Cultivating Discernment for a Healthy Relationship

Any great relationship requires our ability to discern people. It is like us needing to learn to discern nutritious foods from toxic foods. In a similar way, I am now learning how important it is to actively invite energies that are supportive of my own growth and makes me thrive as a person. Here are some of the things that I learned in honing this skill of discernment. I thought it would be beneficial to share.

In nutshell, it is threefold.

1. Clarifying your values

2. Setting boundaries

3. Trust your intuition

Words can at times deceive us! We often can get fooled by outer images of people. Then we may come to realize later that the person was not who we thought they were and that there was little substance in that relationship.

I think one of the damages that this extreme capitalistic culture brings is that it can incapacitate our ability to be authentic with others. Employment in a corporate environment is hierarchical, making relationship become superficial, fake and temporary.

The notion of scarcity generates competition among workers. This drive for competition makes people compare themselves with others and seek for acceptance from outside. It conditions people to remain in low survival-oriented mode, where we can’t truly form a meaningful relationship, but instead are encouraged to see one another as resources to benefit from.

By describing all of this, I am not removing myself out of the equation. I recognize these tendencies in myself as well. So in this environment that makes it difficult for us to form authentic relationships, this capacity of discernment is crucial. It also helps us become who we truly are.

Clarifying one’s own values:

First off, discernment requires us to have a strong sense of self. Without our sense of self, our personal space is wide open. We don’t know where we begin and where we end. We may allow people to come into our life who don’t really deserve to be a part of our life. If you don’t know who we are, how can we know other people?

So first, it is important for us to clarify our values. What do we truly want in a relationship? What qualities do we value in people and what do we want to learn from them, so we can grow together?

Setting boundaries:

Once you clarify your own values, you can then learn to honor them by setting boundaries. These values are an embodiment of yourself. We can treat it like a sanctuary slowly emerging around us. In the same way that you don’t invite strangers into your house or someone with dirty shoes, we can discern who to invite into our life and can choose guests more wisely.

Trust your intuition:

Only when we fortify our boundaries and connect with our own values, can we recognize the energies of others. Someone might tell us something that is nice, yet disguise their intention. Especially in communication through the Internet, it is easy for people to present themselves and act in a way that is not truly aligned with who they are.

By paying attention to our feelings, we can read energies, intentions and motivations of others. If you feel something odd or have sense of doubt about someone, trust it. Our body picks up information more accurately than our head does.

Additional – Cleaning the House (letting go of people):

With this capacity of discernment, one can then clean the house by letting go of people who don’t serve for your highest good. Sometimes, even people who come into our life with good intentions change and old friendship drifts away. We simply grow apart and energies that resonated before are no longer there. In this case, we may decide to just part ways.

We can send them off with love and compassion. The stronger you set your own values and are able to hold to them, the more your house gets cleaned and you are able to allow people who are good to one another.