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Healthy relationships start within. 

Healthy relationships are filled with virtues. 

Respect. Humility. Curiosity. Patience. Honesty. Forgiveness. Encouragement. 

As we make our minds and bodies healthier, our relationship with ourselves and others improves. 

We all sense each others thoughts on a subconscious level and can be impacted by these sensations. 

 

Our minds are often very messy. They might jump from thoughts of violence to thoughts of comfort in milliseconds. As we observe our mind jumping from one extreme to the next, we see how unstable it is. This mind is like an unstable person we are always attached to. This person can have a million different and conflicting thoughts. I've found it helpful to label this "person" a friend. 

We practice the virtues with this friend. We listen to them and talk to them. We are respectful with ourselves and them. We hold our boundaries, and respect theirs. We are honest, and so the conversations are more useful. We see that we have differences and sit calmly with this fact. We are humble, curious about, and open to the idea they might have some helpful thoughts here and there. We are patient with ourselves and them, knowing both of us might make mistakes. We are forgiving when each other make mistakes. We encourage each other to be the best we can. 

We talk with this friend while practicing virtues and thus cultivate a more harmonious relationship with ourselves. 

Now, when we go into difficult conversations we can think, "I remember that time I was having a really angry conversation with myself, and how I needed to remain calm, firm, forgiving, respectful of boundaries, breathe deeply, etc, and can use all that practice to aid me in this conversation." This applies for any and all negative thoughts/emotions, not just anger. "How I deal with sadness, impatience, fear," and so on. Slowly, we find it easier to practice these virtues with everyone around us, even those we once clashed with immensely. 

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