You can benefit from the positive help of your key people and leave the bad behind now. Take five or ten quiet, pleasant minutes regularly and get to know the influences inside you. Simply, review the nature of all the key people in your life — slowly, one at a time.
Let us now proceed to the Four Exercises for Fulfillment. Start with the first Exercise — Understanding Your Mother or Father.
Exercise One — Understanding Your Mother or Father
Start with your mother or father, and enjoy clarifying in your mind what good influences you received.
For example, appreciate your mother with your whole heart and reflectively consider:
||Dear Mother, I love you. When you were raising me, what were your views of the world? Were you happy, and in love? Were you confident? Did you love Dad? Were you happy in your relationship with him? Did you feel loved? Did you want to give birth to me? Did you enjoy having me around? As you brought me up, did you love me? Were you generally happy with the way I developed? What were you thinking when you looked at me that way? Or when you said…? Mother, were you often afraid? What were your hurts, fears, disappointments? What were the main influences in your life, Mother? Why did you think the way you did? Why did you speak and act the way you did? (Consider numerous specific examples you find stored inside you.)
Dear Mother, what did you think about life itself? What were your attitudes about the world? What did you think of other people, other nations, religion, business, sex, money, work, virtue, the soul? Did you have deep feelings about God? What, if anything, really bothered you, Mother? And, what inspired and delighted you most?
Each Key Person
Proceed in this manner while thinking of each key person. Calmly and appreciatively conduct an interview with your past. Add your own questions and vivid examples. Remember to pause for more than a minute after each question to deeply sense the influences inside you regarding that key person.
If recalling a particular key person is too painful for you, don’t do it. Go on; conduct the exercise while thinking of another key person. Likely, in time, you will be calm enough to recall the negative influences in your life without fear or bitterness.
Sometimes, too, you may wish to directly ask your heartfelt questions to your mother, father, and other key persons — if they are alive and willing. If you do conduct a real interview you may be amazed with the fresh insights your key people will spark as they share their points of view. Renewed understanding and compassion occur. Often a child misjudges his parents because he doesn’t comprehend what his key people are going through. However, even if you are unable to talk directly with a key person from your past, Exercise One will immeasurably improve your recognition of many dominant themes in your inner and outer world.
Not only does regular practice of recall reveal your influences, it enables you to choose new and better directions for your life.
NOTE: If you were particularly abused at some point in your past or, for whatever reason, find yourself confused and unable to cope, seek professional help. Be good to yourself and give yourself a chance — today. Don’t wait around and suffer; get moving! Get help today! A more perceptive understanding can help you to create a truly satisfying life.
Exercise Two — Today’s Companions
Who are your companions? It’s very important to take half an hour, every month or so, and ponder your companions. The days pass and your key people are influencing you constantly. It’s essential to take time and understand what’s happening to you as a result of your relationships. This exercise will not only tend to free you of harmful influences, but you will, assuredly, become a more thoughtful and appreciative friend.
Sit comfortably and recall your companions, including work associates, one at a time. Feel you are calmly, and with good will, facing a companion. Mentally ask each of these questions and pause after each one to think deeply:
||What are your views of the world? Of life? Of yourself?
What are you doing with your life? Your resources? Your goals and dreams?
What do you think of me? Of our relationship? Of our future?
What are your values? What values do we share? What values don’t we share?
What is your view of the future?
How is our relationship going?
How can we make our relationship even better?
How can I be a better companion to you?
Do you find yourself in accord with what your companions and associates are doing with their thoughts, feelings, and actions? Remember, everyone has problems. Love and appreciate your companions but you must become aware of the impacts — positive or negative — which they are significantly contributing to your thoughts, feelings, actions, and view of the world.
If your companions are destructive, they are also destroying you. You may not be doing them much good either. Work to change your destructive relationships into finer ones through your development of higher consciousness. If you find in a short time that you’re not making headway toward more constructive companionships, try again! If you continue to meet great resistance, seek other companions and start a new, exciting life. But be sure your new relationships are genuine — avoid a cult of shared fantasies. Find companions whom you admire and appreciate, and who are truly constructive in the give-and-take of daily life.
Exercise Three — Your Mate
If you are married, your mate is probably the most important influence in your life. Hopefully, your beloved is a true companion and friend to you. Likely, he or she is deeply happy in your times of happiness and deeply touched when you are. Your mate sorrows with you in the sad times and struggles beside you wholeheartedly in times of challenge and difficulty.
