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Question: In my job I must deal daily with a couple of dozen emotionally dark co-workers. I can tolerate just so many of these kinds of people per day (as we all have to), but a couple of dozen is just too many for me to take. What can I do to handle this situation better besides getting another job?

Answer: I know that it is difficult when surrounded by "toxic" people, however, as difficult as this is to understand, your present work circumstance is perfect for your continuing development... if you understand how to use it. I say "how to use it" because as long as you don't, wherever you go, you will continue to encounter "hateful" people, and your own negative reaction will use you up. Try this: Determine that when you walk in the door, your attention will remain with your reactions to these people and not upon the people themselves. This shift in your attention will help you realize what it is you really need to be free of... namely "you"! And "need" is the key word in this instance. You'll see, if you'll practice this approach, that it is just "you" jumping all over "you." Once this is clear, then you can jump out of "you."

(Chatroom Classroom, Transcript, 1998)

Question: How can a person feel in charge of his own life one minute, and in the next minute find it in someone else's hands?

Answer: You're right, it doesn't add up; and the truth is, it never will as long as you are figuring in false notions about yourself. No human being has any authority over you. Your life belongs to you and to you alone. No scowling face or irritated manner, no challenging posture or threatening tone has any power to make you feel nervous or anxious, frightened or angry. This is a fact; and anyone who is tired of letting someone else tell them how to feel can use this self-liberating principle to win true and lasting independence. Your true nature answers to no man.

Question: I recently finished your book The Secret of Letting Go. I am struggling to get over a relationship that just felt so good in so many ways. She left me because she had a feeling in her gut that it was not right. I find myself constantly thinking about her and hoping that she will come back to me. Images I see remind me of her and thoughts of her run through my mind all day long. I have tried counselors, medication, readings, and still cannot seem to stop thinking about her. I know it is over and she is never coming back, but my days are filled with despair and sadness. Is there anything I can do to shake these feelings? I tried to let go and stop thinking about her and move on with my life, but something keeps me from letting go. I want for this pain to leave and so I can enjoy my life and not have to depend on another person to make me happy. There are days when I wish that I never met her. I know this is a lesson for me to learn things about myself and I have learned things, but the pain in my heart is still there. If you have any words of inspiration and ideas that will help me overcome this trial in my life I would greatly appreciate it.

Answer: The real problem isn't that you miss her -- even though there may be strong emotional or other needs that repeatedly surface after being apart for awhile. The real issue is the sense of emptiness you feel. What we must do is free ourselves from the false sense of being incomplete without this or that person or condition in our lives. Otherwise we live as, and remain little more than, slaves of the person or possession we are identified with and "use" to fill the space left by their absence. That's why only new and true self-knowledge can help us clear away the misunderstanding we have about this life and what we are meant to do with it. There's nothing wrong with a lovely relationship with a significant other; the point is we can't share such a communion with anyone until we are whole within ourselves. Then our relationships are out of love instead of need. And believe me, there is a huge difference.

(Correspondence, Dec. 2007)

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