Successful Living Through Self-Awareness
By Frank and Martha Giudici
Much of this talk has been inspired by Frank Giudici's earlier workshop entitled "Love Yourself Into Wholeness."
39 Human Relationships introduction
In this section we are going to consider what I feel is probably the most important of the four areas of the life experience, and that is the area of human relationships. It seems to me that if we can get our human relationships squared away, which really means if we can learn to love and receive love fully and completely, then this is going to take care of a lot of the problems that we have in life. Not just a lot of the problems. I feel it’s going to take care of all the problems that we have in life. Working the area of human relationships, then, is very, very important.
Our human relationships affect our work life, our social life, our religious life. Just about any area of living that you can think of, you’re going to find that human relationships is involved.
In teaching counseling in the Ministerial School at Unity Village and also in the Unity Institute for Continuing Education, I make the statement concerning counseling that all of life is really one big counseling session, and when you can really tune into that idea, you can see that it has a lot of meaning. In other words, through and underneath all of our human relationships, everything that we’re doing in life, essentially what we’re doing is counseling one another, and this is all for a good purpose: counseling one another so that we can grow and unfold as children of God and begin to express more of our Christ self. Human relationships, then, does affect just about every area of living that you can think of, and this once again why I feel it is one of the most important, really the most important area that we can consider.
How are our human relationships developed? I think this is something that we have to consider as well, because when we’re working on the area of human relationships, what we have to do in some instances is go back to the origin of our relationships with other people, go back to our thoughts and feelings that we hold while in relationship with other people. So how our human relationships are developed becomes very, very important, and generally the way that we relate to other people is determined by the way that we related to authority figures as youngsters and then also to peer groups as well. But you’re going to find that much of your human relationships has to do with the way that you related, or in the way that you related, to your parents.
There’s kind of a rule of thumb that’s involved in counseling. Don’t take this as a hard, fast rule. As I say, it’s a rule of thumb, and that means that it has wide application but may not have 100% application. It goes something like this: that for men, the way that we relate to our mothers pretty well determines the way that we’re going to relate to women in life in general, and ladies, the way that you related to your father is going to pretty well determine the way in which you’re going to relate to men. So in many ways, we related to our mother, father, whatever the case might be, in a very successful and positive way and a very fulfilling way, and so we carry with us throughout our lifetime as adults certain thought patterns and feelings concerning relating to the opposite sex that are good and productive, and there’s no problem there.
However, if we had some hangups with our mother or father, then the hangups, which are really thoughts and feelings that have become a very deep part of our consciousness, these hangups stay with us and affect our relationships today. Sometimes this is why you will find that, unknowingly, a man has married his mother. In a sense I guess there’s nothing wrong with marrying your mother if you consciously know what’s going on and if you can also relate to your wife in other ways, not just as a mother and son but as just two people. I guess you might say we serve different roles and play different roles for one another in life, but very often men don’t understand this.
By the same token, many women discover that what they’ve really done is to have married their father, and of course this causes all kinds of problems, because the two people are supposed to be relating as adults, and then all of a sudden they’ll find themselves in a parent-child relationship, either mother to son or father to daughter, and there’s a mixed communication that takes place, and the next thing you know we’re talking to the marriage counselor, and then possibly even beyond that it comes to the divorce courts.
But what I’m saying here is that our human relationships are really shaped, I guess we might say, by the way that we relate to the authority figures early in life, and particularly our parents. And then, of course, these human relationships that find their origin way back there with the authority figures in our childhood are then reinforced by life experiences that we have. The positive ones we don’t have to concern ourselves with because they are bearing the fruits in our lives that we want them to bear, but again, the negative ones are the ones that we have to take a look at, the negative aspects of our human relationships, which really have their origin in the way that we related to authority figures as young children.
40 Thinking and feeling in communication
Some of the primary ingredients, then, that are involved in human relationships have to do with the idea of communication. Communication. When you’re talking about human relationships, the word that goes right along with it is the idea of communication, so we have to learn to communicate effectively with one another if we’re going to have a good personal relationship.
