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Sometimes I feel insecure and worry about my current relationship. I try to live with mindfulness each day, but it seems very hard because I still cannot forget my bad past experience. What should I do ?

  • Is your bad past experiences with your partner or from someone/something else? – user5286 Jul 1 '15 at 13:39
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Insecurity is caused by wanting permanence, is it not? We feel fear and insecurity when we are anxious about the root anchors of our life being unstable.

In truth, one who understands anicca knows nothing is permanent. At a very deep level we must see that resting on inherently unstable emotional platforms and expecting stability is folly.

There is no easy cure for this. We must at the very least learn to dissociate our identity and sense of self from worldly factors such as a job, a relationship, a degree, a house, a bank balance etc. This can be done through any of the several forms of vipassana.

In the end, we must lose all sense of self by seeing its illusory nature.

What helps me is to take time out to go on a retreat and try to solve a sticky problem in my life through better understanding of anicca, anatta and dukkha.

ULTIMATELY, there can be no perfect relationship where no one hurts the other, or misunderstands. If there were such perfection possible, then that would replace the dhamma, and everyone would aspire for the perfect parent or partner. These imperfections in relationships are our teachers, helping us realize the futility of chasing happiness in relatives and family. Every pleasure carries with it a tragedy - pleasure and pain cannot be separated. One can only go beyond both.

Update: (This was part of my original answer but because of a bug in the mobile client of StackExchange it didn't get posted.)

Here is a short meditation mindfulness exercise by Thich Nhat Hanh to deal with anxiety in the immediate moment.

Sit comfortably. Close your eyes if possible. Gently focus your attention on your breathing. Don’t worry about deepening or controlling it in any way…just notice.

As your breathe in, say to yourself “I am breathing in.”

As you breathe out, say to yourself “I am breathing out.”

Continue for one minute.

The effects are cumulative, so the more often you do it, the faster your overall level of calm increases.

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Yes, you're right. I feel insecure because i want permanence and wish my partner become consistent person. – sherly Jul 1 '15 at 6:54
  • I try to understand the meaning of anicca but still in difficulty while practicing this. My family expect too much about my current relationship. It's makes me more afraid if I lose him. – sherly Jul 1 '15 at 7:06
  • Ultimately, our happiness and peace rests with us, we must take personal responsibility and not wait on external factors. While others (partner and family) can be understanding sometimes, they often will not be so, and we have no control over them, so we must stop trying to control such factors. We must imagine the worst scenario and make peace with it. Accepting the present moment as it is, without wanting different, we rid ourselves of misery - whether we accept or not, the present won't change, so it is better if we accept. – Buddho Jul 1 '15 at 7:22
  • Developing compassion is easier for some than realizing anicca. This is a Mahayana approach (from your other questions I gather that you are Theravada) - where we look at the suffering of the partner that causes his inconsistency, and the suffering of the family that causes their expectations, and the resulting compassion can dissolve our sense of self hurt. It can deliver results quicker in this case. Instead of being angry, we must sit down with them and tell them that their suffering is real, but so is our suffering. brainpickings.org/2015/03/31/how-to-love-thich-nhat-hanh – Buddho Jul 1 '15 at 7:27
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    May you be happy and free too @Buddho ☺ – sherly Jul 1 '15 at 9:03
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  • Suffering comes from insecurity.
  • Insecurity comes from fear.
  • Fear comes from beliefs.
  • Beliefs come from knowledge.
  • Knowledge comes from good and bad.
  • Good and bad come from desire.

Thus, there are 4 ways to remove fear:

1

Identify the beliefs that are causing you fear. Change those beliefs. Fear will vanish.

How to change your beliefs?

Realize that all your beliefs which are the cause of your fear are based on future assumptions. Thus, your beliefs have no weight in the present moment.

Realize that most beliefs are not rational. If you had a few bad experiences in the past, it does not mean that all similar experiences will end badly.

Test your beliefs to reject their validity. If you're afraid of something, and you are sure that your fear is irrational, face your fear and realize nothing bad will happen.

There are many many ways to change your beliefs. That's why psychologists exist.

2

Gain new knowledge. Specifically about your situation in the relationship. Remember, knowledge is rational, not emotional. Use your rational mind. Be a scientist. Read books about your situation. Read about relationships. Speak with people who had similar problems and have solved them.

3

Eliminate "good and bad" thinking. How to eliminate "good and bad" thinking?

Realize there is no good and bad. How? By realizing: "What one person thinks is good, another person thinks it's bad. What I think is good, another person thinks it's bad". Thus, something that is good can be at the same time good and bad. Something that is bad can be at the same time bad and good. If something can be black and white at the same time, which color is it? Think about it. Which color is it?

4

This is what Buddhist would do.

"Eliminate" desire. How to eliminate desire?

Follow the four noble truths: Realize that desire is the cause of suffering. Realize that putting an end to desire, suffering no longer arises. Find the path leading to the elimination of desire.

  • Very detail answer. Thank you a lot @beginner. I will try to practice this. – sherly Jul 2 '15 at 3:21
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Mindfulness is a great tool to withdraw information through your senses but will not be enough to remove your insecurity and worry about your current relationship. The only way you can do this is by doing lots of reflecting (usually during mediation) and 'proper' communication with your partner.

Have you asked if your partner too has had some bad passed experiences with their exs? If so, don't panic because this can actually be a good thing. It will help you guys find something in common and therefore heal together. If not, that's ok too, it just means that you have to warn this person that you have had trouble in the passed.

The best way (I think) to build security in a relationship and reduce worry is to find common interests. Avoid clinging to the person like their everything because when you realize they are not, you could be in a world of hurt. This teaching is very prevalent in the Buddha's teaching and relates to attachment. The reason why finding common interests, ie. soccer, running, yoga, gardening etc. (aim for positive ones of course) is good is because you can not only enjoy the person's company, but together you guys can build as individuals too. This is so good, because even if you do break up at least you will have skills you can use on your own.

I think therefore that most of your security, worry issues arise from too much attachment to this person and also possibly too much expectation of what they 'should' do. People are powerful and so its best to improve yourself and people around you and if your partner 'chooses' to join in than great, there's the cherry on top! :D But remember to take care of your entire cake too :P (life too)

Hope this helps :)

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    Hi and welcome to Buddhism SE. Could you edit your answer and insert a couple of paragraphs. This way it will be easier for other users to read it. Thank you. We also have some guidelines for new users that you might find useful. – Lanka Jul 1 '15 at 19:47
  • Very Thanks @user5286 sure your answer will really help me :) – sherly Jul 2 '15 at 3:24
  • @User. There are also a lot of features that one cannot know in the beginning. Don't worry. It will come in time. I think your answer looks much better now. – Lanka Jul 2 '15 at 9:21

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