I have heard teachers say that the best way to know if your meditation is progressing is to look around you and see if it has made a difference in your relationships . For me, although I can humbly say my meditation is strong, though not for long periods, yet my relationships with my husband because of his disloyalty and children because of their indifference and rudeness, is far from satisfactory.
Does it mean that my meditation is not effective enough and there is no progress?
—Poorvi Shah, India
Meditation as a tool for Self-realization, wisdom, and enlightenment is a long-term thing. Family relationships are often similarly long-term karmic connections. Both, therefore, can involve habits and tendencies from many lives.
A wise person once said “Patience is the fastest path to God (enlightenment).” Yes, it’s true that one of best measures of spiritual progress is greater calmness, harmony, and similar attitudes.
At the same time, we mustn’t stop too frequently to assess our progress nor are we necessarily the best judge of our progress. The practice of nonattachment (“nishkam karma”) applies even to the results of meditation.
“Banat, banat ban jai.” Doing, doing, at last, done! What you say is true but I encourage you to never give up, keep up your practices, offering yourself at the feet of the Lord with faith and patience.
At the same time it is important to use your will and intention to improve your relationships in an active way. To pray for the strength to forgive others whom you feel have hurt or betrayed you. To take active steps in word and action to demonstrate that. To be patient with your children.
No one owes us anything: neither children nor husband. They too are souls with God-given free will and their own spiritual evolution to contend with.
Focus, therefore, on your soul’s freedom from the hurts and actions of other people. To be god-like is to forgive as Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgtive them, for they know not what they do.”
These relationships have to come you with all their baggage only to help you grow. Be, yes even grateful for your hurts for they remind you that there is no true love but God’s love.