This article pairs with one by Eric Butterworth calledThe Art of Getting Along.”

Many of us remember the world 40 or so years ago as kinder and simpler. We may feel nostalgic for a time when the world wasn’t beset by so many crises, when people were more patient and understanding, when our divisions weren’t, well, so divisive.

When Eric Butterworth wrote about the art of getting along in the early 1980s, the world’s circumstances were indeed different. It might be tempting to read his thoughts on the art of getting along and think, Sure that made sense then, but not any longer. The idea that turning up our inner light, aligning our thoughts with divine mind, and living in the flow of light and love can be an antidote to conflict and hostility may seem quaint, even naive.

These days, getting along with others may feel like a faraway dream. Division, polarization, and conflict seem to permeate almost every aspect of modern life. Recent news reports of a loneliness epidemic caused by our estrangement from one another warn of prolonged emotional distress and physical illness. All these things combined may lead us to wonder whether harmony and cooperation will always elude us.

You have the power to transform your darkness to light through spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and the use of denials and affirmations.

Getting Along Begins Within

We are hardwired for connection and togetherness. It’s not only beneficial but crucial to our individual and collective well-being. For our health and our survival, we must learn and master the art of getting along.

Butterworth correctly notes that to get along with others, we must begin with ourselves. He reminds us life is lived from within-out and, regardless of circumstance, we have the power—and responsibility—to get in the flow of life and love.

It’s tempting to think the opposite, that to be in the flow of life and love and to master the art of getting along, we should seek people and circumstances favorable to friendship and love. Butterworth reminds us that the key to getting along, to living harmoniously, is not found in others. It is found within each of us.

Clear the Way for Connection

No matter who you are or what your life is showing you, the one thing your relationships and circumstances have in common is you. Take a moment and let that resonate. If you find yourself at odds with others, if you find yourself pushing or resisting instead of flowing with your life’s conditions, it’s not time to bemoan your bad luck or blame others. Instead, it is time to look within yourself gently and lovingly and discover your divine gifts of love and peace. If you find blocks to the expression of those gifts—fear, unforgiveness, anger—you have the power to transform your darkness to light through spiritual practices such as prayer, meditation, and the use of denials and affirmations. Through these practices, you will cleanse yourself of negative, constricting thoughts and feelings until you feel positive, life-affirming energy fill your consciousness.

It will then become natural for you to turn on the light within you and keep it on. Your spiritual practices will help you keep turning the light up even when the world feels increasingly dark. As you master the art of getting along, you will move beyond praying for God’s help to discovering the power of being the heart and hands of God in the world. You will know with understanding faith there is an inexhaustible wellspring of love and wisdom within you, and you need not search for it in others. You will instead go forth in serenity and confidence knowing others can find it within you.

This article first appeared in the Unity booklet, Turn on the Light: The Timeless Wisdom of Eric Butterworth.

About the Author

Rev. Teresa Burton is editor of Daily Word® magazine. An inspiring writer and dynamic speaker, Burton brings clarity and fresh insights to spiritual Truth. Before answering the call to ministry, she worked for more than 25 years as an editor in various capacities in print and digital publishing.


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