We are in relationships with everything – our thoughts, ideas, dreams, emotions, feelings, things, concepts. Every interaction we experience, every little thing that makes us feel, we’ve developed a relationship with that thing. Relationships are not only experienced via human interactions. Relationships are everything that you find yourself reacting to.
Let’s take money for example since money is something that relates to most people. When you think about money, you might experience feelings or emotions, good or bad doesn’t matter. We experience money. We experience the relationship we have with money. Notice that you have thoughts, ideas, feelings, beliefs about money. I wasn’t specific about what money you should be thinking about, money in general, your personal money, or someone else’s money, and yet you found yourself reacting to the concept of money.
We react emotionally to everything we’ve created a relationship with. A relationship doesn’t have to include a human being to be considered a relationship, it could be an idea, a concept like love, trust, forgiveness, security, the idea of feelings in general. We create relationships in our mind with everything by having a belief regarding that something, as a consequence of that belief, we feel a certain way, like in a human relationship.
However, we don’t see ourselves being in relationships with everything other than people. Being in a relationship with sadness, anger, forgiveness, compassion is not something that we regularly think about. But take this moment to ponder about the relationships you have with things that cause you to be in stress, judgment, anger, criticism or any feeling that you don’t like. For example, things like – health, money, love, your job, your car, etc. Whatever you come up with notice that you condemn it, disapprove of it, and prefer to avoid thinking about it because it makes you feel bad.
Now imagine that, that something that you dislike is a person. Your old car is a person, your health or your disease is a person, your money is a person, your thoughts about getting old is a person, your failures is a person, your current situation is a person, your compassion towards yourself is a person. That person is not some stranger unrelated to you. That person is you.
When we dislike, judge, criticise, ignore, fear and condemn our own created relationships with ourselves, we are the ones that feel the emotions. When we fear money, money doesn’t feel fear, we feel fear. When we criticise our failures, we feel bad, not the failures. When we worry about our health and fear the consequences, health doesn’t feel fear, we feel fear. When we don’t allow compassion and forgiveness in, we feel sad, not the compassion nor the forgiveness.
The relationships we’re in are not one-sided. Remember when you react to something you dislike, you are in a relationship with that something. We react to our own created beliefs in that relationship, making ourselves carry the verdict and the consequences of our own beliefs.
If you blame yourself, look for forgiveness in your relationship with blame. If you judge yourself look for compassion in your relationship with judgment. Nothing is set in stone in a relationship, you can always choose to change your approach or your attitude by letting go of knowing what you believe is the truth. For just a moment allow yourself not to know the truth. Then allow yourself to believe any truth you want that makes you feel good.