Each day, we are in a constant battle with time: I need to get to work on time; I wish he would commit to me right now; I want this problem to end immediately. But the almighty truth is that we can never manipulate time. We can only work with it by acknowledging the four universal rules of time. Recognizing the four truths of time grants us the wisdom of knowing exactly when to jump into action and when to stay still and wait. As I always say, "Timing is everything, and everything in time." Trying to work against the Divine timing of your life is like trying to walk against a strong headwind. But when you understand and use universal timing to your advantage, the wind is blowing from behind you, ushering you forward in the right direction. Truly, time then becomes your eternal ally.
The following steps are loosely excerpted from my upcoming book that I co-authored with my mom, Dr. Carmen Harra, entitled The Karma Queens' Guide to Relationships:
Our discomfort with facing the present can cause us to struggle with relationships. All relationships change over time, but we often fool ourselves into thinking a relationship has remained the same as it always was. Sometimes we do grasp that a relationship has changed, and we want it to go back to what it was. We hang in there hoping the relationship will improve, that the past will come around again. Meanwhile, we avoid acknowledging how unhappy we are in the present. This does a great disservice to everyone involved.
It would be nice if our relationship problems solved themselves instantly, but resolving karma within a relationship involves a process. It takes time, patience, and hard work, and it starts with being honest with ourselves about what is happening in the relationship right now.
Worrying about the past or future, or wishing that the good old days would come back or that the future will be better, takes your eyes off what is happening in the present--and you must be in the present in order to begin resolving and mastering your karma. If you want to become a karma queen, it's important to align with the four rules of universal time:
Universal Time Rule #1: Everything Is in Flux
Everything is changing at all times, even the rocks and the mountains! We don't think about how life is constantly transforming, but when we forget this is true, we can become attached to situations as they were or as they are. In Buddhism, it's said that suffering comes from our attachments to how things are, or were, or might be. As long as we look at our circumstances as bad simply because they aren't what we want them to be right now, we cause ourselves grief. We start thinking that anything less than ideal is bad, and we become obsessed with the idea that things are not as we want them to be. Yet when we understand that change is a part of life, we have an easier time accepting what our relationships and our lives are right now in this moment. If you want to master your karma and become a karma queen, you have to accept that time is in a flux. Anchor yourself in the present and deal with things as they are presently, because they could change for better or worse at any given moment.
The paradox is that we have to start with acceptance before trying to make our situations or relationships better. We can have greater influence over the way our relationships transform if we stop resisting how they are right now. The more we let them be, the more they change in our favor--both because that's the way the universe works and because our mind-set helps us be more accepting of the situation. You can't change the ebb and flow of the ocean--you can only admire it.
All relationships must transform. No relationship stays the same. No person is exactly who he or she was in the past. Everyone, at any stage of life, can change. Relationships require that we embrace people as they are now -- not as they once were or as they might be at some point down the road. You must allow people to change and grow and not stifle their potential. Let yourself transform freely, too. Let others expand in their own ways and at their own pace. You can lovingly speak to them about their transformation, and encourage them or warn them about obstacles you see on the road ahead of them, but don't try to hold them back from their personal growth. Allow them to learn in their own ways and their own time. Love them enough to let them evolve. Love yourself and others as you are right now, understanding that one day you may miss the person you know now after they've undergone certain shifts. There's always room for improvement, yes, and there are always challenges to be met. But remember that change happens. Let your relationships ebb and flow and transform, gently guiding them in the direction you want them to go in, but taking a small step back when you see that they are resistant to your efforts. Leave it in the hands of the Divine.
Universal Time Rule #2: Timing Matters
When you communicate with others, be aware of their cycles and their moods. People are better able to handle difficult news or questions when they don't feel rushed or put on the spot in front of others. Nobody likes to be stressed or pressured. At the same time, you can't avoid confrontations and expect to maintain good relationships. Have the challenging conversations, but do it in the right timing. Otherwise, you may end up rebutting out of frustration or anger, which can seriously damage your relationship. So hold off on the tough talks until you feel you can adequately hold your tongue and respond in the right way.
If, in any given situation, you're anxious and want an answer right away, stop and think. Can you deal with your anxiety on your own and wait until the person you care about is in a better state to talk about what's important to you? Can you calm yourself down before talking further? It's easier to pay attention to other people's timing when you're not in a panic yourself. The difference between pushing someone's buttons when they're in an already bad mood, and waiting to reason with them when they're more receptive, is enormous. Things can turn ugly quickly when your insecurities or anxieties push someone who's already irritable over the edge. This is why it's crucial to inspect the timing of your conversation. Chances are, you may come across as irritating, even desperate, if you approach someone in the middle of an anxious or "needy" mood swing. You might end up saying hurtful things you don't mean because your words are derived from your pain, not from love or logic.
If the timing for a difficult conversation isn't good but you are agonizing over having to remain silent for a bit, release your elevated emotions by scribbling them furiously in your journal or screaming your words in your bathroom as you shower--just don't approach your loved one for a tough conversation in the midst of a compromised mood! Love yourself and others enough to pay attention to the unique timing of everyone involved.
Universal Time Rule #3: Trying to Force Matters or Pressure People Doesn't Work
If you're impatient, you may end up issuing ultimatums to people. A woman might say to her romantic partner, "If you don't make up your mind in three months about whether to commit to this relationship, I'm out of here!" But ultimatums are for you, not other people. And, honestly, ultimatums ultimately end relationships. You can't force people to operate on your timetable. They have their own timing. You can set your boundaries and expectations, but you can't make them change, much less make them change as quickly as you would like them to. Change has to come from their heart--they have to want to put in the necessary effort.
If you feel the need to set a boundary with someone and issue an ultimatum, set one up for yourself as well. Make it a two-way street. Say, "I know you need to take time to make your decision. Just know that if this doesn't happen by such-and-such a time, I may move on," and then follow through on the ultimatum you made for yourself. Don't be angry, hurt, and resentful. Often, people want to change but they don't know how to, or it's too difficult for them because they haven't done it before. Don't assume they're not changing because they don't care about your feelings! Just accept that the other person's timing isn't yours. You might discover that the person changes his or her mind and comes back to you very soon. People who are committed to change will find their way back into your life.
Universal Time Rule #4: Impatience Calls for Exploration
Fear is usually what's driving impatience, so when you're impatient, the best thing to do is stop and explore your fear. This includes exploring whether there are any outside pressures pushing you to act. Do you have to get married to this person, or by a certain time? Are others rushing you to make peace with someone right now, when you need more time to be able to work through your feelings and forgive that person? By better understanding your fear, you'll have an easier time letting go of it. Then you'll be more patient and you can focus on the process of transformation.
Learning the truth about time will save you from unnecessary stress and strain. Understanding when the universe supports certain actions versus when it urges you to be patient can help you make the best decisions possible. Become aware of the four universal time rules and start working hand in hand with your Divine timing today.
To the incredible timing of your life,
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