Somehow we allow the expectations and demands of our family members to be the source of so much unhappiness and stress when what we want is to be authentically ourselves and at peace with our relatives.
Too often, the conflict seems to be a choice between being authentic, which means no peace with certain relatives, or having peace at the price of being inauthentic. Making the connection to the power of intention in regard to being around your relatives may sound like an oxymoron to you, but it isn’t. Being peaceful and authentic can define your relationship with your relatives.
First, though, you may have to assess your relationship with the closest relative of all — you. How others treat you, you’ll discover, has a lot to do with how you treat yourself and thereby teach others to treat you.
It is my intention to: be authentic and peaceful with all of my relatives.
Let’s take a look at the steps you need to take in order to make this intention a reality.
Step 1: Identify your intention verbally and in writing, and develop a deep yearning for it. When you create a great longing for the experience of a peaceful family, everything will begin to happen to fulfill this yearning spontaneously and naturally. Rather than praying to a saint or God for a miracle, pray for the miracle of the inner awakening, which will never leave you. The awakening of this inner light, once experienced, will become your constant companion, regardless of who you are with or where you are. The dynamic force is within you. This force is felt as great joy running through your body. Ultimately, your thinking will become sublime, and your inner and outer world will become one. Yearn for this awakening to the inner light, and long for your intention to manifest.
Step 2: Intend for all of your relatives what you intend for yourself. When anyone criticizes, judges, acts angry, expresses hatred, or finds fault with you, they’re not at peace with themselves. Want this peace for them even more than you desire it for yourself. By having this kind of intention for them, you take the focus off of you. This doesn’t require words or actions on your part. Simply picture the people in your family with whom you’re not at peace, and feel the peace you crave for them. Your inner speech will change, and you’ll begin to experience the peaceful authenticity of both your beings.
Step 3: Be the peace you’re seeking from others. If peace is missing in your relationships with your family, it means that you have a place within you that’s occupied by non-peace. It may be filled with anxiety, fear, anger, depression, guilt, or any low-energy emotions. Rather than attempting to rid yourself of these feelings all at once, treat them the same as you do your relatives. Say a friendly Hello to the non-peace, and let it be. You’re sending a peaceful feeling to the non-peace feeling. The lower energies you’re experiencing will be strengthened by your peaceful Hi or Hello, and eventually, vanish as the divine grows within you. The way to this peace is through any form of quiet and meditation that works for you. Even if it’s only a two-minute respite during which time you’re silent, concentrate on the name of the divine, or repeat that sound of “Aaahh” as an inner mantra.
Step 4: Match up with the seven faces of intention. If you’ve forgotten what the universal mind of intention looks like, it’s creative, kind, loving, beautiful, always expanding, endlessly abundant, and receptive to all of life. Very quietly and with unbending intent bring the face of the universal Source of all to the presence of everyone whom you feel brings you down or interferes with your peace. This kind of spiritual energy will be transformative-not only for you, but also for your relatives. Your intention to be in peaceful relationships is now taking form-first in your mind, then in your heart-and ultimately, it will materialize.
Step 5: Review all the obstacles that have been erected on your path to familial peace. Listen to any inner dialogue that focuses on your resentment of others’ expectations for you. Remind yourself that when you think about what you resent, you act upon what you think about, while simultaneously attracting more of it to you. Examine your energy level for your tendency to react to lower energies with more of the same, and give your ego a reminder that you’ll no longer opt to be offended, or need to be right in these relationships.
Step 6: Act as if. Begin the process of acting as if what you intend to manifest is already true. See everyone in your family in the love and light that is their true identity. When someone asked Baba Muktananda, a great saint in India, “Baba, what do you see when you look at me?” Baba said, “I see the light in you.” The person replied, “How can that be, Baba? I am an angry person. I am terrible. You must see all that.” Baba said, “No, I see light.” (This story is told by Swami Chidvilasananda Gurumayi in Kindle My Heart.)
So, see the light in those others, and treat them as if that is all you see.
Step 7: Detach from the outcome. Don’t let your authentic and peaceful attitude depend on your relatives’ behavior. As long as you remain connected to intention and radiate outward the high energy, achieved your peace. It’s not your place or your purpose to make everyone else in your family think, feel, and believe as you do. The likelihood is great that you’ll see dramatic changes in your relatives as you teach them with your own persona how you intend to be treated. But if they don’t change, and if they continue their nonpeaceful ways, let go of your need to see them transformed. It all works in divine order, and the saying Letting go and letting God is a helpful reminder for you. By letting go, you guarantee your own peace, and you dramatically increase the odds of helping others to do the same.
Step 8: Affirm: I attract only peace into my life. I once reminded myself of this affirmation many times on a given day, particularly with my children and other more distant relatives. I also practiced this in grocery stores, when greeting flight attendants, when visiting the post office, and while driving my automobile. I said this silently to myself as an absolute truth with unbending intent on my part, and it worked for me all the time. People responded to me with smiles, acknowledgments, friendly gestures, and kind greetings all day long. I also reminded myself of the cogent observation from A Course in Miracles when I felt other than peaceful in any given moment with my family: I can choose peace, rather than this.
Step 9: Hold no grudges, and practice forgiveness. The key to having peace in all your family relationships is forgiveness. Your relatives are simply doing what they’ve been taught to do over a lifetime, and the lifetimes of many of their ancestors. Shower them with understanding and forgiveness from your heart.
This passage from A Course in Miracles offers so much in the fulfillment of this intention:
Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it.
Do you want happiness, a quiet mind,
a certainty of purpose,
and a sense of worth and beauty
that transcends the world?
Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed,
a gentleness that can never be hurt,
a deep abiding comfort,
and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?
All this forgiveness offers you.
Step 10: Be in a state of gratitude. Rather than being in a state of non-peace concerning any family members, say a prayer of gratitude for their presence in your life and all that they have come to teach you.
These are the ten steps that you can practice each day. As you work toward the absolute knowing that this intention will manifest for you, remind yourself on a daily basis that you can never remedy a bad relationship by condemning it.
Excerpted from The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
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