No human being on earth has power to do anything for you or against you. If you can see the significance of this, your relations with spouse, friend and stranger undergo bright transformation. You will never seek to influence others, you will never worry whether they like you or not, you will be at peace with everyone, even though they are not at peace with you.
We prefer believing in the ability of others to help us, because of ours desires toward them. But this arouses friction, for others have desires contrary to our own. A desire toward another creates an unconscious insistence that the other should and must behave the way we wish. When he does not, we feel cheated, resentful. We falsely think the wound came from the other person, selfishness, when if fact it came from our false desire. When we no longer have false desire, painful disappointments are no longer possible.
Whatever the human relationship, you must not form a psychological attachment to the other person. You must freely let him come and go as he pleases. You must not try to hold him or her to you.
Remain psychologically detached from everyone. This means everyone. No, this in not cold indifference; it is something extraordinarily warm—it is genuine love. If you will do this, everything changes. It changes because you make no conscious or unconscious demands upon another. Strangely enough, you are in charge of the relationship because you have no charge at all.
The seeker fails to realize the futility of finding in another what must be discovered in himself. Even if a sad and lonely person were to meet someone with a lofty love, the seeker could neither recognize nor appreciate it. We can recognize true love in another only when we have at least a taste of it in ourselves.
It is folly to call a relationship based in desire by the name of love. We like to do this because it all sounds so romantic, but love has nothing to do with it. Genuine love is quite another thing.
Source: “Why Friendships Fail,” from The Power of Your Supermind, by Vernon Howard
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