Accept others as they are

The biggest mistake we make in relationships is wishing other people were different and trying to change them. This leads only to resistance and resentment on both sides. They’re not going to change for you unless they want to.

Accept people as they are. Be happy for others to be themselves. Few will measure up to your ideals – and why should they? Do you always measure up to theirs?

You can’t change others because you are not in charge of their thoughts. You can influence them perhaps, but they have their own thoughts and they are not yours to control. Whose business is it anyway?

Everyone you meet has something to teach you

Welcome everyone into your life. They all have something to teach you. Sometimes you only realise what you’ve learned with hindsight. Usually you learn most about yourself, but not necessarily; it could also be about another person, other people or life in general.

Seek to empower others

Seek to empower others. Help them to fulfill their aspirations, even if they are not what you would choose. You’ll find all your relationships improving. Everyone is drawn to people who want for them what they want for themselves.

 

©David Lawrence Preston 7.12.2016

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The Law of Reciprocity IS the Golden Rule

The Law of Reciprocity is the Golden Rule. It is usually stated as: ‘Treat everyone as you like to be treated.’ However this is not quite right. Others have their own values and preferences that you may not share. They may not want to be treated the same. Therefore the Law of Reciprocity is better expressed as:

Treat everyone as they would like to be treated.’

Of course most people like to feel accepted, approved of, respected, listened to and appreciated. This is common to all.

Compassion

 ‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong; because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.’

George Washington Carver

Compassion should be at the core of all our speech and action. Imagine what the world would be like if everybody were more compassionate? How many global problems could be solved? When we show compassion to others, we benefit everyone including ourselves.  Studies show that when a person is a recipient of a kind act, seretonin (the neurotransmitter that promotes a good feeling in the brain) is stimulated and the immune system strengthened. The same is true for the person who acts kindly. Even observing an act of kindness has the same effect.

A few kind words cost nothing yet are worth so much to both recipient and giver.

We are all aware of what hurts and what heals. Think about what you say before you open your mouth. If you’re tempted to speak to someone unkindly, think about how you would feel if someone said that to you.

The Law of Reciprocity reminds us that we get back what we give out. Thoughts create effects which rebound, and so do words and actions. If you want more friends, be friendlier; if more love, be more loving; if more happiness, help others to be happy. Every time you meet another’s needs, you meet needs of your own and feel better about yourself.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 5.12.2016

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Love your enemies

A great teacher once said, ‘Love your enemies,’  baffling not only his audience but also hundreds of millions ever since. How can it be in our own interests to love our enemies? What did he mean by this?

Problems with others usually occur because our own thinking is in error. With no enmity in our thinking, we have no enemies! That’s why Abraham Lincoln observed, ‘Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?’

An adversarial state of consciousness is disempowering. It’s also detrimental to our health. Go within and seek the peaceful side of your nature. If others don’t respond, send them a silent blessing and let it go. Their anger and aggression is their problem.

Be grateful to those who test you

Our so-called enemies are our finest teachers. Aim to make peace with them, whether or not you feel they deserve it.

Eric Butterworth tells of a distinguished writer who visited a Quaker friend. Each evening, they walked to the street corner to buy an evening newspaper. The friend would be cheerful and pleasant, but the news vendor would always respond with a grunt.

The writer commented on this one night. ‘Why are you so nice to him?’ he asked his friend.

The Quaker replied, ‘Why should I let him determine how I am going to behave?’

Be grateful to those who make life difficult, and don’t let them control your behaviour. They are your greatest teachers.

 

©David Lawrence Preston 7.12.2016

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Accept others as they are

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make in relationships is wishing other people were different and trying to change them. This leads only to resistance and resentment on both sides. They’re not going to change for you unless they want to.

Accept people as they are. Be happy for others to be themselves. Few will measure up to your ideals – and why should they? Do you always measure up to theirs?

You can’t change others because you are not in charge of their thoughts. You can influence them perhaps, but they have their own thoughts and they are not yours to control. Whose business is it anyway?

Everyone you meet has something to teach you

Welcome everyone into your life. They all have something to teach you. Sometimes you only realise what you’ve learned with hindsight. Usually you learn most about yourself, but not necessarily; it could also be about another person, other people or life in general.

