“It is your work in Life that is the Ultimate Seduction”

This is what Pablo Picasso famously said as he talked about the need for passion for work. You will see the truth of this statement when you observe the lives of great achievers like, say, Sachin Tendulkar or Roger Federer. Even among lesser mortals with modest achievements, I have seen how development of passion in a chosen field of work has transformed people and their relationships with others – from a state of agony to a state of ecstasy.  Here in this post, I am particularly interested to explore how this passion for work impacts relationships between married partners. One may wonder what has this passion to do with relationships? A lot, as we will see presently. To live means to be related and to develop a variety of relationships. The most fundamental relationship a person can ever have is a healthy relationship with oneself. This is Self-esteem. Why is this fundamental? Because, unless we value ourselves, we cannot expect others to value us. Relationships in marriage are fundamentally affected by our failure to recognize this need for self-esteem, among many other things. A healthy relationship between partners can develop only when each person respects and sees the need for development of the other’s personality as per his or her passion, talents, obsessions and even idiosyncrasies. However, in reality, a conflict develops because each partner is so engrossed and concerned with his or her own ambitions, achievements, successes or failures that it is always ME to the exclusion of the other!

After all, as Picasso put it, one’s own work in life is the ultimate seduction! Many marriages breakdown because of the failure to recognize this fundamental craving for self-actualization that every partner has. Therefore, allow enough personal space for your partner to develop his or her passions in life. Khalil Gibran, the well-known poet from Lebanon, brings out this message brilliantly in the following famous lines as he talks about the need to allow “spaces in togetherness”. To this, I would like to add that there has to be “Togetherness while allowing enough Space”. I want you to appreciate the subtle difference between the two expressions. The previous generation was not allowing space to the partner to develop as an individual. In contrast, now-a-days, even as we allow enough space for the other partner to develop, there is no togetherness. It is always ME to the exclusion of the other!  So, can we learn the subtle art of giving enough space to each other without affecting Togetherness?

Read and enjoy the following lines of Khalil Gibran on how to nurture relationships in marriage:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

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Published in: on September 21, 2013 at 11:53 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. beautiful


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