Recently, While at the Theosophical Society National Convention I reveled in several meaty conversations. Here's the scene. I'm seated between two men at dinner. One is an author and healer and the other an older volunteer. Man number one: "I don't understand women. I can't find a good relationship." I shared my thoughts and asked man number two to share his thoughts. He was quiet and I expected him to deflect the question, but he rose like a master and spoke softly but powerfully, "I make the things that are important to my wife and son important to me. I listen to them and don't try to talk them out of what they are seeing or saying." Man number one continued, "But I can only find shallow women. They like to shop and only want to eat out and go to the movies." This time I stayed quiet and looked at the master: "That's because they don't know any other way. Show them another way. Take them to walk in the park. Go to an art opening or to a museum. Attend a concert or walk in the historic district of town. Go for a ride and take pictures of wildflowers." Man number one seemed reflective and had an "aha" expression on his face. Man number two took the conversation from the perspective of "What can people do for me?" to "How can I serve others and create a situation that benefits everyone?"
We don't serve others to the exclusion of getting our needs met; we learn to come from a space of giving to others, that fills us up, rather than giving from a place that depletes us. I read a Quora inquiry that asked the question. "I'm in a new relationship with a man who was recently jailed. How long should I wait for him?" I shook my head and chuckled. The relationship suggestions I give about being of service to do not preclude using common sense. I would suggest the woman not wait at all.
All problems do not have the same solutions, so be careful in taking relationship advice. There is no absolute solution, and that's why our intuition, rather than our intellect, is usually most important in dealing with relationships. I say usually because the woman who considers waiting for a man in prison, when he's not her husband or son, needs to use logic and intellect. She needs to make a smart move and not place herself in harm's way. The person who desires more closeness and happiness in a relationship needs an inner approach, the heart tools, to bring about harmony and intimacy in a relationship.
Relationship Awareness Process
The following suggestions invite us to use our intuition to align with friends and loved ones.
- Do this process at a time you will not be disturbed. Don't try to squeeze this into a busy schedule. It is important you are relaxed and not on a strict schedule. Get paper and pen to take notes. Then sit in a comfortable, private place.
- Light a candle and/or put on some soothing music. If you have a picture of your friend, relative, or partner, place it beside your candle. This is your relationship altar. You may want to put a peace symbol on it or the picture or image of a spiritual figure. Be creative. You can leave this up or wrap it in a cloth and put it away for use in the future.
- Go to your quiet space with a sense of relaxation. Watch your breath, let go of tight muscles, and clear your mind of worries or expectations. Close your eyes.
- Ask your Higher Power, Angels, Guides, spiritual Master, or Self:
"What can I do to make our relationship better?"
"How can I serve this person?"
"What do I do that harms this person? What bad thoughts do I hold?
Do I hold them to a standard of perfectionism?"
Write down any thoughts you might have. (And with eyes open, of course!)
- Next, bring up an image of your loved one. Ask him or her:
"How can I best serve you?"
"How can I honor you?"
"What do you need from me?"
"What do I do to you that is harmful?"
"Am I sarcastic or harsh? If so, how?"
"How can I show you more compassion?"
"Do I need to give you more support or do I need to encourage you to stand on your own two feet?"
"Am I too much in your business or am I too detached?"
- Again, write down the answers.
We often ask what we need to be doing on this planet. How can I be of service? How can I help others? The above process provides a framework for doing the deep work. Sometimes we do others' service when we uncover the disservice we do them through our actions and expectations. We become their humble servant when we have the courage to make changes in the habitual ways we relate to others. We find that humility, compassion, and caring are not weaknesses; they are the foundations of strength.
Relationships deliver endless opportunities for service and growth. We can disengage from others and keep our hearts behind a wall, or we can go inside and free ourselves and others from the loneliness stimulated by the egoic mind. Relationships can serve as a stepping stone to higher states of well-being, but we must go on the daring adventure of opening our hearts and serving others in order to step out on the path. Let's step more fully into our relationships and enjoy them as the privileges they are, because when we do, we find that life becomes EZier and EZier.