Chances are you know much of the time what your companion is thinking and feeling, what would make your mate happier, what your mate is concerned about. Even in a silent moment, you and your partner are communicating. You can tell by a look, or just sensing the atmosphere, what is on your beloved’s mind.
You and your mate have truly joined together. You are wedded and blended into one another through the love of your hearts, the sharing of your thoughts, and the weaving of your individual days into a lifetime together. So deeply are you joined that your partner can be the most freeing influence in your life, welcoming you from old thoughts, influences, and habits of conduct, into a new shared heaven. In your partner is a chance for renewal, a chance for self-discovery in the presence of a dear friend.
Your partner is your fellow traveler in your personal life journey. If you two are well met and well married, then you share with one another a truly great life, a life that makes the rest of the world envious, a life that people around you, near and far, would love to experience themselves. From your life and your love will come a happy home. From your love and your sharing will come a sense of security and nurture that makes countries strong.
In your love for one another you will, certainly, sense not only your own souls, but you will see in the deep beauty of your partner’s eyes the love of your partner for you, an eternal, unconditional loving that too few mortals have ever known.
On the other hand, perhaps your marriage is not fully happy or, possibly, your marriage is downright unhappy, a wedding of your individual problems compounded by those which have been created by the two of you together. Perhaps you live in held-back tears, in crushed dreams. The world seems so empty.
With your heart’s great love eclipsed and your mind in shadows, the world and society are deprived of your contribution. All the good that you feel, all the kindnesses you wish to share with others, are probably blocked — held back, in your pain — and the hard lessons of your life are burdensome.
In your sorrows and in your longing, you are very likely not seeing the world, with all its possibilities, as well as you could be seeing it. Likely, you are not fully alive to the opportunities that may be coming your way. Possibly, also, the chances for deeper understanding and reconciliation with your partner are being missed as well in your mutual or personal agonies.
Unless you recognize these negative influences, they will rob you of your life. You will spend your years in a shrouded world and never know how bright and personal the light of love and higher consciousness can be. You will never know your true potential or express it freely and productively.
Whether your marriage is going well or badly, you and your mate continually influence one another. Your companionship is extraordinarily deep. You know and affect one another on all levels. Being wedded, you have, in many ways, not only joined your physical beings but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually you are fused and diffused in one another. You are profound influences on one another.
Here is an exercise that you might wish to try alone, and together, in order to enrich your companionship, or in order to renew and reestablish it.
If you practice this exercise alone, simply feel that you are sitting with your beloved partner, perhaps holding both of your partner’s hands in yours and speaking directly to your partner, pausing after each sentence to reflect on each important point — sending your love and insight.
And, of course, at the end of the exercise, feel free to continue with questions and thoughts which are very important for you to consider and find answers for.
If, on the other hand, you and your partner wish to do this practice together, sit facing one another, feel love for one another, and then join hands. When you have joined hands, determine which of you will ask the questions. Remember to let the one who asks the questions continue through the whole set.
Say To Your Beloved
Pause after each declaration or question to give the answering partner lots of time for a full response. Allow pauses; wait until you both agree it’s time to go on to the next question.
Don’t rush. This is quality time, this is some of the most important time in your life. Remember, companionship is more powerful than most all the other influences in your life.
As best you can, appreciating your partner with your whole being, begin:
||My beloved, I love you. I care about you. I am your friend. Help me to know you and to love you more.
My beloved companion, are you happy with your life? Do you like the way your life is turning out? Do you like where we are going together? Where do you feel we are coming from? Where do you feel we are going? What are the main things that we share?
Today, what are your main concerns? What are your worries and fears? How can I help you with these concerns, worries, and fears?
Looking at your life in the long view, what are your most important goals? How can I help you with them?
Looking at our life together in the long view, what do you feel our most important goals are? What do you feel is your part in the achievement of our shared goals? What do you feel my part is?
Looking at our life in a short-range way, what are the main goals that you are working on right now? How can I help you with them?
In terms of our life these days, are there some things I don’t seem to understand that you would like me to understand better?
Are you happy physically? Are you happy emotionally? Are you happy mentally? Do you have good self-esteem? Are you happy spiritually? Are you happy with our love for one another? Are you happy with the way you love me? Are you happy with the way I love you? I would like to love you more and more. Please help me to love you more. Please be kind and tell me, show me, in what ways I might more fully give you my love and enrich your life.
How can I be a better friend and companion?
When I touch you, what does my touch feel like?
