top of page

How to Heal Relationships

Begin by realizing that you're looking at everyone through your story.

How to get the most out of these Wisdom Quotes:

  1. Put aside everything you think you already know.

  2. Open your mind and heart to receive something new.

  3. Take your time going through each point.

  4. Return to any points that particularly touch you.

  5. In the coming days, listen carefully to the wisdom within you.

1. Recognize the Stories

wisdom quote

"The story is what happened and remembering or talking about what happened. That's fine, but it cannot be a substitute for something deeper that is more important, and that is the actual connection between us beyond words and concepts.

When I look at you, if I only look at you through our story, that would be very limiting, even if it's a nice story.

Of course, the stories that are not nice get stuck in the mind much more than the nice stories. Nice stories are okay: "He's a nice person, he's so helpful..." Then finally, after two minutes, the mind doesn't say anymore. But if he's an obnoxious person the mind can think about it for hours.

So the stories are fine as long as we're not confined to the stories and so that, in the actual moment of interacting, there is another dimension present.

Let's just imagine that we met a couple of years ago and we had an unpleasant interaction. Then, if we only remembered our story, that would totally obscure our ability to relate to each other. There would be further unpleasantness added to what's already there, which would be stuff in your mind and stuff in my mind. And that stuff tends to proliferate - it produces more and more of the same kind of thoughts."

~Eckhart Tolle, from the video: The Power of Stories


Have you noticed that you always look at other people through your story of them?

  1. Become aware of all the stories you have in your mind concerning the people in your life.

  2. Do you see that you have allowed the story of what happened in the past to dictate the future? Do you recognize how you have innocently closed the door of your heart?

  3. As soon as you wake up to the stories of your relationships, there is a possibility for something new to emerge. Breathe a sigh of relief. You will discover that you no longer need to be confined by your stories.

2. Practice Pure Attention

Eckhart Tolle quote

"If there's a negative story in your past with that person, it's even more important to be present with them.

To look at another human being the transcendent dimension needs to be there - even as you remember the story.

How does that happen? It happens by practicing, at first, and then it becomes second nature to you. Practicing when a person talks to you, or you're looking them - not to think while you look.

How do you do that? Use the inner body as an anchor while you're looking. Feel the aliveness - that's one way of being present - and then you become the spacious awareness.

This is the greatest gift you can give another human being - pure attention.

Then there is no longer any egoic intention: "What can you do for me?" or, "What did you do to me last year that you shouldn't have done?" or, "What does she want from me?" - all kinds of stories that interfere with true relationship."

~Eckhart Tolle, from the video: The Power of Stories


Eckhart reminds us that, "to look at another human being, the transcendent dimension needs to be there, even as you remember the story."

  1. So, this is not about forgetting the story. What happened, happened. But we are called to transcend the story and look at one another in a different way, a new way.

  2. Consider the people you interact with on a regular basis and how you may have become comfortable with relating on a superficial level. Practice looking at them with undivided attention.

  3. Don't try NOT to think - just ignore the mental narrative when it appears. if you find your attention wandering off, or you start formulating your reply while they're still speaking, notice the anchor of your breathing, or become conscious of your body in some way. In this way, you can remain with them and practice giving your pure attention.

3. Recognize the Conditioning

Eckhart Tolle quote

"When you pronounce judgment upon someone, you confuse those conditioned mind patterns with who they are. To do that is in itself a deeply conditioned and unconscious pattern.

You give them a conceptual identity, and that false identity becomes a prison not only for the other person but also for yourself.

To let go of judgment does not mean that you don't see what they do. It means that you recognize their behavior as a form of conditioning, and you see it and accept it as that. You don't construct an identity out of it for that person.

That liberates you as well as the other person from the identification with conditioning, with form, with mind. The ego then no longer runs your relationships."

~Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks


How liberating it is to see that we've been judging the conditioning of others!

  1. This is like realizing that the story we've been upset about is just a movie, projected onto a screen. There's no real substance there to be bothered about. Conditioning implies unconsciousness. How can we blame someone who is acting unconsciously?

  2. Consider the people for whom you feel some resentment. Can you "recognize their behavior as a form of conditioning"? Do you see how not recognizing that keeps you both in a conceptual prison of false identity?

  3. When you recognize the conditioning, you can't help but release the judgment that has been keeping your heart closed.

4. Meet Here and Now

Eckhart Tolle quote

"Often, when we're talking about our relationship, we're talking about the story of our relationships, the story of our past and future together.

There's me and there's you in the room, and then there's this third thing called "our relationship." We talk about our relationship as if it was some kind of entity, some kind of thing.

We talk about our past together and everything that went wrong, everything that went right; our future together and how it might look, our hopes and our dreams - we play out the movie of our future together.

