The other day I was on a walk with my girlfriend. We recently moved to San Francisco and were enjoying our evening walk. We were appreciating the orange and lemon trees people were growing around their homes, small gardens with plants and flowers. We noticed some places were really crowded out. But some places had a lot more space – and the flowers, plants, trees looked a lot more beautiful.

I have found the same to be true for personal relationships and many other things in life. Giving space. Live and let others live. 

When I was in school and college, my mother gave me a lot of space and I really appreciated that because I knew it wasn’t the same with some of my friends and peers. Whether it was deciding which college to study, what degree to pursue, she never tried to force her opinions. She wanted to make sure I am doing well and I understood that and always made her aware of how things were going. 

Sometimes when a friend is going through tough times, they don’t need our suggestions. They just need someone to talk to. I remember a friend who personally told me to stop giving her ideas and solutions to the problem she was facing, she just wanted me to listen and comfort her – true story! 

My brother and I grew up in a tiny household and had great friendship, my parents created a wonderful environment for us and instilled values of high character and love. But we both also gave space to each other which I think has immensely helped us build and maintain a great relationship until today. I only remember one incident where we had an altercation and was over the TV remote, outside of that we never got into any fight or war of words. 

I must admit, it’s not always easy to give space. Many times there is an urge to share opinions, solve people’s problems and shower them with unsolicited advice. Personally, I just focus on channeling my energy into something else, something useful. I could just go on and read some posts, watch Swami Ji’s videos or go for a walk. 

More space is a better quality of life, for us and for others.

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Aditya Shahi

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