year of living copyWonder, rather than doubt, is the root of our knowledge.
— Abraham Heschel


When any problem arises, make the three following related moves as quickly as you can. Each produces instant results; all three together speed up the flow of miracles. First, take ownership of the issue itself. If you’re in an argument or difficult situation, say, “I claim full responsibility for creating this argument or situation.” This puts you in the power position. Second, take ownership of the (unconscious) intention that’s working. Say, “I must have a need to create an argument with you right now.” Third, take ownership of the solution. Say, “I take responsibility for creating a favorable outcome.” Do not under any circumstances let the other person’s reaction dictate how you proceed. The core ingredient in the mastery of conflict? Wonder, not judgment. To wonder about your own “responsibility allows you to move forward in relationship.

Laura writes: I was once talking to a male friend, sharing a feeling I often had at the time that men didn’t listen to me. When I stopped talking, I noticed that my friend had a blank look on his face. I questioned him, and he admitted that he had “zoned out” and hadn’t heard much of what I’d said. In the past, I’d have taken a victim role (“Poor me! This just confirms what I was saying!”). Instead, since that hadn’t worked, I looked at how I might be looking for men who didn’t listen, and I examined whether I was talking in a way that made listening difficult. The answers I found in myself were quite telling, and I began to make some long-needed changes in how I sought out relationships with men. Had I stayed in the old templates, refusing to take ownership of my role in the dynamic, I’d still be back where I was, taking cold comfort in being a victim.


Reflect back over the watershed experiences of your life, both in the positive and negative sense. How long did it take you each time to claim full responsibility for creating the experience? Are there some experiences you still have not claimed ownership of? If so, what are you waiting for?

Before initiating any significant conversation, pause for a few seconds to cultivate a feeling of genuine appreciation for the other person. Once attained, speak the truth of this as your lead-in to whatever else you want to discuss.

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