But actually, in reality, we only have this moment together.

True relationship doesn’t live in the past or future. It lives in the now.

Relationship isn’t the story of our relationship, although we can carry on telling that story. True relationship lies in this present moment, real-time living, relating with each other, connecting here and now.

That’s the invitation of life: can we meet here and now, beyond the story of our relationship?"

~Jeff Foster, from the video: Waking Up and Breaking Up From the Dream of Relationship


You're very familiar with the story of your relationship, but what is there beyond that?

  1. Do you see how creating a separate entity called "your relationship" keeps you in the conceptual mind instead of being present for real connection?

  2. How long have you spent evaluating and judging your relationship? How many concepts do you have about what needs to happen or what shouldn't have happened? And how strong are all these mental constructs?

  3. Begin to see, and in that seeing, allow the relaxing of your story. You don't need to try to get rid of any feelings, you don't need to reframe your thoughts, and you don't need to pretend that events didn't happen. Just be open to meeting here, now, beyond the story of your relationship.

5. Wake Up to Reality

Jeff Foster quote

"In your relationship, you dreamt that you were going to stay together. You had all these plans and you’ve been dreaming of a future together, maybe growing old together. You were living with all these movies playing out in your head - the movie of your relationship.

And then, reality comes along and smacks you in the face because life is saying: "No, actually, it’s not going to be like that. It was never going to be like that. It was never, ever, ever going to be like that. It was never going to match your dream. Your dream was always false."

It’s like you’re waking up to reality and that waking up can be painful. That’s why breakups and deaths can feel so painful, but what’s really happening is, the pain is the pain of lost hopes and shattered dreams.

In the story, the mind might say: "This is the worst thing that’s ever happened! This is the end of my life. I can’t go on! Life has gone wrong for me. Life is bad…” But really, life can’t go wrong. It’s our dreams and our hopes and our plans that die.

That’s either the origin of great depression or awakening. It’s an opportunity to let go of those hopes and dreams and plans and recognize what is truly here, recognize who you really are.

So, it’s the hopes and dreams and plans that fall away, but that’s wonderful, because why would you want to live in hopes and dreams and plans?

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up to who you are now.

THIS is real."

~Jeff Foster, from the video: Waking Up and Breaking Up From the Dream of Relationship


"And then reality comes along and smacks you in the face..."

  1. Many of us can relate to life's smack in the face, but this is not a violent, ill-meaning smack. It's the smack of love, to wake us up from our dream world of what life looks like according to our preference, according to how we think it should be.

  2. How many dreams and hopes and plans have fallen away in your lifetime? And how many years later do you still sigh about them? Everything that bothers you about any of your relationships is an opportunity to let go and recognize what is truly here.

  3. In your efforts to heal your relationships, hear the call of life to wake up to reality, and save yourself from the victimhood of crying in the rubble of broken dreams. The story can be so strong, filled with blame and sorrow, but it would be a pity to miss this opportunity to go beyond it all and awaken to who you are without the story.

6. Turn Your Light Up

Jeff Foster quote

"When someone calls you names, reduces you to a thing, when they offer advice you didn't ask for, when they blame you for their pain, when they do not listen to you, and endlessly talk about themselves, whey they compare you with others, when they ignore, invalidate, judge or ridicule your thoughts and feelings...

Stop. Breathe.

Feel your feet in contact with the sacred Earth. Feel the safety of the moment.

Know it's their pain, not yours. Know they are dreaming the only dream they can dream until they wake up. Know that they don't know the real you, only their fantasy.

Don't try to change them now. They may never change. Don't try to fix them. They aren't asking to be fixed right now, obviously.

The more you push, the more they'll push back. Don't get entangled in their web of sorrows. See clearly, have compassion, but don't push.

It's okay that they are upset. It really is. Give them space to be upset. It's okay that they are disappointed in you. Give them space to be disappointed. It's okay that they judge you. Make room for their judgments too.

Don't blame the other person for your feelings; hold your feelings close, they are your children.

Yes, you will meet many gatekeepers on this journey, many naysayers, many judges. Walk your path anyway, and allow others to walk theirs. You don't need to justify your path or defend it. Nobody can stop you from walking it.

Stay close to yourself in these challenging times. Do not fight the darkness; it has no power anyway. Simply turn your light up, way up."

~Jeff Foster, The Way of Rest


Through these beautiful words, Jeff paints a picture of what love looks like. Acceptance, compassion and peace are all included in this unconditional love.

When you go beyond the story, the thoughts and feelings and shoulds and shouldn'ts, all that is left is the light of your true nature. It is this light that brings the energy of healing to the world through all the human hearts.

bottom of page