One of the greatest things about living a life based on spiritual principals is that you develop a support system. A network of people who care about you and who are there for you no matter what. Sometimes they are simply there to lend an ear. Other times they can be there to offer their time and even financial assistance if you need it. These are the kinds of relationship building experiences that we need to have. People say that lending money destroys relationships. It depends. If there is mutual respect then the person who borrowed the money will not wait for the person who loaned it to ask for it to be returned. They will be forthcoming and if for some reason they cannot pay it back, they let the person know that they can’t pay it back and when they think they can. As long as these dynamics are honored then it is not only not a bad thing, it can build the relationship. It builds trust and it gives the people involved the confidence that they have someone in their lives who can be trusted and relied upon to be there for them and to be responsible.

I often like to think along these lines. If everyone in my life knew what I was doing or saying at this moment, would I be ok with it? Would I still be doing or saying that thing? If I have to answer no at any point then I probably should reconsider doing this. One of the great things about living this way is that I never have to worry about remembering what I did or said. So if I find I am talking to someone and the subject of a third person comes up I need to ask myself if I would still be holding this conversation with that person here. If not, I need to change the subject. I have a good friend who loves talking about other people and taking guesses as to what their motives are about certain things. Usually I find that the best way to diffuse this is to change the subject by asking him a question about himself. In fact what is really perfect is that I can take the subject being discussed about the other person and turn it over to the person talking. So if he is telling me about how he thinks someone is ripping someone else off, I can turn that around by asking him if he’s every ripped anyone off. See how that works? Usually we have at least at one time been the things we judge. That’s why we judge them. If not, be careful you may be on the way to becoming the things you judge today.

I read once somewhere (I honestly can’t remember where) that there are 3 forms of conversation. The LOWEST form of conversation is conversation about the topic of other people (Gossip). The next level up of conversation is the discussion of events. The highest level of conversation is the discussion of ideas & philosophies. This is why I love “self help” type discussion, reading, and writing. It actually helps people – it certainly never tears anyone down. The discussion of events is ok and often times interesting. The lowest form of conversation (Gossip) only ever has the effect of hurting someone. It is often disguised as an attempt to inform, or warn a person. I’m going to guess that in 99% of those cases the person being warned really doesn’t need the warning. If anything I always become weary of the person doing the “warning”. What’s their motive? Are they warning people about me when they are talking to them? I usually stay away from people like that. My friend mentioned about is sort of an exception. I honestly feel that he has a good heart deep down inside, I just think he lacks the confidence that his own life is interesting enough to talk about. This is kind of a funny story – you talk about denial. I remember that for a time I was sort of forced to have dialogue with a person who I can’t recall ever really speaking about herself. In fact it was usually the same 2 or 3 other people she would always talk about. I would be so turned off any time I had to listen to her. Then one day while she is in the midst of gossiping to me about someone (I hadn’t had the chance yet to re-direct the conversation) and she was one of those people who would go on and on – it was actually very difficult to get her to stop) she explained to me that she had a conversation with one of the very people that she would frequently gossip about. Apparently during this conversation she was describing she had with him the subject of gossip had come up. It was hard to hold back from laughing when I heard this, but she described how she told him she never gossiped about him.

 

So there is really no point in my experience in pointing it out to people. The best thing to do is focus on the people who do appear to enjoy the “level” of conversation that I enjoy. As long as I focus on that, this is what I should attract in my life. Occasionally other types slip in!

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