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 certain false sense of "I" that always resists anyone seen as being "not like I am." But love cannot grow where resistance rules.
We have not been given this precious life in order to go through it resisting everything that doesn't suit us; rather we are created to grow through whatever we meet along the way. Resistance devitalizes the possibility of our spiritual development, rendering useless the conditions in our lives that we are given in order to rise above them. When we resist what others show us about ourselves, we close the door on the possibility of transcending the undiscovered parts of us that are troubled by them. Freedom is not found by avoiding what disturbs us, but by illuminating -- realizing and releasing -- whatever may dwell in the dark of us that can be disturbed.
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, just so we're clear on this, 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 about 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 help "pollinate" the soul so that true understanding of why we are here on Earth can flower within it. We grow through our relationships with life, which means that through them we are shown possibilities about ourselves we never knew existed. To exclude any of these discoveries is to deny ourselves the truth of ourselves, something the Truth within us would never do.
We need a new intention in all of our relationships, something like this: "I will not suffer you; instead I will work to be increasingly conscious of us, suffering what I must for the sake of both of us. I will not cast you out as being something inferior to myself; I will not do that because it's impossible to recognize any 'inferior' condition in you unless something of it exists in myself as well."
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.