More than teaching us how to breathe, meditation teaches us how to be. That includes how to be around others, especially those we love and cherish. Read on to see how the lessons we learn in meditation can manifest in our close relationships.

Be Present With Others

When we learn to meditate, we learn to sit with whatever is happening at this moment. We fight the urge to distract ourselves so that we can just be present wherever we are. We can apply this same mindfulness to our relationships, allowing ourselves to sit with someone even during difficult moments. Nurturing closeness means being present for someone’s struggles as much as their joys, without needing to escape or change the situation.

Let Go of Resentment

In meditation, one of the most essential practices is letting thoughts and feelings come and go. We resist the need to latch onto one particular emotion or memory. Our relationships depend on this same ability. Sometimes, we must let go of disagreements or mishaps instead of latching onto them and stewing in resentment. Of course, “letting go” does not mean we can’t hold people accountable. Nor is it a way to deal with problematic behaviors that might hurt us. Sometimes, we might need to let go of the relationship itself, realizing that clinging too hard only leads to more pain.

Accept People As They Are

Meditation asks us to accept who we are and where we are at this moment, without trying to judge or change ourselves. Similarly, we must learn that we can’t change our friends or family, no matter how much we want to. All we can do is accept them for who they are. This doesn’t mean we necessarily have to accept the relationship we have with them, especially if it hurts us: it simply means that no amount of pushback or resistance will transform someone into the person we think they ought to be.