Dr. Katie Hendricks, PhD
Dr. Gay Hendricks, PhD

Humans have a terrible time sorting out me from them. This was best expressed by Yasutani Roshi: “The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”

Since we show up in different bodies, most people assume that each of our individual experiences is discrete and separate. Suppose you’re going along in your relationship or friendships, and a difference of opinion arises. For most people, the next move is to ponder the question, how much of this issue is about me, and how much is really, truly your fault. If one person feels angry, he or she looks to the other person for the cause of the anger. People say things like:

You made me mad.

You never listen to me.

Why do you always…

If you would just…

When relationship disharmony or even a teensy power struggle springs up, it just seems so obvious that the other guy is actually doing something wrong. You’ve even had friends agree, so of course, you must be right. If you even considered letting go of your point of view it would threaten that thrilling adrenaline hit you get by declaring that you’re right. But the cost is very high: feeling isolated, victimized and seeing your partner as the enemy. Your health and creativity shrivel in the grip of this popular delusion.

Here’s something we REALLY, REALLY need to learn. The flow of relating actually occurs all the time between our brains, our energy systems, even our basic physiological rhythms. From the moment you come into the world until the moment you leave, you are connected to others. The shift that would make all the difference is also deucedly difficult for most people to even get their mouths around. But it’s the move that frees your evolution, so it’s worth practicing on a daily basis.

Try this sentence on inside and out loud and notice what happens in your mind and body:

Hmmm, what does this have to do with me?

A colleague of ours made a film several years ago where cultural and spiritual leaders from around the world were interviewed about the state of the planet and what could be done to shift directions. Here’s the big conclusion that the filmmaker discovered: Change happens one relationship at a time. Your interactions with family, friends and colleagues make a difference. You choice to say something authentic, to genuinely appreciate, to claim your responsibility for what is happening, to listen with curiosity, they matter. Our new book Conscious Loving Ever After explores real alternatives to mud slinging or sinking into boredom. Where will you start?

162-gay-and-katie-hendricks-5-etundRelationship experts Drs. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D., have been married 34 years, worked together for 30 years, and authored over 30 books, including their bestselling, Conscious Loving. They have made it their life’s work to help people create healthy, thriving love relationships, and in their groundbreaking new book, Conscious Loving Ever After, they set their sights on supporting those in midlife and beyond in committing and recommitting to relationship wellness. Learn more at www.HeartsInTrueHarmony.com.

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