Establishing and maintaining heart-connecting relationships with devotees of Krishna is fundamental for our spiritual growth and self-realization.
The essence “Choice Theory” (William Glasser) is the notion that the source of much of our personal unhappiness is due to failing or failed relationships with people important to us: spouses, parents, children, friends and colleagues. Glasser goes so far as to say that most mental illness is an expression of unhappiness due to failed relationships.
If failing or disconnecting relationships are a primary cause of a person’s unhappiness, it makes sense for us to strive to create and sustain caring or connecting relationships as a means of deriving lasting happiness.
According to the the Vedas, wisdom texts of ancient India, one’s engaging in heart-connecting relationships with fellow spiritual aspirants is an important aspect of developing faith on the path of Bhakti Yoga. Srila Prabhupada, the founder-acharya of ISKCON, explains: “So how can this sraddha, this faith, be increased? Sadhu-sanga. If you keep yourself associated with the devotees, then this sraddha can be increased… Otherwise whatever little faith you have, it will be lost…"
Glasser’s 7 Caring Habits are a simple formula for choosing behaviors that will result in greater satisfaction in relationships. His 7 Deadly or Disconnecting Habits are what cause relational dynamics that destroy lasting happiness in relationships and the source of human problems such as mental illness, drug addiction, violence, crime, school failure, spousal abuse, etc. Study the two lists below to see if our relational style needs a little adjustment.
The 7 Caring Habits ~ The 7 Disconnecting Habits
1. Supporting 1. Criticizing
2. Encouraging 2. Blaming
3. Listening 3. Complaining
4. Accepting 4. Nagging
5. Trusting 5. Threatening
6. Respecting 6. Punishing
7. Negotiating Difference 7. Bribing, rewarding to control
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