Relationship Magic

This is an excerpt from the very insightful book, Secrets of Truly Beautiful Relationships, by Murray Oxman.

two butterflies
“Dr. Truth, you spoke earlier of the pain that all of us experience in our daily lives. You said that it is born out of knowing what you want in life and trying to get it. Is there no way to have a nice home, a nice car, nice clothes, financial security, without pain?”

“Good question,” Dr. Truth replies, and continues, “The problem here is that the pain is trying to tell us something, but we do not listen to it. It is trying to tell us we are going about life all wrong. There is nothing wrong with having a nice car, home and nice clothes. The problem is that we want them not for their own intrinsic value, but to be a salve for our pain — to dull the pain. In turn we become very dull people.

“We all have been taught, by the actions of others, to avoid pain and seek pleasure. It is also an animal instinct that we inherited. But the truth is that you cannot add anything to the pain that will make it go away. No amount of pleasure will end the suffering. It only masks it for awhile. We must stop running from the pain and study it out of existence, I didn’t say wallow in it! One must be intensely interested in the pain — studying its every move. To study it one must bear the pain consciously. Bearing the pain makes us highly sensitive — alert. In studying the pain one comes to understand it. The understanding of it dissolves it forever. It’s a very beautiful thing to experience. Life without working on oneself is bleak. There is no real hope. But when one goes to work — honestly — vigorously, there’s real hope! I wish I could convey to you the vast rewards that are already set aside and waiting for those with a true heart to claim them. Any further questions?” Mike is the only one to raise his hand at this point. “Yes sir,” Dr. Truth says.

Mike asks, “If there was just one thing, the most important thing, we could leave here with tonight, what would it be?”

Without hesitation Dr. Truth replies, “Here’s a bit of relationship magic: Whenever you’re discussing anything with someone else, always put yourself in the other person’s position. That is, look at what you’re talking about from the other person’s viewpoint as well as your own. Do not have or defend a position. Drop the notion that your view of the situation is the correct one. And above all else — really listen to the other person. Listening is an art. This bit of practical magic, combined with the other things discussed here tonight can make relationships a real pleasure”



  1. Melodie Machovina on June 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Hurray! This is such a freeing excerpt; I don’t feel like I have to frantically search for something outside of me to make me happy. Thank you for posting this 🙂

  2. Lisa on June 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    After reading this post, a thought occurred to me; What if I didn’t label any feeling that comes to me as pain or pleasure? What if we just noticed the feeling without adding a definition? Could it be that we learned what is pleasurable and painful. If I put my attention on the feeling and not the definition, I see that It’s just a feeling and nothing more. The mind wants to label feelings as good or bad. The fact that we react the same way over and over, proves that we are reacting in a mechanical way. I’m learning that Attention is necessary……….. if we are tired of our same reactions day in and day out!

  3. Tim on July 4, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    There is magic in putting yourself in the other person’s position. First of all, it proves I am 100% self-centered all the time. I’m never even interested in what anyone else has to say. I even feel the other has intruded into my private little world. It’s magic to see the pain of living this way and how I’m causing it all. Then, I can listen to others for the first time by catching the wanting to go on to something else, let it go without trying to avoid or push it away and actually hear what is being said. The wanting to go on to something else always takes me away from the present into a spiral of painful thought.

    • Gina on July 11, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      You bring up some great points here Tim. First of all, when you put yourself in another’s position, you are in an unfamiliar situation in which awareness is possible. We always fall asleep when in our own comfort zone! I also like how you pointed out that we humans – self-centered little egoists – are always looking for the next opportunity to be a ‘star’, get on stage and be the point of attention. And how we are obviously in our own little world, apart from the current moment, when wanting to ‘move on’ to the ‘something else’. This is all so healthy to see, and is available to us when we step outside of ourselves, and really experience the ‘other’ person.

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