One of the problems in communication is that very often we don’t know, or we don’t realize, that what we are thinking and trying to convey to someone intellectually, is not the same thing that we’re feeling. In other words, we might be talking about something to someone, but the feeling that is coming through us as we discuss this idea or concept or whatever it is, the feeling can be very, very different, and so there is a mixed communication that we give out to the person with whom we’re trying to communicate.
Let me give you an example of this. Let’s see if we can effectively demonstrate this. Actually, this is one that I usually use because I think it gets the point across. Supposing that someone walks up to you, or let’s say you walk up to someone else and you say, “Hi, Joe. How are you today?” And he looks at you with this long, drawn-out face, and his voice may be very low, and he may sound very burdened, and he says to you, “Oh, I’m just great. Everything is just perfect in my life. I haven’t got a problem in the world.” Well, on an intellectual level, what is he saying? What are you hearing being conveyed to you from the thinking level? “Everything is great. I have no problems.” But what do you hear coming through on the feeling level? Something entirely different.
This is what we do in our communication with other people and which affects our relationships with other people. We send out two messages. The whole point is to get our thinking and our feeling together and to become aware at times that there is a different between what we think and what we are feeling about whatever it is that we’re discussing.
If you were to say to Joe on some other occasion, “Hello, Joe. How are you today?” And he would say, “I feel great. I’m really on top today. Why, I feel like I haven’t got a problem in the world.” Now what were the words that you heard coming from the intellectual level? “Everything is great,” basically the same words that you heard before with the other illustration. But what is the difference? This time the feelings seem to match the words. This time thinking and feeling, intellect and emotion, if you will, were together and true communication then is going to take place, or at least there’s a better possibility of true communication.
So the primary ingredient ... At first I said “primary ingredients,” plural, but I guess really the primary ingredient that we’re talking about in the ingredient of communication, and this means that we work toward getting our thinking and feeling together so that when we attempt to communicate to another person, what they hear coming from us on the intellectual level is matched by what is coming from us on the emotional or feeling level.
41 Communicating our feelings
So the importance of human relationships. My part here supposed to be just a little bit of an introduction to human relationships, but because I love teaching counseling and Martha is also a counseling teacher I have the tendency to go on and on about human relationships in different aspects of counseling. But there is something for us to do in all of this too, and Martha is going to discuss that with you now.
Well, this idea of communicating in human relationships is essential, because all power is in the feeling nature. This is an idea that you really have to get in touch with. It is the amount of feeling that you invest in any thought process that’s going to determine what’s going to be forthcoming in your life, so if you have a lot of feeling invested in a thought, then that is going to come forth more quickly than others. If you are not communicating what you’re feeling, if you’re not really getting your feelings in line with your thinking, then you are not being as effective in life.
Charles Fillmore had a great deal to say about all power being in the feeling nature, and this is true because those feeling attributes that belong to us out of these divine ideas of God are all those which belong to the feeling realm, the strength and the power and the zeal, which is enthusiasm, and the love and life and all of these things which really give momentum and movement to our thinking processes all belong to this feeling nature.
So we have to begin to discover through self-awareness what it is that we really are feeling, what it is we’re feeling about ourselves, how we’re responding to life, what kind of thought patterns do we have internalized that are determining how we are experiencing and expressing things in life. What we want to do now is take our yellow sheets again, and as I’m talking about some of these we’ll be working now in the section on human relationships, and we’re going to be finding out how we relate to other people, how we relate to other people. Of course this is going to get us in touch with some of our feelings.
The first thing we want to do is find out where we are right now in our feeling actions, those things which are ruling our human relationships.
42 Physical aspects of human relationships
And they come first in the outer, which is the physical way, the way that we physically relate to people. You might want to be jotting down in that first section under “Physical,” as I’m talking about this, some of the ways that you are now. It’d be in the first three lines of that section under “P.” We would be jotting down some key thoughts, just key words. Always learn to just put a key word down that says how I’m relating to people right now, physically.
Begin to get in touch with this and see what kind of a person are you in your physical relationships. Are you an affectionate person, or are you a person who tends to withdraw in relationships? Do you find that you are a shy person who does not reach out to people? Do you have trouble reaching out to people? Do you often find yourself wanting to reach out? Do you really want to get involved but, “My goodness, I just don’t seem to be able to do this.”
