Podcaster, best-selling author and former Hindu monk Jay Shetty offers profound self-help and relationship advice in the form of Hindu principles.
Podcaster and best-selling author Jay Shetty – host of the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast – learned about love during his three years as a Hindu monk. Gleaning insights from his wife Radhi, whom he credits as one of his greatest teachers,Shetty seeks to demystify love by distilling it into a daily practice.
A Learner’s Mind-Set
Make love an intentional daily practice. Let go of self-doubt, anger and greed, and commit to a journey of self-discovery.
Embrace a continuous cycle of learning to love yourself and others. In fact, before you can love someone else, you must learn to enjoy spending time alone. If being alone makes you uncomfortable, learn a new skill, travel by yourself or volunteer in your community. Solitude helps you develop a stable sense of self, preventing you from molding yourself to a partner’s ideals or losing your authenticity in a relationship.
Love is not about staging the perfect proposal or creating a perfect relationship. It’s about learning to navigate the imperfections that are intrinsic to ourselves, our partners and life itself.Jay Shetty
Think of karma as a mirror. Repetition of negative relationship dynamics reflects your past impressions and unconscious patterns. For example, if your parents had a volatile relationship, your karma may be to pursue similarly dramatic relationships because you think such volatility is the one true form of love.
If your parents failed to meet your needs, you may look to other adults to fill those needs in your relationships. Learn to fulfill your own emotional needs, treating yourself as you would like others to treat you.
Deep Romantic Love
Aspire to find a partner who aligns with your authentic self and true values but realize that real love is imperfect and so are you. Experiencing deep romantic love involves more than having fun for a few nights or hooking up. Try to go patiently through all stages of love until you can truly commit to and trust another person.
Trust doesn’t happen overnight. It develops slowly over time. Through honesty and vulnerability, you can build an emotionally and physically safe loving relationship.
You and your partner can be gurus and students of one another. Love is a great teacher. Being a guru doesn’t mean putting yourself on a pedestal. Instead, it means offering guidance, wisdom and love without judgment, ego or expectation.
A partner you can grow with will usually possess self-awareness, mental flexibility, the ability to enjoy solitude, curiosity about you, willingness to make an effort to understand you, and an understanding of his or her emotions. This kind of partner inspires you to pursue self-improvement and supports you and others on their growth journeys.
Both partners should endeavor to be worthy teachers for each other by embracing a service mind-set, instead of a control mind-set. For example, rather than asking your partner why he or she failed to carry out a commitment to do something, consider asking if, in any way, you can help your partner achieve this goal.
We say we want to grow old together, but we forget to give significance to the growing part.Jay Shetty
Model the behaviors you wish your partner would embrace, such as curbing your spending if you’d like to encourage thriftiness. Demonstrate curiosity and a “beginner’s mind” by being open to guidance and advice. Your partner has wisdom to share, but don’t “lose the thread of your own story” or neglect your interests, even if your partner doesn’t share them. Growing together means nurturing your – and your partner’s – values, goals and personality.
Embracing your purpose, or dharma, requires connecting your natural interests and talents with “a need that exists in the universe.” You can’t show up for your partner or children if you sacrifice your own purpose. Such a sacrifice would prevent you from giving them the best version of yourself. Think of your dharma as a journey, not a destination. Living a purposeful life means letting your passion flow through you.
When you align with your dharma, you can work toward financial stability, personal growth and self-development. You’ll experience more genuine connections with others and, ultimately, a genuine sense of inner liberation.
You can’t connect to another person on a deep level without occasional disagreements. Rather than avoiding conflict, focus on resolving areas of misalignment when they arise. Deal with disputes before they turn into bigger issues.
Never try to “win” an argument. Your partner’s losses are your losses. Approach disagreements together as a team, and reframe conflicts as shared goals.
Breakup and Love
If your relationship includes any form of abuse – physical, verbal, emotional, financial, sexual or digital, or behaviors like stalking – find a way to leave safely. For most other issues, you won’t bear any shame if breaking up serves your growth. Show compassion for your partner if you initiate the breakup. Do it face-to-face. Make eye contact, and be truthful.
Don’t comfort your former partner following the breakup, because partners must heal on their own. If your partner leaves you, resist trying to demonstrate what a mistake he or she is making. Set your former partner free.
We are connected, and when we serve others, we are serving ourselves.Jay Shetty
Approach your recovery from heartbreak thoughtfully. Give yourself space and stillness to grieve and reflect. Focus on rebuilding your self-worth. Remember that you are the only person who can define your value.
When people feel lonely, they often mistakenly focus on receiving love. When you express love, you experience more love. When you enter a room, tell yourself, “I’m just going to give love.” You will lead a more joyful life.
Love doesn’t manifest only in romantic relationships. Expand your “radius of love” outward to include all living beings.
Shetty shows how to cultivate and sustain deep, meaningful relationships while embracing a never-ending journey of personal growth. Not all of his advice is new or groundbreaking, but Shetty presents it with an air of hard-earned sincerity. In other words, someone who has clearly put effort into his personal growth now lives his primary message of sending love into the world by seeking to help you grow. Like Brené Brown, for example, he seems too intelligent to vest in mere self-help. His advice transcends that genre while being practical, applicable and potentially life changing.