How to Have Healthy Relationships

Relationship Health



Copyright  C  2001 John I. Mosher, Ph.D

Professor Emeritus, State University of New York

Suffering arises from attachment to desire. One example is the desire that things have to be the way one thinks they ought to be.

Suffering arises when one is not living in the present: not being right here, right now.  

When the mind-ego is in charge it can wander in its thinking to the past and become angry or upset about some event long gone. Or the thinking mind can worry about what might be or might happen. In either case there is suffering because one is not living in the present, the NOW, this minute.

Qualities of the Heart, the Spirit or Soul:  
Love without condition

All of these qualities of the Soul are facilitated and brought forth by the practice of:
1. Regular Meditation 
2. Regular Prayer
3. Remembering the Divine
4. Self-discipline, i.e. practice being in the present, practice having compassion, being selfless, tolerant and having equanimity. Practice fearlessness, non-attachment, and love without condition. Cultivating these positive states of mind may be considered one of the most effective ways for obtaining the state of HAPPINESS!

A relationship between two people can be a spiritual path, a yoga.

It can be a way to grow in love, light and happiness. It is a difficult path. Some sages say the “Yoga of Relationships” is the toughest of all because it deals with the most powerful emotions on the planet. The opportunity continuously presents itself to fall into negative states of mind which would be anything less than love. Ones fear of not getting what one wants or losing what one has is ever present in those not practicing the cultivation of HAPPY STATES OF MIND.

The more the mind--ego is in charge the more one is controlling, has fear and suffers. Through regular practice of the above (1,2,3, and 4), the soul is gradually put in charge and the “soul qualities” shine forth. In this state the individual has put the mind and ego in its proper place as SERVANT to the soul. The ego as a servant is wonderful. It reminds you to take care of your physical self and stay out of harm’s way, except in extreme mental unbalances where a person wants to destroy their physical body. THE EGO IS A WONDERFUL SERVANT BUT A TERRIBLE MASTER! The mind is a powerful and wonderful servant. It can plan, balance check books, send a man to the moon, and more. But put in charge, it can easily destroy ones happiness, and cause much anguish and suffering. The person regularly cultivating positive states of mind, using self-discipline to regularly do the above four steps, uses the ego–mind as a tool. Use the mind to plan a vacation; great. Then hang it up as you would a drill or any tool after use.  When again needed use it, but always remember to put it away when finished!

What has been suggested in the above writing is very foreign to our cultural and educational conditioning here in America, and in western civilization generally. We can easily see the results of the mind and ego being in charge. We have enormous environmental and social problems as a result of this orientation. This mind-based orientation is threatening to destroy the very environment we depend upon for our physical existence.

A relationship can also be destroyed by the mind-ego being in charge.

A relationship can change when the soul, the spirit, the heart is in charge. It will not be destroyed by change.

Control of others comes from fear, which is a mind-ego quality. Trying to control others is a waste of time. All one gets from efforts to control another is the anger and resentment of the other. That, and also the stressing of oneself over the situation one is attempting to control. Nothing positive is accomplished.

Control in a relationship is a sign of FEAR.  FEAR IS THE GREAT ENEMY TO HAPPINESS.

In a relationship, it is important to work on ones self. When anger and frustration or anything less than love arises in ones feeling toward the other, that is a signal.  It is a signal to look within. At this point it takes courage to face ones self and be totally honest about what perception or attitude must be change to be in line with the practice of unconditional love.

Play-acting will not do. Denial will not do. One can only work on ones self. Ultimately, we must focus on our self and not our partner or another.   

If both partners in a relationship are practicing 1,2,3,and 4, and working on cultivating positive states of mind and being in the present, THEY ARE DOING THEIR SPIRITUAL WORK!

(August 9, 2001) Reprinted with permission of the author.


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )




Andrew W. Saul


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