Perhaps you are rejecting yourself before others reject you. Perhaps you feel that there’s something about you physically that they won’t like, so therefore you just keep yourself withdrawn from a situation because you feel, “Oh, golly, I don’t have this going for me or that going for me, and there might be something about me that someone won’t like.” So you don’t feel good about yourself physically. You may not feel good about yourself physically, and this is something that you want to get in touch with, so if you have that feeling, you might want to jot down a little something about yourself that you don’t like about yourself physically in your relationships.
There’s another aspect of this. Sometimes we find that we tend to be lone wolves. We tend to want to do all the things by ourself. On the other hand, we may just be gregarious, come on strong. We find ourselves coming on really strong, and we don’t like ourselves for coming on really strong, but somehow or another we don’t seem to be able to do anything else. Or maybe you are one of those people that’s kind of easy and open and outgoing.
That may not be your challenge at all. You may be able to reach out to people. You may be able to care for people, but you want to get in touch with how you relate to people physically. Are you open to people? Are you withdrawn? Start jotting down just a few ideas of how you relate to people physically. What kind of a physical relationship do you have do you touch people? Are you a toucher or are you afraid to touch people? If you are, then you should become aware of that.
Then let’s take a look at how you meet people on a mental basis.
43 Mental aspects of human relationships
When you get into a relationship, do you intellectualize everything? Do you find yourself on a head trip talking about the weather, talking about books and other things? Do you find yourself talking about everything about except what you’re feeling? Then you might tend to relate to people on strictly an intellectual basis and not be able to get in touch with people on a feeling level. There might be something in your life that’s keeping you from doing that, and we’re going to be working with that in just a few minutes, but right now we want to find out where we are, if we tend to meet people on an intellectual basis only, that we don’t tend to talk about really meaningful things, that we’re not able to really share our feelings.
Are you a very private person who doesn’t want to share? There’s nothing wrong with being private if you’re able to share your feelings with people, the right people, but there are some people who cannot share their feelings with anyone, and here they have all these feelings kind of locked up inside of themselves, and they’re holding onto them because they’re thinking, “Nobody would like me if I shared my feelings with them. If they really knew what kind of a person I was, they really wouldn’t want to be around me.” A lot of us have thought patterns within us that, “Boy, if they knew what I was thinking, that sometimes I have thought patterns which are totally socially unacceptable, and if they knew I was that kind of a person, well, they wouldn’t really want to be around me.” We all go through that type of thinking, and so let’s get in touch with that area to see what kind of a person we are.
Are we a listener? Do we listen to people? Are we just sitting there, waiting to get our turn to talk? There’s a lot of times that we’re doing that, where we’re really not listening, that we’re really just waiting to get our two bits’ worth in or our story that tops theirs. “My operation was worse than yours,” or, “Mine’s better than yours is, and I can ...” Was an old program on radio that used to be “Can You Top This?” Okay, you all know that story.
If we are really interested in people, are we really interested? Do we really care about people, or are we kind of indifferent to other people? Are we really so much involved in self sometimes that we really are so tied in ourself? That may be indicative of something we need to eliminate in our consciousness, because if we’re so self-involved that we really are not interested in what’s happening to people ... There’s too much of this being interested in everybody and a busybody. That’s something else. We’re not talking about ... But the same thing is, do we have so much internalized activity going on within us that we’re not really in touch with other people.
44 Emotions and human relationships
And then, in the emotional area, how do you really feel about people? How do you feel about people? Are you fearful of people? Most of us, to a great degree, are a little afraid of people. We’re kind of afraid that we have this nice vulnerable soul of us and that if we really let somebody get close to us they’ll poke their fingers in all those little tender sore spots in consciousness, and we’re a little bit afraid. We’re afraid to trust people. We’re afraid to trust people, so we can take a look and find out, are we really trusting or are we fearful? What kind of thoughts do we have about other people?
