The Art of Relationships

We all want happy, harmonious relationships in our lives, whether they are relationships with a significant other, friends, family, our spiritual community, or our work community. However, we cannot have relationships with others unless we have a good relationship with ourselves and God.  

In Truth, we cannot help but have excellent relationships when we have a loving relationship with God and ourselves. So why are some relationships so challenging? More importantly, how do we change relationships from difficult to one that feeds our soul?

First, we have to look within and see what in us needs to be changed rather than trying to change someone else. I am not referring to changing ourselves to meet the expectations of others, but how can we see the relationship differently, and if we cannot heal it, have the strength to let it go?

An essential tool for relationship happiness, as well as our joy, is to surrender. When I say surrender, I am referring to letting go of the illusion that I am the power that controls all aspects of my life.

Yes, we determine our lives by our consciousness, but we cannot change other people, places, or things – only ourselves and our illusion that we can, bring us much unhappiness in our lives and relationships. 

We need to surrender physically, mentally, and spiritually to win in this life. Over the following weeks, we will look not only at surrender and what else is necessary for us to have peaceful, happy, harmonious, and loving relationships in our lives.

Quote of the Week

“Happy relationships depend not on finding the right person, but on being the right person.”

Eric Butterworth

The Futility of Complaining about Change

As we get into summer, the days are beginning to get warmer, and depending on where you live, it can be getting quite hot.  It is amazing how much we complain about the weather.  In the winter it is too cold, the summer too hot, or it is too rainy or too dry.  We think that complaining, somehow we can change it and make it better while in truth, it is the opposite.

The more we complain about things, especially about changes, the more we wind up tormenting ourselves.  Complaining about anything, only makes it worse.  Our thoughts attract things to us.  The more we think about something we want or do not want, the more that is brought into our lives.

What good does complaining about changes that are not within our control do?  Can we change it?  Can our complaining make the thermometer drop?  Of course not!  The same is true with all of the changes in life that cause us discomfort.  If instead of complaining because something is not as we would want it, we can use that energy to come up with ways to accept or adjust to that which we cannot control. 

In the example of the weather, if we are someone who does not like the warmer weather, we can take action by going to the beach or lake, seeing an afternoon matinee, maybe going to the mall, or just staying in our air condition home getting things done around the house or reading a good book.   The more we find ways to accept the things we cannot change rather than complain, the better we feel about ourselves and life in general.  

When we feel better about ourselves, we open up our creative minds and find even more ways to see the positive in the situations around us.

Quote of the Week

“If you don’t like something change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”  Maya Angelou

As we get into summer, the days are beginning to get warmer, and depending on where you live, it can be getting quite hot.  It is amazing how much we complain about the weather.  In the winter it is too cold, the summer too hot, or it is too rainy or too dry.  We think that complaining, somehow we can change it and make it better while in truth, it is the opposite.

The more we complain about things, especially about changes, the more we wind up tormenting ourselves.  Complaining about anything, only makes it worse.  Our thoughts attract things to us.  The more we think about something we want or do not want, the more that is brought into our lives.

What good does complaining about changes that are not within our control do?  Can we change it?  Can our complaining make the thermometer drop?  Of course not!  The same is true with all of the changes in life that cause us discomfort.  If instead of complaining because something is not as we would want it, we can use that energy to come up with ways to accept or adjust to that which we cannot control. 

In the example of the weather, if we are someone who does not like the warmer weather, we can take action by going to the beach or lake, seeing an afternoon matinee, maybe going to the mall, or just staying in our air condition home getting things done around the house or reading a good book.   The more we find ways to accept the things we cannot change rather than complain, the better we feel about ourselves and life in general.  

When we feel better about ourselves, we open up our creative minds and find even more ways to see the positive in the situations around us.

Quote of the Week

“If you don’t like something change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”  Maya Angelou

Remember Gratitude

I hope you all had a fun Memorial Day holiday. More importantly, I pray that amidst all the picnics, barbeques, weekend getaways, beach days, or just plain relaxing, you took some time to remember those who gave their lives for this country and all the loved ones that are no longer with us.

Memorial Day is also an excellent opportunity to remember all the things we have to be grateful for in our lives. Gratitude not only for what is but for what was and is yet to be. Being thankful is good for our souls and helps us stay out of self-pity and thus allows us to see all that we have rather than what is missing. Remembering in gratitude for the good things in our lives – past, present, and future makes us more aware of the positive.

Like attracts like. So spending time thinking about what is right with the world and in our lives brings even more things to be thankful for. If you don’t believe it, try making a daily gratitude list and seeing if it doesn’t open you up to receive all the good God has in store for you.

Quote of the Week

“When some things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the many things that are going right.”

The Tiny Buddha

The Masks we wear

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!  I love Halloween – love dressing up in a costume and being someone else for a day.  However, we often don’t just don a mask for a holiday, but wear a mask every day. 

According to Carl Jung, psychologist, we all wear a “mask” which he called our “persona”.  The persona is the part of us we show to the world.  It allows us to hide our true selves and play a part we believe we need to survive.  Jung says, “One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.”

Have you ever asked yourself, “who is the real me?”  We often are so accustomed to wearing our persona (mask) that we forget who we truly are.  I believe we are part of God and God is part of us.  We often lose sight of our Divine Nature because we are so wrapped up in keeping appearances we believe we need.

In Unity, we believe that there is One Presence and One Power and that Presence and Power are within all of us.  Too often we forget that.  We forget that whatever life may be giving us – including pandemics, economic difficulties, health challenges, etc. – we can walk through it knowing that we have that Presence and Power within us.  There is nothing, nothing, that we have to do alone.  

Maybe it is time to remove our masks, put down our attachment to our persona, and allow ourselves to truly be who we were created to be, part of the One and the One a part of us – to carry our light into the world to help light the way of others.  Knowing that, and BELIEVING that, makes all things possible no matter how impossible they may seem.

Quote of the Week

“…the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” 

Carl Jung

The Summers of California

I don’t know about anyone else but for me, there are two summers, and we are in the midst of summer 2.  I see summer as divided into summer 1 and summer 2 and they are both different in the weather of the world and the weather of our spirit.

Summer 1 begins on Memorial Day weekend and ends around the middle of July.  Summer 1 gives many opportunities to find joy in a world of beauty.  Flowers abound in color, scent, and beauty in our gardens and our vegetables abound in abundance.  In this part of summer, it is a pleasure to be outside enjoying the warm summer breezes and evenings outside in the sun of longer days.

Here in CA the sun feels good after the June gloom but that feeling and the novelty of summer usually runs its course by August in the midst of summer 2.  In summer 2 all things change.

Our plants have either gone to seed or are burnt to crispy ends because of the lack of rain and the long days in the summer sun.  It is too hot to enjoy being outside after 8 in the morning.  Lawns are filled with all kinds of weeds, which unlike our plants, seem to thrive in the heat of midsummer sun.

However, it does have its good points.  The heat means we need to retreat to either AC or the pool or cool waves of the ocean.  It also gives us an excuse to enter the cool dark environment of a movie theater.  There is something wonderful about escaping into a movie theater in the middle of a hot summer day to escape into the fantasy of the big screen and the cool temperatures.  

Summer 2 gives us the choice of being active or inactive and knowing both are ok!

Quote of the Week

“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”  

Sam Keen