All relationships are subject to fluctuations. Be it family relations, friendships or intimate relationships, they go through cycles of harmony and disharmony, peace and conflict. Sometimes the disagreements are such that we'd rather move on to a different relationship than deal with the challenge in front of us. We believe that somewhere else the grass is greener and therefore a new relationship will be easier and more peaceful.



In this equation we forget that the difficulty does not stem from a person or from our relationship with them. It comes from the fact that our mind is filled with many years of memories as well as with our common story. We bring these memories and all the misunderstandings, judgments, conclusions and negative feelings with us every time we meet. If we believe the stories our mind tells, then these thoughts and feelings colour every aspect of our communications and interactions. Thus it is no wonder that it feels heavy at times to be with someone we have known for a long time...


Our encounters with a new person are free from all that memory baggage. We meet them with fresh eyes and a light heart. No negative undercurrents and memories influence our behaviour. The absence of a common history makes us believe that a relationship with this person is more peaceful - that this person is easier to get along with. However, if we stick around long enough, we will notice that the pattern of the previous relationship will repeat itself. If we believe the stories and memories in our mind to be true, then we bring them into every meeting with the new person and thus, the conflicts and difficulties will seem to repeat themselves.


The problem is not the person or the relationship. It is the fact that we meet the story in our mind about the person and not the person her/himself. Our encounters are coloured by chain-reactions to previous situations and memories instead of being meetings rooted in the Presence of the Self.


Meditation and the knowledge of Oneness have opened another Vision in us. Having studied the mind's mechanism, we know that thoughts, memories and conclusions are inevitable movements of the mind. As the Self, they are not the reality and they don't define us or our relationships. As the Self, we are free from the movements and One with all beings. That doesn't mean we are not aware of who we are dealing with and what the level of awareness of another person is. It just means we are meeting each and every person, including ourselves, as the Self; free from a story, free from opinions and judgments. That's how we remain free and offer freedom in return. And that's how we can meet old and new relationships in that same flow of Freedom.



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Confidence or the lack thereof is an issue for many people. It is very common for someone to say "I don't have the confidence to say or do this", without ever questioning what confidence really is and where it comes from.


Feeling a lack of confidence can be paralysing. It is a form of feeling small and inadequate that will likely keep us from standing up for ourselves, from speaking in front of a big audience, or from tackling an ambitious project.



One way of bolstering the sense of confidence and to gather courage might be to tell ourselves that we are as good at something as another person. Others might need to feel that they are better than someone else in order to dare facing a challenge. To some extent the sense of confidence is always in relation to someone else or it depends on some specific circumstance. Both these conditions can change at the drop of a hat, which makes our sense of confidence very unreliable - we never know if we can really trust it.


True Confidence is of an entirely different nature. It is unwavering and unchanging. It doesn't live on the level of the ego/mind/intellect, it exists as a characteristic of our True Nature, the Self. The Self is the very source of all manifestation, including every individual being and all its actions. When we are One with the Self we are not acting confidently, we are Confidence itself. This kind of action is free from doubt and worry. It is not originating from the mind, but from the unwavering space of Freedom of the Self.


One of the many gifts of Meditation is to transform lack of confidence into Self-Confidence. When the individual sense of I dissolves into the infinite space of the Self, any sense of being "less than"" is transformed into knowing that "I as the Self am everything, everywhere".



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In these uncertain times, many feel like they are at a breaking point. They are afraid that they can't take much more pressure without the risk of falling apart. The human mind interprets such distressing feelings as a precursor to something ominous. From the perspective of the Self, we have the possibility to consider an entirely different scenario. What if we were to treat it as breaking open instead of breaking down, as falling into who we really are, instead of falling apart?



What we are trying to hold together so desperately is the sense of existing as the individual person we are familiar with. We hold on to the structure of the roles and definitions we have accepted as our identity. They feel safe, even if, within that identity, we are not happy or fulfilled.


When life creates situations that bring us to the point where we feel like we might fall apart, it is not to break us. Rather, life is creating a big enough crack in the ego-structure for us to see that, in clinging to who we think we are, we miss who we rally are. If we have the strength and wisdom to watch the crack, to take deep breaths and allow it to widen a bit, we realise that through the widening of the crack we can see and feel the Light of the Self shining.


The Light of the Self will always find a way to reach us, to help us see that we never are, and never have been separate from it. What our human mind can only see as a breakdown, the Self will know as a necessary transformation to let the Light in. The only thing breaking down is the old ego structure and with that comes the falling away of beliefs, stories and sometimes relationship patterns that kept us from knowing the Light of the Self.


If we understand this, we can stop fighting or being afraid. Knowing that the Self is at the back of everything, rather, that the Self IS everything, we can welcome the transformation - confident in the Self's infinite benevolence and trusting that the outcome will always be in our favour.



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