Another area that we might take a look at is that we could be very angry, because we feel that we resent where people are. We may resent other people who have some things that we don’t. We may be resenting people who are in a better position in life. People who are pretty well set in life may be resenting people who are on welfare, you know? We resent people who are on welfare, and we’ve talked already about the fact that it doesn’t matter whether that condition exists out there. It’s how you feel about that condition that’s really going to make the blocks in your life.
So you may be envious of people. Very often people who are envious of the rich, it’s because they feel that they don’t have, that they are the have-nots and the rich are the people who have, and so you may have thoughts of envy. Or perhaps you’re happy and comfortable with all sorts of people everywhere, or you may have some prejudices. You may have pre-judged some segment of life. You may be holding concepts about people which are not really true, and so you may have some prejudices, and those pre-judgements only block your flow, because they’re not really acting upon that person, but they’re really acting upon you.
The last part of this you really want to take a look at is, when you’re dealing with people, are you doing it out of a sense of duty? Most of the time we’re doing a lot of things in life because we feel we’re obliged to do it, that we have to do it, and that’s creating all sorts of blocks in our consciousness, so we really want to find out if we feel obliged or if we really are desiring to do this, if we really feel good about it. It’s best to be honest now, because you can change those thoughts. You can still go on doing some of the things you’re doing now, but you will have changed your mental attitude and it will change your whole viewpoint as far as they’re concerned.
45 Identifying what we want in human relationships
That’s where we are right now. Got those written down. Frank’s going to take you on a trip on where you want to be, where we want to move on these ideas, the desires to be.
As Martha has said, hopefully now you have identified where you are now in these three areas of physical, mental, and emotional, and all in relation to human relationships. These are to be identified in this top section immediately under “Human Relationships” on your handout sheet. Now in that second section, let’s begin at the left with the physical aspect and very simply put down the way you would like to relate to other people on a physical level. Do you want to be a person who reaches out and touches others? Do you want to feel free in hugging other people? Do you want to feel free in reaching out a helping hand? Whatever might come to you in the way of seeing yourself as a person in human relationships on the physical level, put that down. Just indicate that, and that really shouldn’t be too complicated, should it? Maybe just one or two ideas.
Then you can move right over to the section that concerns the mental level. How do you want to operate on the mental level in this area of human relationships? Do you want to see yourself as a good listener as well as a good talker? Or maybe you’re already a good listener and you’d like to a good talker, and that means a person who is able to share ideas and share them effectively. Martha was talking just a little bit before about intellectualizing, and there is nothing wrong, as you know, with sharing ideas on an intellectual level. It’s only when we go to the intellectual level so that we can get away from communicating our real feelings that we can get in trouble and send out a garbled communication, as I tried to illustrate previously.
So, see yourself now on the mental level, the way you want to be in relationship to human relations. Do you want to be a person who is interested in others, or do you want to be a little bit more indifferent? Maybe you find yourself too involved with other people. How is it that you want to operate on the mental or intellectual level in relation to human relationships?
You may want to be as smart as they are, you know?
That’s a way too.
Want to be a good communicator. Sometimes it’s as simple as that. That can be the one desire. “I want to be able to communicate effectively.”
Then the emotional level, which is the third section, deals once again with feelings. What kind of feelings do you want to convey to others in your relationships with them? Loving feelings? Feelings of caring? Maybe generally just feelings which are free of all negative emotions? What kind of a feeling do you really want to convey to other people, feelings which you normally cannot convey through words but which are conveyed on a nonverbal level? What kind of feelings do you want to generate and pass along to other people as you communicate with them?”
46 Things we can do physically - Writing things down
Now hopefully you have identified what you desire to be on these three levels in the area of human relationships, so Martha’s going to talk for just a moment on something to do along the physical line.
When I say “things to do on the physical line,” these are things that we can do physically in the physical, in physical terms, that can help us let go of these states of consciousness and build new states of consciousness. There’s one of the most effective ways, and you’ll find that I’m a great person for having people write things down, writing things down, because what I find and have found for many years in counseling is that if people can externalize things, they can begin to really release them in consciousness. A lot of people will just want to sit there and think about these things and think that they can release them mentally. Well, they usually don’t do it, because all they do is they release it back down into their subconscious rather than releasing it through the process of real elimination.