Seek to empower others

Seek to empower others. Help them to fulfill their aspirations, even if they are not what you would choose. You’ll find all your relationships improving. Everyone is drawn to people who want for them what they want for themselves.

©David Lawrence Preston 7.12.2016

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Live your truth and don’t be a DOPE!

Others love you the most when you live your truth. You’re on your own path, chosen and shaped by your situation, your environment, talents, skills, attitudes, aptitudes and interests. Others have theirs which determine the path they take. Comparing your path with someone else’s is pointless, like comparing apples with oranges; both are fruits, but with different qualities.

The only meaningful comparison is who you have become compared with how you used to be, in other words, how much progress you have made on your spiritual journey.

Don’t be a DOPE

Most of us are easily influenced by those around us. We find ourselves thinking and talking as they do and edit ourselves to win their approval. Consequently we start behaving like them too. We become a DOPE – Driven by Other People’s Expectations.

Examine your motivations and start thinking for yourself. What others say is rarely the issue unless they’ve trying to help and have something useful to contribute. They don’t know what’s best for you, and you shouldn’t expect them to.

Trust in your own assessment of what is right and true and make your own choices.  If others try to put you off, do it anyway.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.12.2016

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The Law of Reciprocity

The Law of Reciprocity is the Golden Rule. It is usually stated as: ‘Treat everyone as you like to be treated.’ However this is not quite right. Others have their own values and preferences that you may not share. They may not want to be treated the same. Therefore the Law of Reciprocity is better expressed as:

‘Treat everyone as they would like to be treated.’

Of course most people like to feel accepted, approved of, respected, listened to and appreciated. This is common to all.

Old couple

Compassion

‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong; because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.’

 George Washington Carver

Compassion should be at the core of all our speech and action. Imagine what the world would be like if everybody were more compassionate? How many global problems could be solved?

When we show compassion to others, we benefit everyone including ourselves.  Studies show that when a person is a recipient of a kind act, serotonin (the neurotransmitter that promotes a good feeling in the brain) is stimulated and the immune system strengthened. The same is true for the person who acts kindly. Even observing an act of kindness has the same effect.

A few kind words cost nothing yet are worth so much to both recipient and giver.

We are all aware of what hurts and what heals. Think about what you say before you open your mouth. If you’re tempted to speak to someone unkindly, think about how you would feel if someone said that to you.

The Law of Reciprocity reminds us that we get back what we give out. Thoughts create effects which rebound, and so do words and actions. If you want more friends, be friendlier; if more love, be more loving; if more happiness, help others to be happy. Every time you meet another’s needs, you meet needs of your own and feel better about yourself.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.12.2016

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Relationships are like a mirror

Relationships are like a mirror reflecting back the way we are. Through our interactions with others, we learn about ourselves. The feedback can be immediate and sometimes harsh, but if we are open, illuminating. When we learn to see relationships as a mirror, we clear the way to profound personal growth. No more blaming anyone else for our unhappiness or handing over responsibility for our behaviour. The buck stops where it belongs!

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.’

Ken Keyes Junior

picasso-mirror(Picasso, ‘Girl in a Mirror’)

Your relationship with yourself is the basis of your relationships with others

We do not see things as they are – we see them as we are. We project our attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and misperceptions onto others. For example, people who are critical of others are usually privately critical of themselves; loud and boastful people are often trying to hide their anxieties; and people afraid that others will get one over on them are often looking to get one over on others.

Similarly, if you’re think most people are selfish, it’s probably because you have selfish tendencies; if you believe others are unreliable, they’ll constantly let you down; and if you’re the jealous sort, your jealousies are likely to be driven by your own insecurities.

Your attitudes and beliefs say more about you than anyone else. As you grow in wisdom, you discover that it is not others behaviour but your responses that create your experience of life, so if your relationships need attention, go within. Examine the causes, seek heightened awareness, and make love, peace and compassion the basis of your daily existence.

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 7.12.2016

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Our Inter-contentedness

We are connected to each other, not loosely but in countless ways. Apart from the obvious physical and emotional links between people, we share the same Life Force that flows through me and you. We are made of the same ‘stuff’, breathe the same air and drink the same water. The differences between us are trivial in the wider scheme of things.

Consequently we are all of equal worth. Only when we recognise the worth of others can we truly recognise it in ourselves.

Dr Albert Schweitzer wrote:

‘Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realise that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.’

