Katherine Tandy Brown Wholly Holistics ColumnYears ago, a wise spiritual teacher told me that relationships, whether family, friend or intimate, offer us humans a terrific opportunity for growth. As well as I understood his words at the time, that made sense.

Even as a shy child, I realized the fact that new people brought into my life fresh – often interesting – things to talk about and sometimes different perspectives than I’d been aware of up to that time. All that certainly grew my knowledge. 

But not until I began studying universal principles – those Truths with a capital “T” that apply to life itsownself, to every one of us, regardless of nationality, race, creed, religious belief, or where we live on this planet Earth – did I start to understand the true meaning of his words.

Though you may already have an idea of those all-encompassing principles, also known as spiritual laws or laws of nature, I’ll elaborate to clarify. 

The first example is the Law of Unconditional Love. The premise is that you must learn to love yourselfunconditionally before you can offer unconditional love to another. 

Conditional love is about loving someone if they behave as you want (or demand); if that person messes up, love is withdrawn. That type of love is used to control. Whereas, unconditional love is affection for someone without regard for their shortcomings or circumstances but not regardless of how they treat you. In other words, loving someone even if they’re moody, don’t take good care of themselves, make a fool of themselves in front of you and/or others, or don’t share the same beliefs as you. Sometimes, unconditional love can encompass the concept of “tough love.” Say, a drug addict keeps taking money from his mother to pay for his drugs. Finally, the mother chooses to set boundaries for herself, i.e. to love herself unconditionally by not enabling him to use her money to feed his habit any more. Though that choice may be hard for her and he may not feel loved, she’s doing what she believes is best for her andfor him.

Another example of a universal principle is the Law of Attraction. Though the concept has been around for literally centuries, it’s gained a great deal of interest in the last few years thanks to the popularity generated by the book and the movie, The Secret.This theory is all about attracting things, people, money, et al into your life by focusing the mind on the object(s) that you desire. A common statement among believers is “Thoughts become things.” I’m one of those, by the way. To me, the idea that the more energy you put into something, the more likely you are to create it, seems obvious.

So, you’ve just read a couple of examples of universal principles. A number more exist and are easy enough to find. Just give ‘em a Google. 

Getting back to my first paragraph – re relationships – in my book the toughest of these principles is the Law of Reflection. Simply put, its premise is that all of our relationships are a mirror of ourselves, i.e. the qualities and traits that irritate us in others are those within ourselves that need work and balancing. 

“The state of your life,” beloved writer and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer once explained, “is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”

Even though this knowledge has existed for eons, it’s easy to see why this “law” could be a challenge, because to embrace it requires taking responsibility for what happens in your life. Even the yucky stuff. Especiallythe yucky stuff. 

According to Deepak Chopra, “We are repelled by people who reflect back to us traits that are difficult to face in our own selves. The mirror of relationship is a valuable tool that we can use to see ourselves more clearly and to expand our awareness. As we become willing to embrace the light and shadow that we all possess, we bring love and healing to ourselves and our relationships.”  

Unless we are vibrating on the same emotional, spiritual or mental frequency as another person, we can’t be affected by their behavior. People reflect back to you, not where they are, but where youare vibrationally in relationship to them. Once you understand that your vibrations are always attracting something to you, and that your circumstances are always reflecting something to you, then you can begin to control your state of being. Notice who’s coming into your life and what they’re reflecting back to you. Get selective, and you’ll manifest effortlessly if you do this.

Remember, every person and everything that comes into your life reflects a choice you’ve made at some point. If you’re not happy with the result, make a different choice. What I’m sure of at this point in my life is that, no matter how tough the challenge, I have the capacity to change my vibrations, and if I do that, my circumstances will change.

Acknowledge your humanness, look squarely in that mirror and say, “I can change this.”

Trust me, it’s nevertoo late.