Just before a moment with another person starts “going south,” there’s a part of us that realizes something is about to go terribly wrong. Our usual response is to blame the other person for “ruining our day.” But, for those of us who seek the ability to weather this storm, and all those to come, there’s something different we can do that not only keeps our day from being ruined, but that elevates both ourselves and the other person – or at least gives them the opportunity to change their lives just as we are trying to change our own.
The nature of this change has nothing to do with what the other person has done to us. What the other person did presented us with a moment of grace – the opportunity to see that the reason this happened was so we could be moved to take the next step in our life. We can use this painful moment to prove to ourselves that first, our usual way of meeting such moments has never improved such situations, and second, if we begin to know ourselves and live from a higher level, we can begin to meet such moments in a new way that instantly makes them better.
A man or woman to whom and in whom the Truth begins to become a living force, cannot have a bad day or a bad relationship. It’s impossible, because everything that happens to that individual is used for the purpose it was created, which is to help the person realize the condition they’re actually in so they can be moved to reach a higher understanding that waits above them.
What happens when we’re hurt by another person? We either lash out, or we run the other way. Have you ever changed another human being by either lashing out at them or running away? No. The fact is, it is not in our power to change anyone. And because of our misguided behavior, these experiences that are meant to bring us to a higher understanding just keep repeating themselves… over and over again. But if we meet the experience differently, it brings us to a moment of truth where we have the possibility of changing not the other person, but ourselves.
This is the one thing that is in our power to do: Whenever someone hurts us, we can put our understanding first and remember that this person cannot behave any differently toward us than what he or she understands to do. Simply put, the person who is hurting us is doing the best they know how to do. We may want to punish them, but no one wants to be punished for their ignorance. The only way that person will ever learn a new way to be is if we stop punishing them for the way they are. But when we don’t understand that, we try to drag them through a change by resisting their negative behavior. And what do we do when someone resists our negative behavior? We just hunker down all the more. So our resistance to their state not only keeps their state alive. We’re convinced that we’re different than they are, when really together we make up the two sides of one bad relationship that perpetuates itself.
In the moment I feel hurt I’m in a space where I’m upset with you because of what you just did to me. But what I’m really looking at and feeling when I look at you, is me. My thoughts about you. Therefore, what’s mandatory in that moment is to realize that this space that I’m in – meaning my familiar sense of self- must be abandoned.
This is what is in my power to do: Instead of placing my attention on the person I say has hurt me, I can place my attention and my wish on Love. I intentionally place it on my understanding that, even though I can’t see it at the moment, the higher understanding that would free me from this moment exists right here within me and above me.
I understand that the other person could not do better than they’re doing right now, and even though I’m “certain” they’re wrong, I can realize, that certitude doesn’t help me. It doesn’t take me to the next level, and I can’t make the other person go there. Therefore, I must quit the relationship that seems to be the only possibility at that moment, and join myself to the higher relationship that I know in my heart is a possibility. Even though I can’t see it, I can intend to be in that higher relationship.
This isn’t easy. I know the Truth is a possibility above me, but right now I’m angry and upset, and I don’t feel any love at all. I know that my negative feelings are keeping this conflict going, and keeping me from rising above myself. I have to remember that above me sits Truth, Love, Goodness.
By contrast, I’m at a low place within myself. But there exists some relationship between where I am and where I long to be – and remembering that is the beginning of getting there.
Nothing in the universe can prevent a man or a woman who wants to know Love, who wants to reach the next level, from reaching it. The entire universe is set up for the purpose of us realizing our intention. The whole thing is designed for us to succeed at rising. When we understand the true nature of change, we can begin to intend that.
As we allow our understanding of the truth about our relationships to guide us, we will change… and we will know that change was made possible by something above us. We will continue to long for that until our life is one beautiful upward movement. Truth promises it.