The mind is devious and likes to play tricks with us, so if you don’t do things where you can really externalize and release, you often find those same things popping back up in consciousness. A good way to let go of these areas of consciousness, these attributes which we are now expressing “in a negative way,” and we want to express them, often have their roots in things which we have done in life and attitudes which we are holding toward others. One of the first things we can do is to begin to write down, once again, all of the things that we may be doing and that may have been contributing to why we are doing this.
One of the main contributing areas that contributes in all the physical, mental, and emotional blocks that we have are the things that we have “done wrong” in the past. A good thing to do is to write down a list of all the things that you have ever done to offend someone. Okay? That word “offense” means, no matter what it was that you did, just write it down. Just set there and take piece of paper in your hand and just say, “I’m going to do a whole house cleaning. I’m ready now to let go of all this,” and write down everything that you did to offend anyone. When you’re through with that, then you’re going to write down a list of everything everyone did to offend you, because you are holding those in consciousness as thoughts, so now you’re going to write those all down.
Now one of the things that you’re going to do, whether it was a person or a group of persons or an organization ... Maybe an organization at one time did something to offend you ... well, you can write that down also. Maybe the US government did something to offend you. Well, write it down also, and then when you’re writing it down, why don’t you write down ... Don’t justify it. Don’t excuse it. Don’t rationalize it. Boy are we good at that. We rationalize and say, “Oh, well, they did that because they couldn’t help it.” That is rationalizing, but it doesn’t do anything for you. It doesn’t do anything about releasing it from your consciousness. All it does is maintain it, so I want you to write it down, no matter how large or how small or inoffensive or offensive it may seem. Write it down.
Externalize any feelings that come with it. If all of a sudden you’re writing this thing and you feel yourself getting really angry, you might want to sit there and stomp your feet a little bit or pound on the table and just, “I wish they hadn’t done that,” or something. Externalize your feelings, because in every one of these thought patterns you have some feelings. You may even cry a bit, and that’s nature’s way of releasing then tension. You may find yourself remembering an old offense that you may have done or someone else may have done. You may feel tears. Let it go. Let it go. We’re not going to ... You want to keep these down there forever and let them be internalized as ailments in your body?
Eventually that which the mind does not release becomes a disease in body, so if you don’t release them and if you don’t release the feelings that are invested in them, they will eventually externalize themselves as body conditions. If you do not externalize and release the thoughts with feelings, they will externalize themselves as bodily conditions, which we call illness, so you need to write them. Do not hold it in. Let all these feelings come out.
Then after you have done this, then you’re again ready to relax and say, “Father, I’ve lived with all this long enough, and I release it lovingly into your hands. I’m through with it.” Then burn it. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t go over it. Don’t rehearse your old offenses and unforgiveness and things like that. Be willing to release it and let go, and once you have done that, then you start your in-filling by writing a list of the good and positive points about yourself and about others that you want to see being built into consciousness, that you would like to see expressed, and then spend time each day praising it, praising those positive attributes in others. If your husband has offended you in the past and you’ve written it down, if your wife has offended you in the past and written it down, then now start writing the positive, good points and begin to affirm them and make them firm in consciousness. This is a good way of getting this into balance in your life.
47 Things we can do mentally - 4 questions
Okay, Martha has dealt with something that we can do to improve our human relationships on a physical level, something that we can do in a physical way, and that is writing out this list. What is it that we can do on the mental level, a thing to do on the mental level that will help us to improve our human relationships? Well, there are so many things that we can do on the mental level, but I would like to present now one idea to you.
In all of our human relationships, really let’s say in all of life, we find that we are involved in a decision-making process. It’s been said so many times and in so many different ways that life is a decision-making process, and no matter what the decision is about, it always concerns and affects other people, doesn’t it? Other people are always involved, so if we’re going to improve our human relationships and we’re having a difficult time making a certain decision which affects our relationships, then wouldn’t it be helpful to have a criterion for making these decisions?
I would like to present one such criterion to you right now. This is a help in the way of making decisions. It isn’t the final word in decision-making, but it’s something that you can use as a guide in making difficult decisions which affect other people, and it’s called the Four Question Criterion. With any decision that you have to make, no matter what its nature, ask yourself these four questions.
