How do you treat yourself?

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“I hate you!” the young boy screamed and banged the phone.

Needless to say, I was taken aback.

I tried to trace the conversation in my mind. What exactly had happened? We were talking about his struggles with relationships and about how he was suffering from a low self-esteem. I expressed something and suddenly the entire conversation had boomeranged and from him talking about how much he disliked himself, it had moved to strong words against me.

He means so much to me. And his reaction triggered thoughts in me. There was a churning. And suddenly, the clouds parted, and the sun burst through. Aha, the revelation. Something that could potentially change the way we look at relationships forever. A single statement: How you treat yourself, is how you end up treating others. The innermost conversation that you have with yourself, are the ones you end up having with others. For the world outside, is nothing but a mere reflection of the world within.

Have you noticed, how in the presence of a few, you just feel so beautiful about yourself? You flower… you flourish… you blossom. You feel like your best self. You feel like everything is possible. Achievable. No dream is impossible. Every cell seems to dance and come alive. Do you know why? In all probability, the person feels this way about themselves. They are whole. Complete unto themselves. Split free. Flowing with bliss of love. And as one comes in contact with them, they spread this fragrance to you too.

Unfortunately, the opposite too is true. There are some people who are constantly questioning you, judging you, attempting to make you feel guilty. Why do they do that, you may wonder. Often, not even knowing what you have done to irk them so. I now realize – they are not trying to be nasty to you. They are nasty to themselves. And how they treat themselves within, is how they end up treating you in the world outside.

A person who expresses anger towards you all the time – is angry with himself all the time.

A person who inspires you all the time – is inspired with himself, and life.

A person who makes you very sad – is troubled and sad within.

A person who makes you giggle and laugh – has happiness bursting within.

How we treat ourselves, in the deepest chambers of our being – is the way we treat people on the outside.

The great news is – even if someone is treating you in ways you do not like, you have a few choices to make. The first is very liberating. It is this realization: This is their stuff, not yours. This leads you to feel empowered to change the course of action. The action could vary – from communication, to persuasion; from expressions to in very extreme cases, even removing yourself from the situation.

I firmly believe relationships are our opportunity to grow.

To reflect on who we are, and what we can be.

It’s a chance to love more deeply than we ever have, to express in the most liberating ways, and experience profound moments where we actually feel merged not just with one another but with Divine. My beloved guru Mahatria says, “To love and be loved is the most purifying of all experiences!” And each one of us deserves to love and be loved like that.

If you are struggling in one relationship, possibly the issue could be with the other or you. However, if every relationship is a struggle then there is something about your relationship with yourself that needs to be set right. Look within – see where the healing is needed. Let the love flow in and fill the gap.

Life is not enough to love. Where is the time for anything else?

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