Dealing with Challenging People
I am generally patient and respectful with people around me, and am considered to be calm and polite. However, at times we come across people who are excessively rude and harsh, and behave like a dangerous explosive as soon as we come into contact with them, for no reason. Such people are very, very difficult to handle. It can be anyone; the local grocer, a bus conductor, an auto driver, or some acquaintance. How do we handle such people? I often lose my temper with them and have a big time clash.
Here is something that can be very helpful when you are dealing with tensions involving other people:
Step back mentally from the situation or the person that is causing you stress; curb your instinct to react immediately.
Breathe Use abdominal (belly) breathing; deep breathing naturally relaxes the body. For deep breathing — be sure to inhale and exhale only through the nose. Let the abdomen expand outward with your inhalation and release back in with your exhalation.
Reflect on what’s trying to happen in the situation. Try to perceive the situation as if you were the director of this movie; how would you like it to end?
Choose your response. Let your response be thoughtful and conscious; avoid reacting which tends to be automatic and unconscious.
If you train yourself to follow these steps, you'll find that you can handle the stress that comes from dealing with challenging people.
Blessings on your spiritual journey,
Choosing the Right Partner
I’ve been in a committed relationship for 4 years, but my friend and I have grown feelings for each other. My boyfriend loves me very much, and so does my friend. Both are lovely, spiritual people, and I love them both for different reasons. Part of me wants to leave my boyfriend as a new relationship will be fun and exciting, but this will hurt him and shatter the life we have built together. My friend wants to be with me so there'll be heartache regardless of who I choose. What should I do?
To be in a committed relationship is to be loyal to one person and not share your intimate feelings with someone else. The fact that you have opened your heart to someone else means that you are not committed to your boyfriend anymore.
True, intimate relationship requires loyalty, respect, and honesty on all levels. Fun and excitement are fleeting and shallow. If you are looking for a long-term, committed relationship, there is a need for maturity and willingness to be with each other not only during fun and exciting times but also during the ups and downs of life.
Your choice of your life partner has to be based on wanting it yourself, and not doing it because of fear of hurting another person, but because you know in your heart that he is the right one for you to share your life with.
It sounds like you need to take time out from both relationships and be alone for awhile, to get more clarity and understanding of who you are, what you need, and what is really important to you.
Blessings to you,
Relationships and Spirituality
Greetings, I thank the grace of the Lord. I would like to ask this. I am a young man of 26 years of age. I am dedicated in meditation and focused in this spiritual path, I always look up to expanding my spiritual life. The thing is I have spend long time being a single young man, It’s difficult to get into a relationship with a girl due to the focus into spirituality and not wanting to loose it. So then is it good to get into a relationship as a young man while persuing spiritual growth?
It’s inspiring to read about your dedication and focus on the spiritual path.
There is no inherent conflict in pursuing the spiritual path and having a relationship, regardless of whether one is young or old.
If you feel the desire to be in a relationship, you need to be wise in choosing a woman who will have the same spiritual interests as you, and will support your dedication to the spiritual path, just as you will support her spiritually.
Finding the right partner, can help and enrich your spiritual life. But you should seek a partner only if you feel that it is right for you. Do not feel obligated to do so. Let God come first.
A Deeper Spiritual Life vs. a Relationship
How do I reconcile spiritual differences with my spouse? I want a deeper spiritual life and my spouse in not interested yet and I’ve been waiting and praying for twenty years.
This is a difficult situation to be in. I don’t think I can answer this for you. But if your spouse isn’t interested in a deeper spiritual life after living with you for 20 years, it seems that it probably isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.
Yogananda said that environment is stronger than will power, and if you have been in a 20 year relationship that’s a fairly strong environment. Something will have to give one way or the other. I have to assume that you’ve tried many things over 20 years to make this work within the relationship before writing such a question.
The dharma in this situation could be that you need to leave the relationship to pursue your deeper spiritual life. But would that really work for you? Twenty years is a long time to be with someone, and it wouldn’t be easy to move out of that situation. It seems as though there will be pain no matter what. But pain is often how we grow.
Sorry I can’t be more specific, but there are no easy answers to your question.
Why do my friends think that I don’t understand them when I’m solving a problem between my friend and his girlfrien. I tell the girlfriend to not to tell anything that I told her to anyone else but she does that and then my best friend betrays me. Can anyone please me how to solve this?
We learn so much from these interactions. First not to get between couples. Sometimes friends just want to express their thoughts and are not really interested in advice. It’s best then to just let them talk. Be a friend in understanding, commenting only on bringing the discussion to a higher level of consciousness.
Second, it’s best not say anything about the person under discussion. I’ve learned that my thoughts relate to my own understanding of life, but this understanding may not be helpful to another. Advice should be helpful and positive. Sometimes saying nothing but conveying love and understanding will do more.
If you feel the action of betrayal of your friend is true, then change yourself. This may be a wake-up call from God to learn how to be a friend. If the betrayal is not your fault, then the action should not concern you. In any event do not become angry towards him. Anger brings only more confusion and more betrayals. Keep your mind clear and open to love and compassion towards these souls who are struggling with their lives.
You can develop compassion and love through meditation on God, bringing Him into your life, listening to Him. You can also help others through this more enlightened consciousness.
