What if all relationships in your life could be healed with one simple understanding?
There would probably be less fights, less divorces and less estranged friends and family members.
The secret to having successful and mutual relationships is much easier than we think.
It doesn’t require extensive therapy or counseling. It doesn’t even require you to talk to the person. It requires one simple saying that you can learn to embody in every interaction in your life.
Love them where they are. Love them as they are, not as who you want them to be.
As humans we are swayed by our own perspectives of the world. But no one else can see like you do, feel like you do much less love like you do.
So don’t expect anyone else to either.
1. Love you where you are
If you crave happy and fulfilling relationships with others, start with yourself. Cultivate a relationship with yourself. Take yourself out to a movie, buy yourself flowers, love yourself even when you are at your worst.
Understand why you feel the way you do. Journal. Think. Write.
Ask yourself questions and don’t just push your feelings aside. Because by doing so you are telling yourself that you do not matter.
The unglamorous truth is that you may have to spend some time alone. You may have to be single for a while. But I promise you, it will be the most worthwhile time spent in your life.
2. Don’t react just reflect
As children we learned how to respond to relationships. Before you could even figure out what a relationship was you had it modeled to you: by your parents.
In my childhood I learned to create contempt. I learned how to blame and judge the other person. I learned how to call the other person names.
There is no judgement. There is only acceptance.
So, when you find yourself feeling triggered by someone ask why. Ask yourself what wound in you is being pressed on.
Then don’t react. Just think. Just breathe. Just accept. Honor the other person and their perspective of their world.
3. Don’t put conditions on the unconditional
We all know that only loving someone when they buy you gifts is wrong. We all know that only loving someone when they tell you is wrong. We all know that loving someone only when they are there physically with you is wrong.
We are taught unconditional love the most in our platonic relationships and somewhere along the way we lost this basic understanding in our romantic relationships.
Romantic relationships got pushed under the heavy pressures of the modern age; leaving more and more young people unhappy, lost and stuck in relationships that leave them feeling alone.
So, in this growing landscape of technology I challenge you to see the simplicity in love: to love yourself first and then…
Love them where they are.
(Originally published on Thought Catalog)