Relationships provide us with our greatest opportunities for spiritual growth. Some relationships bless us with love and joy, and others bring challenges that help us grow stronger and wiser.
We can be grateful for everyone who comes our way, friend or apparent foe. Ultimately our foes are our friends because they teach us through important experience.
Dee and I recently did a real estate transaction. During the process we had a few tense moments in negotiations. Once while we were speaking with our realtor, I got a little hot under the collar and raised my voice a bit. Our realtor, a seasoned professional, did not get upset at all. Instead, her voice became softer and calmer. In contrast to my upset, she became a soothing, healing factor. Ultimately the transaction worked out perfectly for everyone.
When other people go low, that’s the time for you to go high. Every relationship is founded on vibrational agreement. You share an energetic match on what you are doing together and how. If someone grows upset with you or insults or attacks you, you may be tempted to become defensive and counterattack. Such a response just keeps going in circles and no one gets anywhere.
When you refuse to join another person in upset, you maintain the power to create a successful solution. “Let the one in least fear lead” applies to interactions between people as well as to the part of you that is in least fear. Your greatest power to get what you want and end a conflict is to stay established in your calm center.
My friend Jon Mundy used to be a Methodist minister. Then he discovered A Course in Miracles and began to weave its themes into his Sunday sermons. Some of his parishioners did not like the change and they began to complain. Eventually a rift grew within the church. “When I received a phone call from the region’s Bishop inviting me for a meeting, I knew he was going to fire me,” Jon recounted. “As I drove to the meeting, I kept reminding myself, ‘Don’t defend, don’t attack.’” At the meeting the Bishop fired Jon, but Jon went on to develop a new and much more rewarding career as A Course in Miracles teacher. Now Jon has published a number of successful books and he is in demand as a leading ACIM authority.
Will Rogers said, “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” If you don’t want to identify people as pigs, you can identify the pig element of the human psyche that finds reward in conflict and separation, and prefers to be right instead of happy. We are growing beyond that mentality. Should you slip for a moment and get into a negative vibrational match, remember Jesus’s teaching, “A soft answer turns away wrath.”
When eagles fly at a low altitude, crows sometimes come and peck at them to take away their food. Yet the eagle is much larger and stronger than the crow, with a wider wingspan. The eagle does not fight with the crow. It simply rises to an altitude the crow cannot reach. When crows go low, eagles go high.
Life on the planet can be challenging, and it can also be extremely rewarding. The best spiritual tools are the simplest. You have the power to heal conflict by turning to the part of your mind connected to your Spiritual source, and allowing your inner being to guide you.
Alan Cohen, M.A., is the author of 28 popular inspirational books, including the best-selling The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life, and the classic, Are You as Happy as Your Dog? He is a contributing writer for the New York Times #1 bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul, and his books have been translated into 25 foreign languages. His work has been featured on Oprah.com and in USA Today, The Washington Post and 101 Top Experts. Alan’s radio program Get Real is broadcast weekly on Hay House Radio, and his monthly column From the Heart is featured in magazines internationally. alancohen.com