Finding Peace of Mind Through Relationships

If life can be summarized in one sentence it would be “relationship with the other.” The emphasis is on the word “other,” Which is not merely a physical entity like another human being, place, or animal, but includes subtle entities like thoughts, ideas, beliefs, feelings, sensations, and more.

What is our relationship with our thoughts? Is it a good one that brings peace or are we in conflict? Is our mind continually lost in unconscious rumination of the dead past or an imaginary future?

Are we receptive to the joy of the present moment? Or are we lost in an endless pit of chaos, conflict, and confusion? How do we eliminate this conflict? That is what spiritual seeking is all about, and peace has to be found through relationships. That is what this journey is all about.

We are not merely seeking a vague and preconceived idea of happiness but opening our minds to the possibility of now. It requires an investigation or inquiry into the nature of our relationships. I can truly be at peace with another when I’m truly at peace with myself.

Trying to “fix” the other in the hope that they change and conform to my ideas and beliefs is doership at its core. It is a recipe for further pain and suffering. Unfortunately, that is what our relationships have reduced to. Everyone trying to change the other on the basis of personal beliefs.

It is not about completely abandoning your personal ideas and beliefs. It is about examining your relationship with them because that dictates your relationship with people.

Nowadays, there is a lot of advice on what to do and not to do in a given situation. None of that works until you pause and reflect on your own thoughts. Where do they come from?

Doership is the idea that we are the doer of our actions. The belief that that which creates hurt in me is the action of the other, may it be a friend, parent, spouse, coworker, distant relative, business partner, or any other acquaintance.

This faulty understanding creates conflicts in relationships and makes life miserable. Not only for ourselves but also for others.

Another understanding is that though we appear to be separate what powers life and relationships is the same Consciousness that runs through each one of us.

Therefore, it is the Consciousness that makes events happen and not the individuals. Examine this! What I don’t like about another is something buried deep within my own shadow. Things that I am not consciously aware of cause discomfort.

And what I resort to in dealing with such discomfort is to create a diversion by projecting on another rather than investigating the source of my discomfort.

When I condemn, blame, and criticize others, it is my defense mechanism to avoid the painful image of myself that I carry within. Only a mind that is rooted in conflict is capable of such actions.

Therefore, through such actions, I strengthen that image which exacerbates the separation between the “me” and the “other.” Though I long for peace and harmony, my actions bring about chaos and conflict. But something beautiful happens when I am able to see my identification with the content of my mind.

I discover that I am not the doer of my actions. I further discover that even the others are not the doer of their actions. And in that moment of spiritual awakening the separation between me and the other ends. I become one with the other.

If my relationship with the other is uncomfortable or abusive, I’m perfectly okay with getting out and moving on without binding myself to that person with feelings of anger, hate, or resentment.

I choose to free myself and also free the “other.” I fully acknowledge that I suffered, but this moment or now is the only reality where I’m conflict-free.

In such a state of awareness, the mind becomes incapacitated to feel, hate, blame, malice, jealousy, fear of abandonment, or any other negative emotion in relation to the other.

What resides in the unconsciousness comes out into the conscious surface of the mind and burns. I find myself in communion or “Yoga.” I realize that it is the same Consciousness that animates this world of names and forms.

Therefore, I consciously recognize thoughts that perpetuate suffering by creating separation. It is so amazing that this simple understanding brings about such a beautiful transformation in our relationship dynamics.

We realize that the people who push our buttons and triggers are the ones who teach us the most. I’m not saying that you should deliberately get your buttons pushed, but recognize when it’s happening.

The inquiry or investigation into the nature of life happens only when the individual or “me” suffers. It leads to the loosening of identifications which disperses to contracted energy called “me.” What remains is the boundless energy or the pure awareness that is our true nature.