Practicing spirituality in family and close relations
When we perform an act without being under the influence of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego, we are doing the act spiritually. Similarly, when our actions are filled with love and compassion, we are acting spiritually.
If our actions spread happiness, love or compassion to others, we are practicing spirituality. We can practice this at all level of our relations.
- When a boy and a girl enter into a matrimonial alliance, they should think that they have selected each other to be partners because the Almighty wishes them to do so. They both should keep this outlook throughout, which will keep the marriage on a sound footing.
- We should feel connected to a greater whole and ease up on expectations of the spouse.
- Give unselfish love to each other; the more love you give, the more of it comes back manifold.
- Since respect is one of the fundamentals that strengthens the very foundation of the marriage, both partners should always pay due respect to each other. They should respect opinions, choices, differences and beliefs of each others.
- The marriage should be based on the solid foundation of trust, love, compassion, peace and happiness for each other.
- Every marriage has its ups and downs. Both the partners should face the downs boldly and relish the ups together. Both should develop the responsibility for the happiness of each other.
- Let go of the fights of the past and focus on the present moment.
- Learn to forgive yourself and the partner for mistakes of the past. Forgiveness heals wounds of the past and generates compassion for each other.
- Both the partners should create a positive self-perception that elevates relationship.
- For children their parents are role models so we have to set examples of good behavior for them to emulate. If the parents create the atmosphere of happiness, peace and love, they will thrive and develop good personalities.
- Give un-conditional love to the children. When they grow up into adults, let them make their own decisions. As parents you may guide them in their decisions.
- Spending time together will create bonding amongst the family members. We should plan family get-togethers like picnics, outings etc.
- We should try to have meals together as often as we can; this will create love and bonding among family members.
- Always nurture the positive values in children – love, wisdom, self-discipline, inner peace and happiness. Show them that the wisdom is to live positively. As children grow, they are in a constant struggle between what is right and wrong. As a parent, we have to guide them in learning how to tune into their deeper selves, to delay instant gratification and to realize the virtues of self-discipline. This will shape up their life for the future.
- Make sure to include positive stories in their routine. The story books are full of good stories.
- Television viewing in moderation can play a positive role in children's lives. But excessive viewing and using the television as a babysitter has resulted in children learning predominantly negative values. This will also give them a false idea of what equates to happiness and fulfillment.
- Inculcate the habit of prayer or meditation in the children. It doesn’t need much time; only 15 minutes or half an hour is enough.
- Make shopping a family affair. If all cannot go together, take someone from the family. Have good intentions to shop and find the gifts for those you love. Before beginning to shop, say a prayer: “God be in my thoughts and decisions.” Shopping with these thoughts will give you pleasure in shopping. As you pull out your cash or credit card, ask God for discernment on all your purchases. We can sit down on a bench or chair and feast our eyes on the stream of people passing by. We can say blessings that they may feel safe, happy and strong and may they live with ease.
- While shopping for gifts for our close relations, we can also express our good intensions. A gift purchased with good intensions will please the person more for whom it is intended.
- We should sort out the differences maturely in our close relations. Always express respect and love to every one in those relations, who have an important place in our life.
- We should pay visit to our close relation often and join them in their celebrations and happy events. Sharing happiness with others spreads it.
Reason to practice spirituality -
So, we see that it is not difficult to practice spirituality in family and close relations; we can do it by relating truthfully and honestly to each other. Spiritual persons tend to be happier than non-spiritual ones. The greatest gift we can give to our children is a spiritual upbringing. In doing so, we enable them to be the masters of their own life. Therefore, we empower them to lead a happy and positive life.
A happy family contributes to the happiness of the society in general. Actually, the number of happy families is declining all over the world and as a result, there is a lot of unhappiness in the society. A happy marital life offers a protective cushion against the shocks of life. The difficult problems that life offers us from time to time can be faced and tackled more efficiently. Children in happy families are more mature in their outlook and are able to handle difficult situations better. The academic performance of such children is much better. Children from happy families have better social skills. As a result, they have resilience in the face of future or other stressful life events. They seek appropriate and safe avenues for aggression and frustration because they have parental guidance in difficult situations.
Children from happy families also learn to develop better relations with people, which largely contribute to their success in life.
In its simplest definition, ‘spirituality’ means knowing how to live with meaning and purpose.
- Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University