We learn the most about ourselves from that which is reflected back to us by others. Our relationships are the foundation for our self development. Literally, what we experience is the basis of who we become because it tests our beliefs and shapes our hearts.

People do not generally behave according to expectation and we cannot control others so that they do, either. You will only ever have control over yourself because life has always been about what is within, not what is around us.

People will tell you that humans are a complex species but really we either act from love or fear, and we behave in the manner we choose. It is that simple. Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, we can either respond with love or its opposites.

I believe we are here to experience what it is to be us. No two people share the same path, though many may be on it alongside us. My lessons are mine and yours are yours, yet we share a common goal – to fully understand who we are and our connection to everything and everyone around us. We all do this soul searching in our own way yet we all learn by experiencing life through relationships.

Each relationship reveals something new about us. People are our mirrors. We have but to look and listen to them to discover more about us – yes, even the not-so-pleasant aspects – for we cannot appreciate one if we never experience the other.

Not only do we learn from relationships but we teach within them too. What lives within us is meant to be shared and given deeper meaning when experienced beyond the self. Our relationships, and how we are, needs to be simple and pure by acting honestly.

Some people leave our lives just as quickly and surprisingly as they entered it whilst others become life-long fellow path walkers. And then there are those everywhere in between, too. Yet, each being leaves their special print upon our hearts in the manner they are meant to. The trick is in remaining open to our experiences. No experience is ever wasted when one chooses to see its value.

I believe we are all messengers for each other – here to attract our attention to that which needs to be understood. I believe in karma too. Not in the sense that I must repent for past bad deeds but in the spirit that I have known others before and hence we agree to help each other remember things the next time round. I believe karma is an expression of love – love that has crossed time and space just to be with us again. Once more, keeping it sincerely simple, for love is not restricted by anything.

There is a distinction to be made between looking for meaning within our relationships and analysing them senseless. When one tries too hard, one moves further away from the truth. Like the expression, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will come’, our interactions work the same way. Simply, when you are ready to see, hear, learn, understand and experience that which is important, you will. Longing, rushing, pushing and shunning merely acts to highlight exactly what you are doing, nothing else.

Is it fatalistic to believe that what is meant to be will be? I prefer to think that life unfolds easily when we get out of our own way. We over-complicate our lives trying to do and be so much.

Simply, within our relationships, not only will we show others what they need to learn, but we will also receive this gift. If one accepts this, one integrates life’s lessons and moves forward quickly. It is when one fights the reflection that one is shown more of it. This is the spiritual bricks syndrome: First, our messages are sent with feathers. Then, when the message is not understood or ignored, it becomes rocks and eventually, bricks. It is a tad difficult to not see or feel a brick once it hits you! If someone constantly pushes buttons for you, that is your brick! Simplify the experience, respond differently and the bricks will stop coming.

Get out of your own way to see what is really going on. Self awareness comes by keeping it sincerely simple.