Recognizing someone else’s world is different is how you have a successful relationship. When you realize their life and desires are just as deep and valid as yours, then you realize that trying to change it would be just as unpleasant as if they started telling you what to do.
Category: Successful Relating
ChatGPT is a recent software project that is fed huge swaths of writing and (to simplify tremendously) responds based on what it has read. We asked it to “Write a blog on peace in the style of Phil and Maude” and also did the same ourselves.
Notice all that you are grateful for in your intimate relationships: acknowledge it, speak it, feel it. They are the precious things of a life shared: the sound of someone’s voice, their big and small acts of service to you, what you learn from them.
Maude just went away to a women’s retreat, and on return, we talked about how easy a separation like that was; we retain the sense that we remain connected. We don’t feel distance when one of us goes somewhere, at least not as a sense of loss or something missing.
Understanding core values and learning what yours are is foundational to creating peaceful harmonious relationships. We differentiate values from wants and needs on a spectrum of ever-increasing importance. This scale starts with wants which are the most ephemeral, moves through needs, and then to values which rarely change.
We are completely undefended with each other because we both know that neither of us is ever going to attack the other. We are not in competition. There is never any energy emanating from a desire for power or dominance.
Doing is not the opposite of being; doing is activity, and it is when activity ceases that being comes into focus. We need a balance of the two. The problem comes when doing becomes so habitual that we never stop.
The path to contentment is to have the same feelings for others that you want for yourself, which is rather like the Golden Rule. It creates a positive feedback loop: the more content we both are, the more we trust, accept and love each other.
An element that permeates our relationship is that when we are together we are fully present with each other. We are not only there in the physical sense, but also mentally and emotionally. Feeling connected to another depends on each being present with their core self.
PHIL: We say that the essence of a successful relationship is having similar core values; recognizing that everyone is a unique individual, and joyfully accepting those differences; and a non-confrontational approach to handling differences. There are a number of other …