When I speak to you, what do I sound like? Can you hear the love in my voice?
When I look at you, does my love come through my eyes?
When I say your name, can you feel that I love you in the way I say your name?
When you are shopping or traveling and suddenly think of me, what happens in your heart? What thoughts fill your mind?
When we say goodbye and have to be apart for a while, what thoughts and feelings fill your mind and heart?
In conclusion, my beloved, I open my heart to you. I open it to even more love. I open my mind to you and even more understanding. I open my being to you, for you and I are one. I recognize the love that makes us and holds us as one. You are my companion; you are myself. Love me to love you more.
Exercise Four — Your Spiritual Companion
Wonderful is the life of a man and woman who not only love one another but also recognize and adore the spiritual nature in their companion! Companionship being stronger than willpower, generally mates who are conscious of spirit (the essence of life) find tremendous inspiration and comfort from one another. When one partner is weak or blue, spiritual strength flows to him or her from a spirit-filled mate. And, when both are spiritually in touch with the Lord of their heart — and with each other — a synergy beyond comprehension makes their love stronger and ever-new. People who come into the presence of such companions can feel the love and are changed by it.
If your relationship is suffering from psychological problems, don’t pretend a spiritual gloss and sweet words will improve your companionship. Just as delicious gravy can’t cover the taste of rotten food, so high-sounding words of devotion or the vocabulary of life-essence cannot overcome an unsound relationship. If you and your partner are not having a satisfying time with one another, do yourselves a favor, eliminate much heartache, and select a counselor whom you both trust.
But, if you have a satisfying relationship and sense the life-essence — the spirit — shining in one another, here is an enriching practice. In doing this exercise now, and several times each year, you can profoundly encourage your love to flourish. In making these declarations, you clear the way for new levels of love and wonder.
Put an hour aside. Sit facing one another. Get comfortable. Decide who will make the declarations first. You may wish to give your good companion a flower or a symbolic gift before making your declarations.
When you are the listener of these declarations, actively receive the love and intent of your mate. Accept and treasure your friend’s declarations. Few people in the world will ever hear such beautiful thoughts spoken with such love.
[Subhead: Spiritual Declarations]
Whether you are making these declarations or receiving them, strive to speak or listen from your soul — your innermost being. Look into one another’s eyes as you do each declaration. Pause in love as long as you like between each one. Perhaps both of you will prefer to close your eyes in brief meditations. Or, after several practices of this exercise, the receiver may wish to make helpful, non-critical responses at times. (Of course you will need to talk about your problems on other occasions; but the purpose of these declarations is greater and greater spiritual companionship.)
You may wish to join hands. The declarer strives to make these statements with his or her whole heart — as an already experienced actuality, or as a deeply felt ideal.
||I love you.
I love you without limits or conditions.
I am your friend.
I am your companion throughout life.
I’m on your side.
I will always strive to make your life more beautiful and pleasing.
I think of you with good will and appreciation every day.
Each day I think well of you and speak well of you.
I pray for your happiness and well being often.
I am on your side in all the good you are doing.
I adore your soul and your good qualities.
I will help you whenever you want help and when life is difficult or challenging.
I will help you in your devotion to God.
I will help you find time, freedom, and opportunity to grow spiritually.
I will always share my soul’s love, kindness, and wisdom with you.
My beloved, may your life be filled with joy.
May your heart be full.
May your mind know deep peace and profound faith.
Before God, I rededicate myself to you. I dedicate myself to your soul and the love and ideals we share.
I am grateful to God that I am your beloved.
I pray that I may always take your hand when you reach out to me. May I always be your true spiritual partner.
You may wish to add other declarations which are revealed to your mind and heart in this solemn and especially sweet communion. When you have concluded your declarations, say:
“Beloved, I have shared my soul with you.”
Then the receiver of these declarations begins his or her turn and, feeling deep love radiating from the innermost self, extends a flower or symbolic gift and begins the above declarations. The one who made the declarations first must make a point of switching thoughts and feelings into a deeply appreciative and receptive mode in order to be deeply conscious of the declarations which are now being made.
Remember to pause whenever you like and strive to more fully understand and commit yourselves to these profound ideals — these spirit-empowering attunements.
When these declarations, along with additional ones, are shared, embrace.
As you grow toward higher consciousness, and especially as you develop in Exercises One through Four, you will find yourself free! Free to become the person you yearn to be.
You will conquer the old, destructive tendencies.
In your life, companionship — negative companionship — will not be stronger than your will power.