These are the loving words suggested by Zen-Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and shared these wonderful healing words. He has worked his lifetime to help people cultivate more peace and love in their lives.
This is the work that I do too. Recently I had a couple in my office who were feeling disconnected from each other, and this caused them great emotional pain.
Like so many other couples, distance grows when fear, anger and deep anxiety are felt, often from the roots of wrong perception. So what can you do when these negative feelings are on board? When you feel so far from your loved one?
Instead of focusing on the exact “wrong” of your partner, what you can do is breathe… slowly… to help calm the anxious/fear-based part of the brain (your old amygdala). When you are distressed, it’s the part that is threatening to take you away into anger and dark thoughts like “I can’t believe my partner acted that way…. Doesn’t s/he know that hurt me?…. I can’t keep living like this…. Maybe we won’t be able to make this work….” – Those dark thoughts only bring more fear and deep sorrow, and many people pull away from their loved one at times like this.
Be Brave: The 4 Healing Mantras for Relationships
When things are distressing in your relationship, instead of pulling away, this is when you need to breathe MORE- really get conscious of your breath. Thich Nhat Hanh advises that you then use these statements to stay connected:
- Say to your partner, “Darling I am here for you.” –When you love someone , the best thing you can offer them is your presence.
- You can also then say (or say in response to your partner saying #1 to you), “Darling I know you are truly there.” –Recognizing the presence of your beloved one as something very precious is calming to both of your nervous systems. It grounds you in connection again. It calms your heart and brain. This is a form of embracing your beloved with mindfulness, for to be loved means to be recognized as existing.
- If you know that your beloved one suffers, say “Darling, I know you suffer, that is why I am here for you.” – You can tell if they are suffering because they show unhappiness, distress, anxiety, sadness, fear or maybe anger. Maybe they have pulled away or been hurtful. This is them showing their suffering.
- When you are suffering, and you believe your suffering has been caused by your beloved one, and even if you suffer deeply and want to be alone, say “Darling, I suffer. I am trying my best to practice. Please help me.”
Thich Nhat Hanh says that as you practice these healing mantras you will find that your own heart will open more and you will want to reach to hold your partner’s hand or perhaps give/get a hug. As you practice deep, slow breathing along with this exercise again and again, it will help strengthen your trust in your relationship and natural happy affection will result.
One of the most loving things we can tell our partner is “We will get through this difficult time. I am here for you. I love you.”