“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Not only do I get daily emails from readers, but I’m lucky enough to go for coffee or bubble tea or lunch with readers who live close by. Amy Zoe, a writer and life innovator (don’t you just love that title?) from the Kansas City area, contacted me a month or so ago for just such a get-together.
We had a fabulous conversation and she offered to share her talent on my blog. As you all know, I’m all about Show and Tell.
So here’s the amazing Amy Zoe shouting out from the love train:
If you’ve ever endeavored to manifest intentions, you know your thoughts wield a lot of power. It’s as if our thoughts spin a web in the mind of consciousness to capture and make manifest the desires of our heart.
This creative process is not limited to our want for material things, but also expresses itself within our daily interactions with others.
Often, when we engage in communication that doesn’t go well, we attach to our negative feelings and focus attention on what we don’t like about the other person’s behavior, or worse, we decide that we dislike them entirely.
When we focus our thoughts and emotions in this way, we may not recognize that we are manifesting and potentially creating more of what we do not want. If we value improving our interactions with those we find challenging, we have the opportunity through our intentions and feelings, to manifest something entirely different.
Here’s an example from my own life…
For several years, I worked with a woman many of my colleagues considered “difficult.” At times, she was abrasive, condescending, and arrogant towards people at work. Most of my co-workers had written her off as a bad seed and avoided interactions with her.
I, also, had moments of finding her behavior challenging. After one particularly bad exchange, I knew I needed to shift my thinking or our relationship would be doomed to a back and forth of perpetual pettiness.
In that moment, I opened myself up to seeing her differently. I decided that instead of focusing on her “bad behavior,” I wanted to see all of her beauty and understand her complexity.
As a result of setting those intentions and putting a little love behind my thoughts, I began to be exposed to another side of her that was in stark contrast to how many viewed her.
I saw how excited she was to share her professional experience with others, her willingness to provide opportunity to those who were new to her profession, her generosity to those she worked closely with, and ultimately her exceptional talent within her field.
I also began to understand that in most instances her challenging behaviors were just momentary responses to feeling overwhelmed, her gruffness, the result of a life marked by personal difficulty, and more than anything else, I sensed how alone and insecure she felt.
These insights helped me tremendously in my interactions with her. No longer was I inclined to rush to judgement when I perceived she was being curt. I had a newfound respect and compassion for her that alleviated much of the heaviness that existed in our previous exchanges. My picture of her was based on something much larger than an isolated moment in time.
When our professional paths separated, I could genuinely say that I cared for her well-being and knew I would miss her.
If an exchange with someone leaves us feeling less than congenial, instead of getting behind feelings of anger and resentment, we can choose to get behind feelings of love and kindness. We can envision our conversations with that person being authentic and set the intention to see what is beautiful about them.
This path does not guarantee others will change their behavior, as they are co-creators in the relationship. It does, however, afford those of us setting the intentions, to see that person through the eyes of Love…the most powerful force in the Universe.
A lifelong seeker of spiritual truth and aspirant of personal growth, Amy is committed to inspiring others to identify their passions, chart a course, and navigate life at full capacity.
Her writing can be found on her website: http://www.abelovedlife.com.
Once, in a three-bedroom pension in Austria, I got locked in a tiny bathroom. I hollered out to my hosts, “Help! I can’t open the lock.” They spoke no English so obviously they didn’t rush to my aid. Instead, they probably scratched their head, wondering what the crazy American girl was yammering about so early in the morning.
Not wanting to miss even an hour of my fabulous solo Eurail adventure, I got louder and louder in my attempts to arouse their assistance. Finally, they came to the door and started asking what I presumed were questions, but since I speak no German, I had no idea what they were asking.
This story (and, yes, for those who are wondering, I finally did get free from that tiny 3-foot by 4-foot lock-up) demonstrates what I think is going on in the world today, particularly American politics. People are speaking two different languages.
Since I’ve spent much of my life writing books about what I consider to be the biggest secret in the world (that we all really love each other), I’d like to offer some translation assistance:
1. What they say: Life Sucks
What they really mean: I’ve memorized an emotional state of suffering and have set up neural pathways that can see little else. Secretly, I know the world is beautiful.
2. What they say: You suck
What they really mean: I’ve picked up cues from my background that suggest you’re different from me. So I’m scared and prefer to keep my distance. In reality, I love you and know we are one.
3. What they say: Your politics suck.
What they mean: I’ve learned this unfortunate habit of jumping to conclusions and shutting out all evidence that differs from my safety zone. I’d really like to shut up long enough to hear what you have to say. I know we have more in common than we have differences.
Or if that fails, do what I do. Play the opposite game. When people start spouting unhappiness, inanities and misinformation, I know they’re simply replaying old tapes and need my love more than ever.
Pam Grout is the author of E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.