“Relationship is an art. The dream that two is more difficult to master than one. To keep the two of you happy, you have to keep your half perfect. You are responsible for your half, and your half has a certain amount of garbage.”

— Don Miguel Ruiz, The Mastery of Love


Week 1
Removing barriers: pre-judging


INTRO: It is true that a relationship is made up equally of two halves. In order to maintain happiness within the relationship, both halves must be responsible for their own happiness; not the other way around. In no circumstance, should one half rely on the other half for happiness. This is why we begin our Learning Series by focusing on the self.

Our upbringing and past life experiences shape who we are today. These experiences filter the way we view ourselves, our circumstances, and the relationships we have with other people. It’s human tendency to attach meaning and significance to these experiences. However, the meaning you give to your experience and the experience itself are two completely different things. We apply a meaning to this experience based on our past. Our past always dictates our perception (aka "our reality) of our current situations and expectations of the future. The collapse of the actual experience with the interpretation we give to that experience happens so fast it’s difficult to separate the two and we think of them as one. Immediately, this interpretation becomes our own reality.  

We need to become aware of the difference between what happened and our interpretation of what happened. This is the first step to breaking through the influence that impacts our relationships with ourselves, our circumstances, and our relationships with people. An awareness of these filters, and a recognition of the limits they impose, allows for freedom. People, situations, and our perspective on life alter drastically. 

In other words, you have the power to choose how you will perceive your current situation and what to expect in your future. Your past does NOT need to determine your future. An awareness of this fact opens doors to limitless possibilities immediately. We learn how to apply this new realization in our next lesson.

 

Assignment #1

Answer the following questions.

Q: Have you given false meaning or “created a story” about a past situation that is limiting your joy and effectiveness today? Give an example.

Q: Have you allowed your pre-existing ideas and past experiences to influence the way you view other people or situations? Give an example.