I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
-- William James
Personal relationships are as vital to us as the air we breathe. We all need friends, lovers, companions, people with whom we can share our joys, sorrows, fears, and successes. These interactions touch and nourish us at our deepest levels. We all need friendship, love, caring companionship, and a feeling of belonging, and yet often we remain distant and detached from one another, unable or unwilling to reach out and make meaningful contact.
We need new approaches and a greater willingness to explore the possibilities that exist in human interaction. If we choose, we can be a great source of growth and support for each other, and strengthen ourselves in the process. Discovering how we can enrich and empower one another is an exciting turning point in our journey toward more meaningful relationships. We find that when we open up, people respond and accept us for what we are. Instead of feeling vulnerable we become free, alive, vibrant, and awakened in ways we never experienced before. When this happens, every contact becomes meaningful, important, and enriching. What more could we ask?
Every Person Is A Star
Every person is special, unique, and deserves respect. Every person is a star. Your husband. Your wife. Your parents, too, are special, unique, and deserve respect. Every one of your friends, your boss, your waitress, a taxi driver, a dying old man, the neighbor's boy -- all are special, unique, and deserve your respect.
The realization that every person, no matter who they are or what their status, is special, changes our attitude towards them. We now willingly grant them the respect they deserve. They may not know they are special or show it in their actions, but we know it, and treat them accordingly.
Learn to see beyond what people see in themselves. Everyone has the seed of greatness inside them and you empower people by seeing beyond their imperfections and problems to their potential, their depth, their inner beauty, and their possibilities.
I first discovered the transforming power of treating every person as a star while lecturing in San Francisco some years ago. I was traveling with an associate and his family. We had difficulty in finding a baby-sitter and had to settle for a woman who was one of the most negative and draining persons I had ever met. She complained constantly about anything and everything, and whenever she arrived we tried to leave immediately so as not to have to spend too much time with her. I found myself thinking quite negatively about her and, catching myself, I decided to make some changes in my thoughts. I realized that deep down there was someone else inside, someone deeper and more joyous than the one we were seeing. I concentrated on picturing her in this way until I laughingly began thinking of her as the "ray of sunshine".
The next time she came over, instead of rushing out of the house I took her aside and said, "You know, every time you come into this house, it's like a ray of sunshine coming in". She looked at me dumbfounded. I went on, "We really appreciate you and your being our baby-sitter, and we're happy that we have someone like you here". She was speechless. When we returned home later that evening, I again began praising her as "a ray of sunshine".
The next time she came over I greeted her with, "Look, the ray of sunshine is here", and I meant it, for deep down I knew there was someone beautiful and wonderful there.
She smiled at me -- the first time I had ever seen her smile. When the others left the room she said to me, "You know something? Nobody has ever said something nice like that to me before. Never. Not in my whole life." I was stunned. Shocked. I couldn't imagine someone never once having something nice said to them. I wondered about her childhood and what misfortunes she had suffered throughout her life; what a hard life she must have had. I was glad I had changed my thoughts toward her, and ashamed at how I had previously put her down.
What A Difference A Thought Makes...
I continued to feed her positive, supportive energy and the result was startling. She stopped complaining, became pleasant, and -- amazingly -- within weeks the lines on her face disappeared and she looked twenty years younger. Everyone noticed it. She actually became "a ray of sunshine". This incident forever changed the way I look at people.
When you recognize people as worthy of respect, they tend to respond accordingly. You empower people by seeing the greatness in them. Maybe people don't see themselves as great and unique. Perhaps they feel worthless. Well, be their mirror. Show them that you see their potential. Show them with your acts, words, thoughts, and feelings. Every person's life is important. Every person has a contribution to make. Treat each of them as special. Your support could well be the boost or turning point in someone's life, so don't let a person's outward appearance blind you to their greatness. Bring out the best in everyone by believing in them.
As you adopt this attitude toward people, you will develop meaningful relationships with everyone you meet, and even a casual exchange will enrich both you and the other person. Our ability to help, love, and share with one another is immense; all we need is the desire to do so.
Human: Handle With Care
We human beings are sensitive creatures. If you doubt this, look at yourself, and see how easily you can be hurt or become offended. When wounded themselves, people hurt others. I discovered this by looking closely at myself. Whenever I was mean or hurtful toward someone else, it was always because I was suffering deep down myself.
Remember this the next time someone does something unpleasant to you. Ask yourself what pain might be inside them, and feel love and compassion for them. It's no fun for them to be aching inside. We don't know what fears, scars, disappointments, insecurities, and difficulties people carry within them. As the old saying goes, "Don't judge a person till you've walked a mile in his shoes."
A woman who was taking my "Thought Dynamics" course was thinking of leaving her job because a co-worker was so thoroughly obnoxious. My student had built up a strong dislike for this woman; in fact the two were not even speaking to one another. Things had been like this for almost a year when she decided to try something different.
Realizing that perhaps her co-worker was unpleasant because of some deep inner hurt, my student began thinking kinder thoughts toward her, and no longer let herself harbor her old resentments. Every time her co-worker was unpleasant, she silently sent love to her. No longer did she react and get upset, but began actively empowering the woman, remembering that deep down the woman was special, unique, and deserved respect. She began a nightly program of visualizing the woman as being pleasant, warm, and loving; she knew that, at her core, the woman was like that. She visualized herself and her co-worker as friends. Finally, one day she went over to the woman, apologized for not talking, and said she wanted to be friends. The woman was startled and didn't respond, but within days her mood changed. Now the two are friends, and their working atmosphere is joyful and pleasant.
This happens all the time. I can't count the number of times I have heard similar stories from people who changed a relationship by changing the thoughts and attitudes they held toward the other person.
Change Your Thoughts Toward People & People Change Toward You
Because human beings are so sensitive to each other on so many levels, we are extremely receptive to the thought forms we hold about each other. If your relationship with your lover, friend, business partner, fellow-worker, or parent is not what you want it to be, look closely at what thought forms you are unconsciously creating about that person. You may be clinging to and reinforcing the very qualities you dislike in them.
In relationships, as in everything else, we get exactly what we believe in, think of, and expect to happen. There are many possibilities in every relationship, if you are willing to experiment with your thoughts. Visualization allows you to build new thought forms and become a creator in your relationships. Create, don't react.
©1997. Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Zoetic Inc., Vancouver BC, Canada.
Mind Power Into the 21st Century: Techniques to Harness the Astounding Powers of Thought
by John Kehoe.
In Mind Power Into the 21st Century, John Kehoe has articulated a set of life-changing principles for charting a course to success and happiness. More than that, however, Mind Power Into the 21st Century presents a remarkably specific and practical guide.
Info/Order book (2nd edition). Also available as a Kindle edition.
About The Author
John Kehoe, author, lecturer and philanthropist, has been teaching people the astounding powers of the mind for over twenty years. He has spoken to hundreds of thousands of people around the globe, and served as a Mind Power consultant to numerous corporate giants, including DeBeers, Mobil Oil, and Dominion Life. Kehoe's books have become international publishing triumphs, topping bestseller lists around the world. Visit his website at www.learnmindpower.com.