3 Methods for Dealing with Difficult Relationships

The Holy Octave Medal Depicting the Eight Themes
The Holy Octave Medal Depicting the Eight Themes | Source

“Thank You for the people and circumstances of my life. …”


The Holy Octave Themes: Second Day - Thanksgiving

‘“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Ps 103:2)

Thank You, my dearest Father, for loving me into existence.

Thank You for this body, mind and soul that You fashioned especially for me.

Thank You for the people and circumstances of my life.

Thank You for opening my eyes, ears and heart so that I may see, hear and love You.

Thank You for taking me by the hand and leading me back home through all the dangers and difficulties of my life.

Thank You for loving me.

Amen.

(Meditate on all that God our Father has given you. Thank Him in your own words.)

- Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father


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Gratitude is one of the most powerful feelings we have at our disposal. Even in the prayer above, “Thank You for the people and circumstances of my life,” we see ourselves needing to be thankful to God for the people around us and the relationships that we have.

It’s been said that our soul, prior to its earthly existence in this human body, chose the circumstances on earth that can contribute to the soul’s sole purpose of spiritual development. For example, it’s been said that our soul chose its parents.

It is easy to be grateful when things are going alright within our relationships. Yet, most of us tend to take these for granted and forget to be thankful.

It is difficult to be grateful when all that you see in your home is hostility among the family members. It is difficult to be grateful when you come to work for a hostile boss or colleague every day. Yet, even in these, there is wisdom in being grateful; difficult relationships can be an opportunity for developing awareness or consciousness and thus spiritual advancement (Relationships as Spiritual Practice ).

We need to constantly remind ourselves, myself as no exception, to disengage from our ego-based self and just be aware, observe ourselves (e.g. by doing 4R’s) in interactions instead of feeding to the negative energy of the drama or conflict between the other person’s and our own ego-based selves. We are not our ego. Our true self is so much more infinite and complete beyond the usual ego identifications old paradigms have made us believe for so long. Notice that as we exert the effort to just observe ourselves in relation to the interaction, the energy of the negative emotion, e.g. anger, simply dissipates on its own.

Using the Power of Now

Eckhart Tolle has mentioned in his book “The Power of Now” how being present to the present moment, Now, transmutes the negative emotion to a positive one. This has been possible in my experience but as in the case of most of us, experiencing it on a consistent basis remains to be seen.

Using the Law of Attraction

There are others who have presented the idea of using gratitude as a powerful tool. Several well-known leaders featured in the book The Secret confirmed this in their experience.

The book makes mention of how to turn negative circumstances around, including those of relationships. An example illustrated was a gay man who constantly got heckled by the people in his office and in his neighborhood. The idea was given that the more we dwell on these present situations, the more of these we will be attracting in the future, according to the Law of Attraction, which the book presented as The Secret.

It then explained that the way to get more of the things we desire is to start with a feeling of gratitude and use visualization to “see” the desired circumstances as already happening now. In short:

Thoughts (Visualize desired circumstance as already present) + Feelings (e.g. Gratitude) = Desire

It’s interesting to note that the book mentioned that the more we complain or dwell on the negatives, the more of these will show up in our lives. So, feeling and thinking good isn’t really a luxury.

Three Methods

Three methods have been presented above for dealing with difficult circumstances, such as in relationships: prayer, awareness and using the law of attraction. As to which one really works, it really is up to the individual to experiment and find out.


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Holy Octave of Consecration to God Our Father

For some reason, I decided to begin this article with the Holy Octave. It seems to me that every time I reflect on one of the eight themes of the Octave, new insights arise.

For example, our saying Yes to God’s will, to me, becomes being aware or present to the moment, Now. Our being aware predisposes us to listen attentively to the present moment and open to its mysteries and thus its revelations or insights. The world becomes a world of magic and mystery, Heaven on Earth.

We all have different constitutions as individual persons. It’s always been different strokes for different folks. I hope my having come across the Holy Octave quite serendipitously may also lead you to your personal Truths awaiting your discovery or awakening.

Enjoy!

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