PHIL: There are but two simple steps to having a wonderful relationship: believing such a relationship can exist, and intending to have one.
It can’t be that simple, you say, or everyone would do it. Well, it is, yet they don’t. Let me explain in more detail.
I know this kind of relationship is possible because I am in one, for over 10 years and still flying high. Previously, only one relationship made it past the three year mark. Did I change, did I meet the right person? Good questions, but they have nothing to do with the point that it is possible.
I know this from my direct experience, but you may have to take it on trust, and this is a challenge because many, many sources portray relationships as struggle, as requiring work, as inevitably containing conflict. This Darwinian view, of competition and conflict, sets you up for failure. Repeat after me: difference is not necessarily conflict.
You have to know or at least trust that such a relationship is possible before you can intend to have one. In practice, this means that at the points when you have a choice to introduce a note of discord, don’t do so; instead make a harmonious choice.
There are several reasons why you may think this approach unworkable. Firstly, it sounds like a recipe for acquiescence and defeat. The long answer to that involves discussing the spectrum of acceptance, but here we can simplify it down to saying that in a relationship, some things are deal breakers; they’re simply unacceptable. All else can be handled, and there are ways to do this without conflict, which Maude and I talk about elsewhere.
Another reason you may think this unworkable is that people have reflexive responses to situations. You’ve all heard “He/she made me so mad I couldn’t help myself,” but this says that you don’t own your emotions and you don’t own your responses. You don’t have to suppress your feelings, they are yours, but own them instead of blaming someone else for producing them, and take responsibility for the actions they generate.
When you believe that peaceful relationships exist and that you want to be in one, you have the opportunity at every point to make the harmonious choice, not the discordant one. Take it.
MAUDE: Intention and belief: two words that are keys to successful relationships. They are keys to entering the world of the unknown and coming out with what you want.
Of these two, belief comes first. You have to believe that a peaceful non-conflictual relationship is possible before you are likely to experience it. This sounds like a circular trap. How do I believe in something if I haven’t yet experienced it? Well, I admit this is one of the reasons we wrote our first book, “Secrets of a Successful Relationship Revealed.” We wrote it in order to share the fact that such a relationship exists, and to share our experience of it. If it exists, then it is a possibility for you. Look around you and see if there are relationships with this quality that can help you believe in their existence. Read about it if you don’t see it in your environment.
Once you have the belief that such a form of relating is possible, you have to make it your intention to have this in your relationship. There are many things that you cannot experience, unless you have the intention to seek them and most importantly, to chose them. Peace is certainly one of these. A relationship filled with peace and lacking conflict can only be brought about through clear, strongly held intention.
In any given instance in life, we get many images of what is happening. We get different read outs on how to assess a situation or occurrence. When we have clear intention, we will interpret and act from that intention. Indeed, this is not just a thought. It is a choice of action; to choose to give your energy to mutual solutions, to acknowledge harmony and unity rather than discord and division. Be committed to this outcome and always go for it!