We all know what it's like to find ourselves unhappy and in conflict with someone who just isn't giving us what we want or need from him or her. Whenever this happens, we usually find fault with these people, judge them as being inadequate, and then blame them for the negativity we now feel toward them. But how many of us are awake enough to offer these same people what we have asked them to give us -- before we ask them for it?
Even to attempt the following practice will reveal more to you about yourself than reading a thousand books on spiritual realization. To begin with, we usually demand from others those interior qualities that we are in short supply of ourselves. For instance, it is impatience that leaps to judge impatience. Unkindness finds others unkind -- and tells them so in no uncertain terms. Arrogance despises pride and makes sure that the proud know they are dreaming of unreal heights. On and on churns this cycle of disharmony until we go to work on ourselves, implementing the kind of true self-transforming principles that follow.
Whatever it may be that we find wanting in someone else, we must learn what it means to give that very thing to him or her. What we would have from others, or have them be towards us, we must provide or be ourselves.
For instance, if we really want the person we are with to be open with us, we must first open up ourselves. When we know we tend to be critical of others because they don't show us the respect we would have, we must show these same people the respect we want.
Now, add to these thoughts this last idea: Sometimes what we want from others, they just don't have within themselves to give. We make demands, for instance, that someone understand us when, at that point in his development -- for whatever reason -- it's impossible that he could. But wanting what we want, we act as though we are weary with him and become condescending. This behavior on our part only convinces the person in question of his own shortcomings. What can we do instead?
Give to him what we have of ourselves instead of taking away what little he has in himself. To give the fruit of such a conscious interior labor is to receive the goodness we ask for.
This exercise in harmonious human relationships takes a great deal of attention and, more important, a great deal of being tired of finding everyone around us not as good as ourselves. Our real spiritual growth -- our self-transformation -- depends upon what we are willing to give, and not upon what we feel we are owed.
Put these ideas to work. You will be shocked and amazed at your discoveries, and you will benefit from the healing that they bring to your relationships.