September | Love, Relationships, & the Dharma


My life, until now, has been occupied by an array of questions. I have always been intrigued with this “unknown void” that is felt from within especially when thinking about the expansive universe and all the mysteries it holds. I’m absolutely certain that almost everyone questions life. I actually think I’ve only met one fellow human that admitted that they have never reminisced on such thoughts. Well, every time I would dwell on these thoughts fear would set in and I would start to doubt myself, my goals, reasons for everything, commitments, people, and love. I now understand that this was because I was never given a foundation upon which I could build my understanding. Everything that happened in my life felt like it was free falling. There was certainty followed by uncertainty that led to confusion and doubt. This felt like a never ending cycle but encountering the dharma has opened my heart and my mind. It has helped me to understand life and, therefore, live life.

Life is one long process and cycle of self discovery, build up, and breakdown. We do hold, though, a true nature which is love. Love is always living within us, even though it may feel dormant, at times . I believe that this happens because of all of the outer hustle and bustle that tugs and pulls us in all opposing directions. This shifts our focus away from our inner place of truth. I have learned that, though some people have good intention, your path is different from theirs and vice versa. Seeking outer opinion from others regarding your path is not something that should be requested. The only proper answer would be one that brings you back to yourself, one that rephrases the question in a way that your intuitive side comprehends and fluidly answers. Your compass is within and when you listen and trust your intuition it flourishes and love blossoms from within. This love is your truest nature. This nature that we all house deep within is the safe house for our intuitive voice. The intuition is what guides you through life in the most incredible way. The dance between love and intuition causes both energies to expand.

Now, when we don’t cultivate that beautiful feeling of inner love it may start to become suppressed and hide away in what seems to be a cave far outside of ourself. Darkness, loneliness, and anxiety sometimes start to cause a sense of loneliness and separation. At this moment we feel like happiness is out there and we must search high and low, near and far for it. What best to fill this void than “true love?” This is what Buddhist teachings may label as dukkha or suffering. Desperate times may cause us to reach for something outside of ourself and cling in hopes of feeling connected. At this moment in time, you are lost and not in touch with your truest self. Clinging is the most common automatic reaction in this situation, if not retreating, and at this point your reality is fogged up because of the uprising of illusory thoughts that arise from these emotional states. Hence, why meditation and alone time accompanied by observation and awareness are important.

Allowing yourself time to organically find yourself is truly essential because once you meet your purest self you will see your true nature clearly. You’ll start to understand that your essence is love and the more you focus on it, the more it radiates and embraces you. You feel whole. When you meet someone, they simply complement you. Your beauty is enhanced. They reflect it because you start to attract people who admire your purest self. If they leave, it’s ok. You are still full, complete, radiating love. You understand your path and start to understand that every individual has their own path. All is well. You are whole. You are loved. You are love.

This is my understanding of how to be happy in relationships, including the personal one with myself. By understanding that clinging is suffering, I looked inward to try my best to understand myself. I didn't want to accept living a life that I did not understand and I didn’t want to be “satisfied” with impermanent objects, people, or situations. I knew that happiness would only come from an understanding, an understanding that the dharma has provided. For this, I am eternally grateful.


Haila is a volunteer at Three Jewels and a writer for Elephant Journal. She's also a Holistic Wellness Coach, an explorer of truths, a lover of nature and all things healing. She has a deep desire to help all beings in need. Her personal practices include meditation, yoga, writing, energy work, and sound healing. She is the founder of Om Metta Bloom.

Haila Rodriguez