Ten Rules to Live and Love By
Whether you are dating, married or somewhere in between, these ten rules from Kathy Freston will help you make the most of life and love.
Rule #1: Look Through the Lens of Love
Seeing your partner through the lens of love rather than fear automatically elevates the relationship to a higher plane. When you can get quiet and note when you are projecting fear, you can make the adjustment to see through a different filter. So often we feel indignant or incensed, but upon closer inspection we will find that we are really afraid. Once we assume our partner's core goodness rather than focusing on their "guilt," they will be more free to show us their best, which accelerates the process of shifting our perspective from one of blame and anxiety to one of acceptance and peace.
Know when to forgive
Rule #2: Forgive
Being willing to forgive yourself and your partner, and to make amends when necessary is an ongoing process of cleanup. We all make mistakes; it's human. But when we hold fast to a grudge it eats away at our sense of peaceand serenity. If you aren't willing to forgive, you might ask yourself what habit of ego you're attached to. Do you want to continue life with unresolved issues hanging over you?
When we take a stand and refuse to let go of something, we can always find evidence to justify it. Or we can try to make peace. Instead of blaming or making excuses, we can clean things up and move forward. This is not an excuse for staying in a dysfunctional situation, but an opportunity to see innocence. Once we do that, we gain—or give—freedom to move out of a "stuck" place.
What to do when times get tough
Rule #3: When Times Get Tough, Relax
Relaxing when times get tough; assuming that "this too shall pass" allows you to roll with the punches. If you know things will inevitably arise to challenge you, you can be more detached when they do. Problems become worse when we dig in our heels and try to force a solution. By relaxing into whatever struggle arises, we remain flexible and open to inspiration and insight.
Even if you have a hard time letting go, you can at least observe yourself taking things very seriously, which in itself helps to detach you from the experience of anxiety. Whatever is happening now won't be happening a year from now, so just keep breathing through the situation and see if you can take things a little less seriously.
What do you need to learn from each other?
Rule #4: Find the Lesson
Seeing in the dynamic of the relationship the reflection of what you need to learn helps bring you back to what is important. Sometimes we get lost in the chatter of day-to-day patterns and lose sight of the soul's mandate to bring us closer to realizing our Oneness. The best way to see where we need to work on things is to observe who we are and what we do within the context of a relationship. Any time you recognize your impulse to create distance rather than intimacy, you can make the adjustment and get back on track.
This relationship, as with all relationships, is part of a curriculum to evolve into our highest potential. We come to know ourselves by how we interact with our partner, and by so doing we come to know spirit.
When to let go and pray
Rule #5: Surrender
When you don't know how to handle a problem, pray and meditate, surrendering the decisions to spirit. Praying and meditating aligns your limited energy with that which is all-powerful. Of course we don't have all the answers, but by consigning our limitations to our Higher Power, our burden is lifted. We need to be accountable for our words and actions and be willing to work through where we are stuck. We need to stay present and forgive. Beyond that, our creative power is fueled by spirit. By praying, we ask for help and guidance; by meditating we clear our minds so that the answer will become apparent. By moving aside, we create an opening for God to work miracles in ways we could never imagine.
How to honor your partner and help them find their own path
Rule #6: Honor Your Partner's Path
Honoring your partner's path and allow them the space to find their own way sends a clear message of respect. People need to work things out in their own manner and in their own time. If you try to help where help is not requested, you are signaling your lack of belief in your partner. If you back off and assume someone is strong and intelligent, strength and intelligence are what they will likely find.
Although we are all on this path of realization and expansion together, each of us is unique in our lessons to be learned; the way you do something might be totally different than how someone else needs to process a situation. Rest assured that Spirit is at work in all of our lives, and give yourself a rest from overseeing your partner's personal business.
Why you must keep working on you
Rule #7: Keep Growing
Keeping up your personal growth work means you will keep your mind sharp and your awareness keen. Read, study, and attend lectures; don't rest on the laurels of what you think you already know. The moment we think we have it all figured out is the moment things will come crashing down around us. Arrogance leaves no room for intimacy or growth, and is certainly not part of a spiritual curriculum. When you immerse yourself in learning, you will always have new skills and interests to apply to a relationship, and thus the relationship will always feel fresh and relevant.
The role of creativity
Rule #8: Be Creative
Following the path of your own creativity keeps you attuned to that which moves and inspires you. As you indulge your creative side, you become less dependent on your partner to feel whole. Creative energy is the force that breaks new ground. To sustain love, we need to continually fuel whatever inspires us on the deepest level. Also, creativity balances out the egoic and intellectual side of life; it teaches us to play and have fun. When we engage our passions, we radiate passionate energy and thus maintain the interest of our partner as well as having your own sense of fulfillment.
The gift of the present
Rule #9: Stay Present
Staying present keeps us in the moment which is where life is. Life does not exist in future predictions or past grievances; all we have for sure is right here and right now. Every moment teaches us something, and if we are busily trying to change or control something we miss the grace intended for us.
By allowing the sacred mystery to unfold without trying to tamper with it, we can move through anything with much more ease and simplicity. As we cease resisting, any so-called negative situation or emotion will have the space to work out. And by the same token, when we are completely alert and aware in any given moment, we are open to the subtle miracles happening all around us. By staying present, we see our partner for who they are; we hear clearly their communication and respond to it astutely.
Gratitude goes a long way
Rule #10: Practice Gratitude
Being grateful for what you have zeros in on what is working, which in turn magnetizes more of the same. Where you put your focus is where you direct your creative intention; so if you want abundance, be grateful for the vitality you have now. If you want a soulful relationship, be grateful for the soulful moments. Gratitude is like a seed you plant; it grows more as it is watered and nourished. Show your partner what you appreciate in them and let them know that they have a positive effect in your life. The acknowledgement of good will call forth more of the same.
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