Relationships With Others

By Ushas Ishaya

Suddenly everyone was so friendly.

One of the fascinating aspects of Ascension is how it affects my relationships with others. 

Long before I even started meditating, it occurred to me that occasionally, various problems I seemed to have in my relationships with others might be down to me rather than everyone else. How I would fundamentally change anything about that was a mystery to me.

When Ascension finally came into my life, and I established a regular practice, it took me a while to notice the changes. Soon, however, I was surprised that everyone suddenly seemed to be particularly kind to me. This amazed me, and only after a while did I realise that they were mirroring my changes. As I increasingly radiated more serenity, contentment, lightness, openness, and presence, they returned my smile before I had even noticed it myself.

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A Life-changing Experience

During my first month in the Mastery of the Self course (which is a six month long retreat experience) , I was able to experience the potential the Ascension practice has to offer in terms of relationships. In a small group of beginners, we came together every day and learned to recognize silence without a doubt. 

Our teacher rested in it like a rock and patiently helped us experience it for ourselves. We were a colourful mixture of different characters and, with a few exceptions, had not known each other before. The teacher didn't mind. He gave every one of us the feeling of honestly and sincerely loving us just as we were, without any conditions. We could rest noticeably in his presence, silence, and love. I had never experienced anything like it. 

I was not completely satisfied with myself at that time, and it was difficult for me to believe that someone else could accept me so completely. Nor could I be equally open to everyone else. So, I had some resistance and doubts to overcome. I somehow reckoned that a catch would show up after all for a whole month, making any progress meaningless.

At the same time, I felt my protective armour crack inside and wanted more of this unconditional love in my life. But what fascinated and convinced me the most was how everyone in our group benefited from this treatment. Regardless of age, nationality, or professional background, everyone blossomed and, in turn, expressed more and more appreciation and love.

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Bringing It Into Everyday Life

Back home, I was more motivated than ever to prioritise my Ascension practice and intensify my connection with stillness. It is a moment-to-moment choice to be present, rest in the here and now, and focus my attention on what is in front of me. 

When I give my full attention and listen to the person I am conversing with, I perceive what is being communicated much better. It still amazes me what kind of comments or judgments my mind can reel off and how it wants to draw hasty conclusions or become impatient. 

I repeatedly notice that if I pay more attention to the moment, I see different things that I would otherwise overlook. It's not always just words or movements, but sometimes certainty sets in, something that resonates without being named. 

This can be, for example, a desire for connection or a deeper understanding of why the other person is behaving the way they are. In either case, it becomes clearer what is happening instead of a story in my head. This makes it much easier to build genuine connections.

The most valuable change for me is that I can let other people be who they are today. Before, I often had fixed ideas of what was right or wrong or expectations of how the other person had to be for me to accept or love them. I could get irate if the other person did something I didn't allow myself to do or embodied something I disliked about myself. 

Few people could drive me up the wall faster than my father. For quite a while, I thought he needed to change to have a better father-daughter relationship. At first, I became more aware of my thoughts and emotions. Then I managed to stop reacting outwardly to his supposed provocations. 

Later, I observed how I was also able to maintain calm internally. Finally, I no longer perceived his behaviour as a provocation but as his way of being. I realised that just as he is, he is lovely and lovable. And funnily enough, it appeared to me as if he started to change his behaviour afterward.

More To Discover

Ascension has made me more open, content, calm, tolerant, and loving myself. This has a direct effect on my relationships with others. I like myself more now than I used to, and I find it easier to love other people as they are. This is the most significant enrichment because I am happiest when I love the people around me. 

This does not mean that I no longer face challenges. Even today, others mirror where I can grow, what I have not yet accepted about myself, and where I can still love myself more. But today, I know from my own experience what I can do about it and that no one else is responsible for my happiness. I find that very liberating.

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