Think Before You Sink Your Relationship!
Key Lesson: To know the real pleasure of relationship with any other person requires no thought on our part. On the other hand, thoughtlessness wrecks any relationship into which it rears its ugly head.
The Secret Seed of True Harmonious Relationships
We have had sown into our minds a certain social contrivance, a convenient mechanical reaction called "tolerating" people who do not meet our approval. We "tolerate" those who don't please us or who rub us the wrong way. We believe that our ability to tolerate another individual is the same as learning to live in harmony with him or her. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
It is through just such a deception that we as human beings have almost lost the possibility of being able to see how true Love is being choked out of us and off this planet. As surely as there are objects that choke the throat, there is that which chokes the soul. Now let's examine this idea and learn what it will take to remove this unnatural obstruction.
We must begin by recognizing the following truth: All forms of tolerance have their root in one form or another of resistance, a fact that should make the next truth obvious to us: We cannot resist something, be negative towards it, and be in a loving relationship with it at the same time.
Here's what this means practically speaking: When we unconsciously think "I will 'tolerate' this person by putting up with his dark manifestation, but only because I don't want anyone to see just how negative he makes me" -- then we come to believe that we are "loving" because we repress our wish to lash out at whoever disturbs us.
Government and social institutions heavily promote this idea of "tolerance" to maintain the illusion of a progressive, evolving society; but to love one another has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with harboring resistance while calling it acceptance. Resistance isolates, separates, and chokes. Love embraces, welcomes, and breathes freely. But there is more yet to see here, if we will.
The whole notion of this order of tolerance is rooted in the idea of superiority, as only a superior person tolerates an inferior human being. When we are with someone, and we must "tolerate" him or her, we are in a state of secret self-love that keeps itself in place by having that which it quietly denigrates. But this unconscious state of self is only half the limitation.
Unconscious self-superiority keeps itself in place through a process of resisting what it imagines it isn't like, but by the fact of the negative reaction proves its unseen likeness. Shakespeare said, "Methinks thou dost protest too much," because he was pointing out that what we most strongly deny in another is what we unconsciously recognize in ourselves.
The first step in harmonious relationships is simple: We need only realize the spiritual truth that we cannot meet someone whom we are not like in some way, even if we don't actively express what we don't like seeing in him or her.
The deception is that we're sure we're unlike everyone except for those who match the images we have of ourselves. And so it goes that we live from -- see our lives through the eyes of -- a kind of "self" that is in a perpetual state of resisting anyone seen as being "not like me." But Love cannot grow where resistance rules.
We are not created to resist anything; we are created to grow through everything. Resistance to life kills the process of spiritual development. When we resist what life would show us about ourselves, we effectively close the door on the Light that wants to help transform us by showing us the things we don't know we harbor in our soul.
The human being is created to develop in the "likeness" of that marvelous Intelligence that made us. This Divine Intelligence didn't create anything that it fears or hates. It's a ridiculous thought to walk around and believe (as we all do because of the strong sense of self that it produces) that another person is our enemy simply because we feel enmity for him or her.
Now don't be mistaken, there are plenty of unpleasant people; our world is packed with them! But, given the negative effect of resenting others, and the fact that (for now) all we know to do towards those who disturb us is to resist them, could it be that when it comes to our human relationships we have been blinded to one of the main reasons for them? The answer is "yes."
Just as the wind moves through a tree and carries its pollen to the blossoms of another tree, our relationships are intended to be pollinations. They are intended to act as conditions for us that create between us the possibility of understanding that, in reality, there is no such thing as this separate self that lives only to create what it must then tolerate!
This idea of tolerating human beings can't possibly be the seed of something celestial. This part of us that has become a master of tolerating those whom we can't stand has come to be as strong and prevalent as it is because of how superior it makes us feel when we are around them. This unconscious self-righteousness is not an act of love, but a form of hatred; it is a weakness.
Just as we can be taught the Heimlich maneuver -- a swift action that can be taken to dislodge what is choking the body -- we can learn a spiritual maneuver that we may call upon every day, as often as it is necessary, to help us dislodge something that is presently choking our soul and its possibility of understanding the nature of true Love: This exercise is called the "You-I Maneuver." You can work with it every moment of the day, whether you're with people or you're sitting alone and thinking about someone.
To employ this maneuver effectively, you will need to be as sensitive in your interactions with other people as a spider web is to the slightest breeze. You can do this because your True Nature is created to be just this sensitive. Any energy that touches us sets off a resonance within us that we are created to be conscious of as it moves through us.
When we're around other people, and start to have a negative reaction toward them, what we don't catch is what occurs within us before it occurs to us that we must tolerate this person. In this moment an unregistered resistance impresses itself upon our soul, and from it takes shape a reaction that always begins with the word "you"-- as in "You are this," or "You are that."
There is this instant sense of separation between one's self and the person one is with; and from this is born an actual surge of pressure that surfaces inside of us that has identified the one outside of us as being the cause of our sense of conflict. But now we are beginning to know better than to blame another for the negative states revealed in us.
So in this same moment when we look at that person and feel this pejorative word "you" start to take shape, we are going to add the word "I" to it: Now it's "You-I." Inwardly you will be working to realize by this new expression something like this: "You . . . I have seen the exact same character in me."
For instance if an angry person comes to you, instead of tolerating his or her negative state, work with this maneuver like this: "You . . . I have seen the exact same anger in me."
This exercise is good for any negative manifestation you react to in another, so that you never allow the momentum of the negative "you" that is produced through intolerance to exist without understanding that the "you" that resists only resists seeing evidence of itself (through the life of another).
In that moment we disarm the lie of the "superior" self and steal from it its corrupting power to produce the illusion that we are different from the people we tolerate. And in the collapse of that opposite, Love and compassion are born. I can no longer treat you as someone to be "tolerated"; I realize the fact that you and I really are "neighbors" because we share a common pain.
My new intention is that I will not suffer you; I will suffer us. I will not cast you out as being something inferior to myself; I will not do that because I can't recognize in you anything as being an inferior condition in you unless I have it in myself.
Our work, if we're willing, is to catch that surging separation called "you are different from me." And then, in that same moment, to apply our new understanding that cancels this unconscious act of resistance. Instead we embrace the realization that "you" and "I" are both exposed in this God-given moment that God meant for the purpose of transcending ourselves.
Remember that tolerance is a lie because it produces a "me" that is always apart from what I am tolerating. There cannot be Love where there is separation. Work at the "You-I Maneuver." Learn to watch this low-level self that is trying to destroy the possibility of Love awakening in us.
Risk leaving yourself open by refusing to identify with the parts of yourself that would have you believe that resisting Life can lead to being embraced by it. Do the inner work it takes to make this exercise personally meaningful and you will understand the greatest secret on earth: everyone on it has a gift just for you -- if you will only take it.
(Unpublished Notes on Human Relationships, 2003)