We are inter-dependent, although many of us behave as if it were not so. Imagine a large oak tree. At the summit, the leaves appear separate, but as we lower our gaze, we see that they are connected to branches which merge into a thick trunk. Out of sight, the trunk connects to roots which spread out and draw water and nutrients from the ground.

Like those leaves, we appear physically separate, but draw energy from the same invisible source. We constantly give and receive energy from each other otherwise we stagnate and die. Anything that blocks the flow of life-giving energy between us harms everyone concerned.

When we are with others, we continually pick up each others’ energy. We can also sense others’ energy fields at a distance. We give and receive energy in many ways, such as:

  • Through our auras. Just being in the presence of an inspiring individual can energise.
  • Our thoughts, which have energy and carry to others.
  • Visually – even a glance has energy.
  • Words – contrast the effect of a cruel remark with an admiring comment.
  • Kinaesthetically – a gentle touch can work wonders.

We are inter-connected with all living creatures and owe them a duty of care. They feel happiness and pain and deserve our kindness. We share more than 95% of our genes with many of the higher mammals and are as inter-dependent with them as to each other. Without animals, the planet would become uninhabitable and the human race could not survive.

You’re unique and you’re on your own path, but none of us can make it entirely on our own.

©David Lawrence Preston, 4.12.2016

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The Eighth Principle of Relationships

The eighth principle is:

Work on yourself. Become a better person, and all your relationships will improve.

The place to start if you want to improve your relationships is with yourself – improving your confidence and self-image, challenging harmful beliefs and learning new listening and communication skills. Cultivate an open, positive attitude to all your relationships.

If you are willing to change, to grow, to work on yourself and become more loving, tolerant and accepting of others, all your relationships will improve.

  • Make this your intention.
  • Examine your thinking; change your self-talk and beliefs.
  • Use your creative imagination to imprint the changes you wish to make on your subconscious.
  • Practise new behaviours, starting with those you find easiest to change, then move on to the more difficult areas. If these changes feel uncomfortable – which change usually does – feel the fear and do it any way.

Nearly everybody wants great relationships with the people around them. Become the kind of person others like being with, and people will gravitate towards you.

‘How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong; because someday in your life, you will have been all of these.’

 George Washington Carver

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 24.6.2016

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The Seventh Principle of Relationships: Acceptance

‘The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.’

Thomas Merton

The Seventh Principle of Relationships is:

Accept others as they are, not just as you want them to be.

Acceptance means acknowledging others and valuing their right to be different to you. You should not expect others to edit themselves for you. Nor can you make others change unless they want to. You can, however, understand yourself better and choose your attitude. This is a lesson some people never learn.

Love and Fear

Ultimately every response you get from another person is born out of one of the primary emotions, love and fear.

Your capacity for giving and receiving love is directly related to how much love you have for yourself. The way you treat others is either fearful or loving. Love fosters relationships, fear does not. It distorts your thinking and erects barriers.

Everyone wants to love and be loved. If you encounter someone who is aggressive or shy, remember that they are fearful in some way. If someone is rude, it’s because they’re hurting. Ask yourself, ‘What are they afraid of?’ This simple question can help unlock many a difficult situation. Similarly, if you find yourself responding negatively to another person, ask yourself ‘What am I afraid of?’

Fear is at the root of every emotional problem and behind most problems in relationships. If you choose not to be guided by love, fear will take over. Hurt people hurt. No-one is unkind unless in pain. In relationships, love really does conquer all.

Co-dependent relationships

In co-dependent relationships, people think the love is genuine and unconditional, but in reality one or both are scared they could not survive without the other. Co-dependent relationships are born out of fear. They result from believing that:

  • Someone else is responsible for your feelings, including your happiness.
  • You are not separate individuals with your own identities and ambitions, but are merged into one.
  • Your problems are caused mainly by others.
  • You can control others by manipulating, ignoring, or threatening them, etc.

The roots of co-dependency are often to be found in childhood.

Co-dependency prevents individuals from taking responsibility for themselves. Real love in relationships can only exist when both partners are perfectly capable of being apart but make a free choice to be together. It is a decision made from strength, not weakness.

‘The biggest thing that keeps people from having the relationships they want is that they’re looking for a relationship to be the solution to their problems.’

 Anthony Robbins

 

©David Lawrence Preston, 5.8.2016

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