It is within relationships that we grow as individuals in everything valuable, because it is through them that we become stronger and wiser, allowing us to realize a love that transcends our unseen self-limiting self-interests.
With few exceptions, the usual focus of our attention and interactions with others is centered on our self and the fulfillment of its desires. "How do I feel about you?" "What do I want from him?" or "When will she realize that I know best?" In other words, the mindset of the false self, under most circumstances, is: "Me first." By forever placing its own considerations before considering any other, it remains the master of its own universe, even if all that revolves through it is its own imagined importance.
Through our willingness to work deliberately at placing our usual self in "second place," we agree not only to change the way we see our relationships, but we also agree to be changed by the truths our new relationships will inevitably show us about us.
The great inner life lesson to be learned in working with the following five suggested practices is that what we put first in our lives is our first relationship with life. And it is this relationship that secretly determines the nature of all others in our lives.
In any moment of consequence, be as willing to see that you may be wrong as you are convinced that you are always right.
Let anyone who wants to psychologically defeat you have their victory, and do it without revealing that you chose to give them the last word.
Let there be times when you don't tell someone everything you know about their problem, even if your understanding of it is better than theirs.
There are times when the greatest strength (and kindness) one can possess is to allow another their weakness without pointing it out.
Even when you know that you are solidly in the right, rather than rub it in, sacrifice your righteousness.
Use each developing moment in your relationships with family, friends, and coworkers to consciously change your relationship with yourself. Your willingness to strive to employ these higher ideals in your relationships with others will reward you with the Real Life your heart longs for.