Question About “Snooping”
Is it ok to snoop on someone before starting a relationship for a background check, or even on someone whom we are in a relationship with and have sensed dishonest traits about the other person and not willing to tell the truth? I guess it is ok as long as our intention is not to harm but protect ourselves. Or should we keep praying to God to turn around things for the better and not snoop, as snooping is dishonest and even we won’t feel God if someone snoops on us?
You state that your intention is not to harm the other but protect yourself. I suppose that certain types of inquires might be appropriate. Asking the advice of friends and family, for example. Consulting a wise and experienced marriage counselor, for example.
By contrast, hiring a detective would probably go beyond the dharma, except in unusual circumstances.
You are not going to find perfection on someone else if you have not found it within. Only in God can we find the everlasting happiness we chase in outward circumstances.
Marriage can bring surprises, happiness, sadness, betrayal and much more. It is not ours to know the future or our karma. If we think we are going to find the perfect mate we will invariably be disappointed.
So do what you must but do nothing for which you may have to apologize or regret. Offer your common sense actions into faith.
Energy, Magnetism, and Relationships
I’m struggling to understand if I have the right attitude. There was a man at work who tried to attract my attention and I would not give him any acknowledgement. I had no reason to speak him about any work related questions so I avoided even walking by his cubicle to prevent more occasions when he would try to force me to acknowledge him. I was forced to retire so the situation is resolved that way but after today’s webinar, I wonder if I am free of whatever caused the issue.
This is a very good question. From what you have described, I would say that it’s not as much about your attitude, as it is about understanding the workings of energy and magnetism. I would like to give you a little background on this subject before addressing your particular situation.
Many people today are not aware that they live in a world of energy. This energy is behind all matter and is the basis of all that we see around us; in fact, of all of creation. We as human beings, every cell of our bodies, are made of energy.
Because of this, it is important to understand how energy works. One example, especially as it relates to the question that you’ve asked, is what happens when energy, in the form of electricity, is passed through a wire. That electricity, in turn, creates a magnetic field around the wire. And this magnetic field draws more electricity to itself.
People are very much like that wire. They are made of energy which is also constantly passing through them. As that energy passes through, it creates a magnetic field around them. Depending on the person, and the amount of energy passing through them, this magnetic field can be either strong or weak. This field is sometimes referred to as the “aura” of a person. Although you may not be someone who can see auras, you may certainly feel the effect they have on you. Each person you meet will differ in the kind of magnetism they exude, and in the strength of that magnetism.
To return to your question, there exists an inherent magnetism between people. Most people are aware of it, but usually in a superficial way. For those who understand the principles of energy and magnetism, it is important to be aware of the kind of magnetism you direct outward to other people. I have found that when I meet someone who has a kind of magnetism that I don’t feel good about, I need to be very careful in how I relate to them. I don’t mean that I would necessarily be outwardly cold or aloof toward them. But I would be careful to not relate to them in a familiar way. I would try to keep things on a more impersonal level. In the workplace, this would most likely be seen as relating in a “professional” way.
The other very important thing to understand about magnetism is that when two people meet and interact with each other, whoever has the stronger magnetism will influence the other person. It’s simply the law of magnetism. This is why you may instinctively feel to avoid some people, such as you have done with the man at your work. It is tiring to have to do so, but very important to your own energy. It is especially important when you are engaging in the spiritual life and trying to live in a more uplifted way. This is why the concept of “satsang,” or fellowship with truth, is so emphasized on the spiritual path.
So to answer your question more directly, I would say that it is good to have experienced this situation. In this way you now have a direct understanding of how energy and magnetism work. And they are at work all the time! Sometimes leaving the situation is the answer. But when that is not possible, then it is important to be vigilant and strong in your own energy (as you have done), and to project this energy in an impersonal way. Familiarity is usually what people will project to open you up to their influence. If you don’t want that influence, then you need to keep your distance energetically.
When you are forced to project a positive and impersonal energy to someone, this also works in your favor magnetically. By doing this, you create a stronger magnetic field around you of that kind of energy. In most situations this will eventually be unappealing or unattractive to the other person, and they will not continue trying to engage you. But if they feel an opening, and that it’s a game you are playing with each other, then they may well persist.
If you would like to learn more about the influence of energy and magnetism in your life, I would recommend the book Awaken to Superconsciousness by Swami Kriyananda. Chapters 10, 11, and 12 focus on the subjects of both energy and magnetism.
Age Difference in Relationships
There a girl that I like. I have confessed my feelings to her but there is just this one obstacle between me and her. I actually younger than her by one year and she minds it. How do I change this?
One year difference in age is not very much by adult-age standards. So perhaps you both are still quite young! Nonetheless, we who practice meditation and yoga and who speak of past lives find one year to be insignificant! Speak to her about friendship and that friends are always friends regardless of their differences, which in this case, are slight. At age 33, one year of life is only a 3% difference — almost insignificant!
Perhaps this attraction does not run deep if one year is a serious objection. Perhaps she is not for you!
God alone is our nearest and dearest Beloved through Eternity. All else is like foam upon the sea! True friendship sees the Divine and the Highest in one another, not the superficial.
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