Rekindle your relationships
Sister Shivani shares the secret of living in harmony with people in your life: Shift the focus from the other to yourself
Do you cherish that friend who gave you strength and support to tide over a difficult time? Are you grateful to a colleague who worked overtime to help you meet a tight deadline?
Enriching relationships are nutrition for the soul. But today, emotional comfort and care are often replaced by ego, conflicts, tension, expectations, and hurt. But the good news is that we are creators of our relationships, and it takes only one person—not two—to harmonise a struggling connection.
If we turn our attention away from others to focus on ourselves, we can bring about a shift in our consciousness—a shift that will let unconditional love and respect flourish. Let’s explore the different forms this shift can take:
• Shift from speaking well to thinking well: A relationship transcends words and behaviour. Our thoughts are the first level of communication. They reach the other person as vibrations and trigger similar feelings in them about us. So, if our thoughts about them are judgmental, then relationship would be fragile. It hardly matters that our words were polite and our behaviour, courteous.
• Shift from blame to personal responsibility: Often, we say “They were rude, so obviously, I got angry.” No one can make you happy or sad. How you respond to someone’s behaviour is always your choice. Shift from an automated way of reacting, to an aware way of responding—with stability, compassion, and love.
• Shift from expectations to acceptance: Expectation is inner programming that says, “I want people to be my way. Only then will I be happy.” Our expectations are based on our perspectives, capacity, and nature. They differ from those of others because we all have been on a long journey spanning lifetimes and situations. Accept people as they are. Acceptance means you do not get disturbed by their behaviour since you understand their journey. But you can instruct, advise, or discipline them with dignity.
• Shift from holding on to letting go: Soon after a conflict, do you go into long periods of negative silence? You feel let down and refuse to talk to the other person for hours, days, or months. You believe it helps to make your point, to heal yourself, or to punish them. But the communication breakdown reopens past emotional wounds and triggers toxic thoughts. Return to normal behaviour immediately, as if nothing has happened. Save the relationship, prioritising harmony over ego.
• Shift from seeking to giving: It is likely that all discords in your relationships are because of unfulfilled ‘wants’ which either of you had. Often, we start as givers but gradually shift to becoming seekers. Relationships cannot thrive on a give-and-take formula. Re-enter your relationships by consciously giving, not wanting. If you want love, give love. Shift from “Accept me, trust me, understand me” to “I accept, trust, and understand you.”
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