As human beings we have a natural desire to connect with others. All encounters and connections affect us differently even when the connection is no longer present. Some encounters are brief and some are more prominent in our lives, maybe because we share the same household or work in the same place.
The majority of these relationships are harmonious and pleasant but there may be a particular relationship that we struggle with, whether the other person is aware of it or not. Maybe we dislike each other, or we can never agree or we are both really competitive and spend too much time trying to out-do each other. Maybe it isn't that we don't like them, we just find them a bit strange and we don't feel relaxed around them. Whatever the reason, the relationship is not harmonious and it negatively affects our energy when we think about them or are in their presence.
Who are our teachers?
What is interesting is that this relationship may be presenting the same issue to us over and over again and our connection never seems to shift to an easier place. The issue always show up and we always react in the same way, like re-enacting a scene from a play.
The reason why this person and their issues keep showing up is because we haven't learnt to react in a different, more positive way. It could be said that these people are our teachers, our messengers, our 'expanders' and they will keep showing up until we see them differently and therefore act differently towards them. If we don't soothe this and they coincidentally do go away or we move on, someone else just like them will be queuing up ready to take their place, as the lesson still hasn't been learned.
The Law of Attraction says that how a person interacts with us is based on our expectation. So if we want them to exhibit a different behaviour we have to expect something different and more positive from them. Regardless of how they behave with others, our expectations could elicit a different behaviour when they interact with us. They don't need to change first or know what's going on. If we do the work, we'll see the change in them and in us.
How to see them differently?
Putting blame to one-side, we can start by thinking about why they might be behaving the way they do, which helps us come to a place of understanding and compassion. If this is initially too hard to do because the relationship is really off balance, then simply sending them 'love and light' or saying 'peace be with you', (even through gritted teeth), is a good starting point. We get back what we give out so sending them blessings will also benefit us. Gradually the resistance we feel should start to lower.
Once the resistance has lowered, we can think about and come to understand, what might be driving their behaviour and what part we play in that rendezvous. It's at this point that we can take time to ponder or write down a list of their positive aspects. Even the smallest thing should be added to the list.
Change Work Relationships
If it's someone at work, it could be that they are under pressure from their boss, they may be unhappy at work, feel unappreciated, threatened or over-worked. They could even be having a bad time at home. When we feel some compassion we can start to list the good things about them. After doing this exercise I've found that, as I no longer feel as much resistance to that person, it's easier to engage in conversations with them and I often find that we have a few things in common which I didn't expect. This allows space for a deeper connection and even the formation of friendship that wouldn't have been possible before.
Change Love Relationships
If it's a partner, we can list the things that first attracted us to them, things we still like about them, their values, acts of kindness, funny memories and loving memories. We can also list the good things they've done for us or for the children. Think about the pressures they could be under right now that perhaps they have no outlet for which could account for their negative mood. Or maybe there was a distinct lack of positive relationship 'role models' when they were growing up. Feel the compassion, focus on the list of positive aspects and allow the love to return.
My 30 Tips for a fulfilling Relationship has more ideas for couples.
Change Relationships with Children / Teenagers
It's often said that our children are our biggest teachers. In most cases we start out longing to parent them differently to how we were parented but we often find ourselves confronting a child who won't listen or is 'mis-behaving' and we turn into our parents, spiting out go-to phrases that we swore we'd never say like 'You'll be the death of me!' or 'Not under my roof!'.
To change what we see we should expect only good things from our children in all situations. We should see our children as loving, innately good, inquisitive, intelligent, bright, connected beings who have come with a stronger sense of who they are, a stronger connection to their well-being and a strong desire to teach us unconditional love. We should avoid negatively labeling them at all costs i.e. 'lazy', 'shy', 'stupid' etc. as they will eventually take on those traits. Children also mimic the behaviour of their parents so if we see something we don't like e.g. lashing out, shouting or swearing, we need to be sure they're not just copying us!
Remember loving, fun memories and milestones from their childhood. With teenagers we should try to appreciate that their hormones are causing them to react in extremely emotional ways so sometimes even they don't know why they're acting like they are. It's a really confusing time for them. Write down their positive aspects and feel the love flow through. If that flow of love can be verbalised into an 'I love you' then even better!
Children are naturally very receptive to energy so the change will be much faster compared to adult relationships. Below is a video from the Raja Yoga meditation school, Brahma Kumaris which covers this topic beautifully.
Ideally you should go over and even add to the list of positive aspects daily or whenever you find yourself thinking negatively about the relationship in question. If you don't have time to write things down just thinking about them is still very powerful.
If you decide to try this process or if you have other processes you use to smooth your relationships, I'd love to hear about them so please comment below.
Brahma Kumaris, Sister Shivani - Control of Others