Number one: “Am I doing what I want to do?” Am I really being true to myself, in other words? Am I doing what I want to do? So often in life we allow ourselves to be other-directed. We do what other people want us to do. Now, sometimes it’s important that we do what others want us to do because we can agree with it. We can see the need for it, and sometimes, even though it might not be exactly what we want to do, we can see that it is for the highest and best of all concerned. But generally, in the final analysis, we have to do those things that we feel good about, that we really want to do and that we feel the Lord of our beings is leading us to do. This is not being selfish, but it’s really operating from where? From your own Christ self, following through on the guidance that God gives to you from within you. “Am I doing what I want to do?” Answer that question yes or no.
The second question is, “Does it please me to do this?” Ultimately, any decision that we make should bring some degree of pleasure. Life is meant to be a pleasurable experience, not the vale of tears and a heavy, burdensome thing, but something within us says that life should be a joyful experience. So does this thing that I am deciding to do, this yes or no, either way that I go, does it please me to go in this direction? Answer that question for yourself.
Then third, “Do I feel right about it?” We all have a sense of moral responsibility. This sort of takes care of the moral requirement, if you will, this sense of rightness or wrongness, and underlying your decision, do you feel right about it? You would find yourself going one way or the other, yes or no.
And then lastly, the fourth question, “Am I willing to deal with the results of my actions?” This is the one that usually throws most people off, you see, but am I really willing to deal with the results of my actions? The question used to read “consequences,” but I’ve changed that to “results” because the results don’t have to be negative such as the word “consequences” usually connotes. Use the word “results.” “Am I really willing to deal with the results?” Yes or no.
Now, if you answer all of these questions yes, then you have no problem, really. Go ahead and do it, but if you answer one or more no, then what you have to do is sort of step back and rethink it. Look at it again. You might want to set it aside for a time, or you might want to involve yourself in it just a little bit later on or maybe answer the questions once again. You might find some time that you will come up with a combination of answers, yeses and nos, and then finally you might decide to say yes or no just based on that combination of answers. But by using this criterion, what you have done then, you have helped yourself clarify your thinking in regard to this decision. It’ll give you more input. “Am I doing what I want to do? Does it please me to do this? Do I feel right about it, and am I willing to deal with the consequences of my actions?” I said “consequences,” and I meant “results,” didn’t I? The results. Martha?
48 Things we can do emotionally - The mirror of your mind
Another idea which we might use is what I call the Mirror of Love. You’ll find this described on a rose-colored sheet in your album. This has you relax, meditate, and let your thinking flow inward, and there you will see what I call the mirror of your mind. You may also do this with a real mirror, but right now we’re going to consider the idea of using this mirror of your mind.
The mirror of your mind is a mirror that is within yourself in which you can see a reflection of yourself. Right now, just rather see this mirror of your mind in which you see yourself as you are now. Then as you are seeing yourself, begin to accept yourself as being okay right where you are, just as you are.
Then begin to work with the following ideas, and the very essential idea deals with our concept of God. “God loves me just as I am, right where I am. Always has, always will love me.” And then we begin to realize for ourselves that, “Nothing I have ever done was bad enough to cause God to love me less. Nothing I have ever done was so good that it would cause Him to love me more. God’s love is constant, for He is love.”
Then as we begin to realize this and recognize that if God loves us just as we are, we can know for ourselves,
“I must be lovable and worth and value to God. Since I am created in the image and after the likeness of God, I must be capable of loving just as He loves. I am capable of loving myself and others without limitation. Therefore, I can see myself now in the mirror of my mind and say, ‘I love you. You have great worth and value. You are lovable. You are capable of giving love and capable of receiving love.’”
As we begin to love ourselves, to accept ourselves as lovable, and to day by day, when we are feeling not so good about ourselves, to begin to love ourselves totally and unconditionally, then we will begin to find that we do have great worth and value, that all of our relationships begin to change, because as we love ourselves we are able to love others, and what we send out to others comes back to us as love. This is an important idea which you will want to work with.