra's periodic process of shedding. It is only when we become free of our past hurts and wounds, can we truly become free of our obsessive self-preoccupation. We will stop recreating the same limiting or painful experiences. Only then can we connect to the other and discover a love that is not submerged in self -obsession. When you discover such love, you will not only attract the right people, you will keep them for life.

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Published on: Sep 4, 2019