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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How to Books, 2007

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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How to Books 2010

Peace of Mind

Peace of mind often seems elusive in this busy world. Nearly everyone agrees it’s an important ‘state of being’. How can we experience it? Is there a formula that could enable us to have it now and for ever more?

Some think there is. Many Buddhists, for instance, associate it with a state of total desirelessness. But for the vast majority there is no simple formula, although there are powerful guidelines:

Acceptance and non-judgement

Some would argue peace of mind can be attained by being happy, healthy and prosperous; feeling good about yourself and fully in control of your life. Certainly all this is important – but it’s not the whole story. The additional key to peace of mind is summed up in the words, acceptance or, to put it another way, non-judgement.

Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean ‘approving’ but it does mean seeing the world as it is, not filtered through a set of beliefs about how you think it should be; allowing others to be as they are, doing what they do according to their preoccupations and desires. You may not like their behaviour, but if you are constantly wishing they and the world were different, real peace of mind will always elude you.

A calm mind

Peace comes with calmness. A calm mind comes with a relaxed body. It is also closely associated with forgiveness – although the less you judge, the more accepting you become and the less you have to forgive.

The secret of acceptance, and therefore peace of mind, is to adopt the empowering belief:

Everything is exactly as it‘s meant to be, and always works out for the best. Say it out loud, at least ten times, three times a day. After a month reflect on the difference it has made.

This is not meant to be a recipe for inertia. If you notice something that can be improved or needs changing and are determined to do something about it, this too is exactly as it should be.

Naturally, the word ‘everything’ includes ‘everybody’ too. Adopt an attitude of non-judgement, then discord, anxiety and animosity immediately evaporate.

Time for yourself

Take some time for yourself every day, to relax, meditate or even just do nothing. The world demands so much of our time that we have less and less for those delightful moments of being alone to think our thoughts, dream our dreams and let wisdom germinate and take root in our minds.

The here and now

Keep bringing your thoughts back to the here and now. Now is the only moment over which you have any control. Let go of yesterday’s regrets of tomorrow’s worries. Each days has troubles enough of its own.

Avoid vows

Don’t make statements or pledges you can’t justify or have no intention of honouring.

Don’t generalise

Avoid thoughts and phrases that begin with, ‘I’ll never…..’ or ‘I’ll always…..’

How do you know? How can you make statements about the future right now? You don’t know how circumstances may change.

And finally…

Be mindful and diligent, stay focussed on the positive, and keep a clear conscience. Everything will work out for the best – and you will experience a wonderful feeling of peace.

©David Lawrence Preston, 14.6.2016

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How To Books, 2007