This article is a distillation of an influential, bestselling, blockbuster book. OK, I’m joking!
Taking only ten minutes to read, this piece may trigger a fresh start for an ailing relationship – or one you want but are yet to have.
At the very least, I hope that you will re-examine how you see your relationships and re-create them for the better – all of them, no exceptions.
The bottom line is: If improving your relationships is important to you, and this resonates, you will make a practical, powerful, positive difference in the world every day.
WHAT DETERMINES THE QUALITY OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS?
This article encompasses all relationships – each given equal importance – especially the ones you may not realise you have, from your life partner to the person next in line at the checkout.
You may not be aware of this, but you have a relationship – however fleeting or unimportant it may seem – with everyone you encounter.
Some relationships you enjoy, others you do not. Many you may not give a second thought, and then there are the countless others you may not recognise you have.
So, what is at cause in our relationships – their formation, sustainability, or demise? I suggest four factors are at work in blocking, creating, sustaining, or eating away at our relationships:
1: You and I are 100% responsible for creating our experience of our relationship with another – any other – all others!
Understanding factor 1 requires that we wake up to the actuality that in each living moment, the mysterious gift of Thought creates our personal reality and, consequently, how we think, feel and act towards another.
Before we understand factor 1, it seems that it’s all about the other person’s way of being in the world: their attitudes, behaviours, and appearance determine how we feel toward them.
We erroneously think that how they think, feel, behave, and look is why we are attracted, love, accept, dislike, cut off, hate, loath, or detest them. Not so!
2: It is the quality of our thinking alone (good, bad, or indifferent) that determines the quality (good, bad, or indifferent) of our relationships. What does that mean specifically?
The instant we become fully conscious that our thinking creates how we feel and, equally, understand that what we think determines how we act, factor 2 makes sense. Consider the following:
- Our thinking, via our conditioned mind (what we call our state of impossibility*), is often of poor quality, very changeable and always based on our past experiences.
For example, when in a low mood, upset, angry, frustrated or bothered, we are experiencing life from our past conditioning – our state of impossibility.
Until we wake up and recognise the reality of that and see life beyond our conditioned mind, see our life as if for the first time, we remain captive to our past beliefs, opinions, judgements, and prior knowledge: our state of impossibility.
Our thinking, via fresh Thought (our state of Possibility*), is always of high quality. From that state, we experience kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense (a state innate to The Realm of Possibility). We are at peace, experiencing our true self – free from our past – our conditioned mind (re-read the previous point for clarity).
3: From a lived (not an intellectual) understanding of factors 1 and 2, we will have improved our relationships with everyone.
How is that possible? The moment we experience a shift in our consciousness and see ‘that we think’, and that ‘what we think’ is our personal reality, we have the realisation that we are at cause in our relationships – the good, bad, and indifferent – not the other person or persons.
In seeing that we are at cause in our experience of our relationship/s, i.e., once we become aware that we, not the other person/s, are creating each relationship, who wouldn’t want to have a better experience?
4: You and I remain perfectly flawed human beings and can and will muck up relationships.
This point proves factors 1 and 2 to be accurate and factor 3 to be potentially false – false in so far as the other person may continue to hold a negative view of us. Their perspective is unique to them, and their opinion may persist despite you having experienced a ‘Copernican Revolution’ in seeing that:
- You created your poor relationship with them, have transformed, and are no longer the person you were. You are now kind, understanding and approaching that relationship with wisdom and common sense, rather than being driven by old beliefs, opinions, judgements, and your accumulated knowledge of them.
It remains that unless they too get a fresh start, forgive, and forget, they will live in a relationship with you from their past – failing to see you for who you are today.
Unless we continue to see that we are at cause in our experience, we will remain a stimulus-response machine.
Our challenge remains that we will, till our dying day, be 100% responsible for our relationships – a responsibility we may not always see we have!
STEPPING UP AND STEPPING OUT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Our attitude toward everyone is created by ‘Thought’ and how we use that gift, our ‘thinking’.
Without ‘Thought’ and what it produces, our ‘thinking’, we have no reality – no relationships. We don’t exist.
Being free to relate wholeheartedly to another requires that we loosen the grip our accumulation – our state of impossibility – has on what we see or see and experience as reality.
If remaining unseen, our less than helpful conditioning will continue to determine all our relationships.
For better or worse, our conditioned mind will always remain our reality. How well is it conditioned remains the question to ponder?
Failing to realise that our lifetime accumulation is not ‘the truth’ but simply our conditioning, we are and will remain a prisoner of our past, as will our relationships with others.
Remember: ‘Thought’ – its product, our human ‘thinking’, and our resultant attitudes – are determined either from the Realm of Possibility or the realm of impossibility.
– *The Realm of Possibility is the realm of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense – and exists before the known – our accumulated memories.
– *The realm of impossibility is our lifelong accumulation of beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge, and is the sum of our conditioned mind – our memories: good, bad and indifferent.
The most compelling example of the distinction between these two states is this: From a state of Possibility, we are kind in thought, word and deed; and from a state of impossibility, we can kill in thought, word and deed.
Having read this, how would you like to use your gift of Thought (as represented by your thinking, feelings, and actions)? For or against your relationships? For or against the common good?
It’s also exciting to consider that extrapolating from our personal to our global relationships is seamless when we see that we create our reality – whatever our reality may be.
Nationalism, racism, bigotry, homophobia, inequality, war, greed, hatred and religion – division and separation of all types – is a product of our conditioned mind, i.e., the realm of impossibility: our lifelong accumulation of limited and limiting beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge.
Being in a state of impossibility is not as we were born. We innocently learn ideas that create our experience of division and separation within our mind. These are reinforced, reconfirmed and expanded upon as we grow – until we wake up and see beyond our conditioning.
Our life experience is stored memory – stuff we have learnt in the past and re-experience unconsciously on cue in each blind moment.
Much of our learning is essential to navigating our way through life, e g., all the practicals: finding our way home, making a cup of tea, driving a car, using a computer, reading this article. However, much of what we know takes us down a dead-end alley, ending in damaged and ruined relationships, a self-sabotaged life and a life that takes from rather than contributes to a better, more sustainable world.
Being blind to our conditioned mind – yours and mine – is the unrecognised source of every problem facing us individually and facing humanity in its entirety.
Existing before our conditioned mind, and only ever an original Thought away, is The Realm of Possibility – our source of kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense, the essence of who we are, and holding the solutions to what ails humanity and planet Earth.
In understanding what you have just read, you are knocking on the door to the Realm of Possibility.
From that realm and that realm alone, we create kind and understanding relationships and a kind and understanding world.
Remember: It’s from our state of Possibility; we are kind and understanding. It’s from our state of impossibility; we can hate and kill.
From which state do you want to create and experience your relationships – and design your world?
Warmly … John
The Realm of Possibility Project – May 2021