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The Essentials of Relating from the I-Ching

by Cheryl Grace, copyright © 2005-2012


The wisdom of feng shui comes from an oracle system called the I-Ching that is known to be about 5000 years old. The I-Ching counsels us to keep an open mind and an open heart toward one another in challenging times by holding on to the other’s potential to do the right thing. If you have a true love for another, you will be willing to do the work required in order for the love to continue to blossom. It often requires us to refrain from telling another how they should think and behave to make room for a new way of relating.

The essentials of relating include the following:

Trust: We have all been in a situation where we have met someone and have immediately given them our unquestioned trust only to become disappointed by their actions. Trust is essential to love and takes time to build. It’s OK to say no to “ego” behavior that results in being treated poorly. It will take patience and the mental attitude to view the other’s mistakes as temporary to allow the other to figure things out for himself. We retreat when they abuse our trust and resist supervising their every move. Allow the other to return when they grow and understand the nature of their insensitive behavior.

Mutual respect: There should be a natural give and receive of affection, communication and admiration. If one is holding back, the other feels the imbalance. Giving without requiring the other to give back also creates disharmony. Disengaging and retreating to a neutral position to wait for the other’s behavior to come back to loving kindness allows for mutual respect to return. Think of your telephone that is in ready position to receive a call. You will be there to welcome them back when their indifference dissolves.

Patience: Keeping our heart open is the true work of love. This does not mean that we have to patiently endure one’s insensitive or abusive treatment. It also requires us to refrain from manipulating or influencing a situation’s outcome. It’s an illusion to think we have to micro manage a relationship for it to work. Giving the other space to meet us halfway is the way of the I-Ching.

Humility: To be humble is to lose our arrogance and sense of entitlement. We all make mistakes and we should be able to see the deficiencies in ourselves. True humility is freeing ourselves of the fear of never having enough or of not feeling that we are good enough. Without humility, you are always searching for more, as enough is never enough. By recognizing our own true nature, we can recognize other’s true nature.

Forgiveness: It seems easy to blame others. It gives you a false sense of power and sets up a cycle of grudges and punishment. Forgiveness is to stop wishing that the past could be different and to forgive yourself and others for not being the way you want them to be. There is no harmony in the cycle of being unforgiving, as one automatically feels superior over the other while drowning in their self-pity. We have to constantly forgive our partners and friends, since loving another is a process and there will be bumps and blunders along the way.

The art of relating is respecting each other’s space and caring enough about ourselves to say no to anyone who does not respect us in return. By remaining open and receptive instead of finding fault, loving partners can meet halfway.

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