1. When two people meet, the prize always goes to the one with the most self-insight. He will be calmer, more confident, more at ease with the other.
2. Never permit the behavior of other people to tell you how you feel.
3. Pay little attention to what people say or do. Instead, try to see their innermost motive for speaking and acting.
4. Any friendship requiring the submission of your original nature and dignity to another person is all wrong.
5. Mystically speaking, there is no difference between you and another person. This is why we cannot hurt another without hurting ourselves, nor help another without helping ourselves.
6. When we are free of all unnecessary desires toward other people, we can never be deceived or hurt.
7. You take a giant step toward psychological maturity when you refuse to angrily defend yourself against unjust slander. For one thing, resistance disturbs your own peace of mind.
8. You understand others to the exact degree that you really understand yourself. Work for more self-knowledge.
9. Do not be afraid to fully experience everything that happens to you in your human relations, especially the pains and disappointments. Do this and everything becomes clear at last.
10. The individual who really knows what it means to love has no anxiety when his love is unseen or rejected.
11. If you painfully lose a valuable friend, do not rush out at once for a replacement. Such action prevents you from examining your heartache and breaking free of it.
12. Do not be afraid to be a nobody in a social world. This is a deeper and richer truth than appears on the surface.
13. Every unpleasant experience with another person is an opportunity to see people as they are, not as we mistakenly idealize them. The more unpleasant the other person is, the more he can teach you.
14. You can be so wonderfully free from a sense of injury and injustice that you are surprised when you hear others complain of them.
15. We cannot recognize a virtue in another person that we do not possess in ourselves. It takes a truly loving and patient person to recognize those virtues in another.
16. Do not mistake desire for love. Desire leaves home in a frantic search for one gratification after another. Love is at home with itself.
17. There are parts of you that want the loving life and parts that do not. Place yourself on the side of the positive forces: do all you can to aid and encourage them.
18. You must stop living timidly from fixed fears of what others will think of you and of what you will think of yourself.
19. Do not contrive to be a loving person: work to be a real person. Being real is being loving.
20. The greatest love you could ever offer to another is to so transform your inner life that others are attracted to your genuine example of goodness.
Source: “Twenty Special Secrets,” from ‘Mystic Path to Cosmic Power‘, by Vernon Howard
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