I am deeply worried about the state of our relationships. If we had as many ill people as we have unhealthy relationships then people would be panicking. Relationship skills are one thing that all of us need to learn.
There is one single key that can unlock all of our relationship issues – one skill to learn. (Well almost all of our relationship issues – it may not be so effective in finding your ideal partner – its better for dealing with the relationships you already have.) It is not healthy boundaries, or sweetness, or loving yourself, or faith, or gratitude but it does have elements of all of these. Technically it is called “Differentiation” though a more commonly understood term might be “Interdependence” It is not independent and closed off to others, and it is not dependent and clinging to others, but interdependent and sharing with others.
Here is a discussion we had about the concept:
Here is a little discussion about how we managed to find interdependence and differentiation:
Differentiation refers to the idea that we can be closely connected with other with out losing our individuality – our differences. It is what happens when you are authentic (true to yourself) – Compassionate (true to others) – and Positive (true to the infinite) – all three at the same time. This is not necessarily an easy task and takes some practice, but it is not out of our reach. What it means is that we must find ways to accept each other as we are – to not try to change each other, to not try to change ourselves, but to be truly who we are in connection with each other.
A disturbing but effective way of learning this is to ask yourself the question – “What would i do if i knew they were never going to change? How would I be true to myself?” If you can answer this honestly then you will find for yourself the answers you need and will create the differentiation that makes all the difference in relationships. The irony is that when you stop trying to change people often they make changes by themselves, and progress is made.
Another method to learning differentiation is to spend time with well differentiated people – if you know anyone with a strong meaningful happy relationship and you spend time with them, you may find that you pick up something of their energy of their way of being and are able to express that in your relationships.
A more direct method is to use spiritual technologies that encode the energy of differentiation. By practicing these you will directly practice embodying the feeling of differentiated relationships, and in time will be able to bring that feeling into practice in your relationships. Here are some mudras that can be used to learn differentiation.
This one is for Men:
This one is for women – you can see that it does not make me so happy because it is not the right one for me. I am hoping to replace the image with a picture of someone else so that you can get the sense of the positive effect it has.
Some so called “Tantra” classes use other mudras and techniques that are based on differentiation (though there are plenty of classes that are teaching something completely different)
I am working on a set of energy medicines – water imbued with spiritual energies and there will be one for differentiation, and it can also be expressed through art and music. Here is an improvisation based on an Indian Raga that expresses differentiation.
For those who want the video version here I am discussing differentiation and its importance, and below are some other video resources about relationships that you might find useful.
Negotiating Relationship Issues:
How to master Differentiation:
Finding your needs – the 10 needs: