"Think of somebody...you do not like, who causes negative feelings to arise in you. Let's help you to understand what's going on. The first thing you need do understand is that the negative feeling is inside you. You are responsible for the negative feeling, not the other person. Someone else in your place would be perfectly calm and at ease in the presence of this person; they wouldn't be affected. You are. Now, understand another thing, that you're making a demand. You have an expectation of this person. Can you get in touch with that? Then say to this person:
"I have no right to make any demands on you."
In saying that, you will drop your expectation.
"I have no right to make any demands on you. Oh, I'll protect myself from the consequences of your actions or your moods or whatever, but you can go right ahead and be what you choose to be. I have no right to make any demands on you."
...Some of you ask me what I meant when I said, "You go ahead and be yourself, I'll be myself." In other words, I won't allow you to manipulate me. I'll live my life; I'll go my own way; I'll keep myself free to think my thoughts, to follow my inclinations and tastes. And I'll say NO to you. If I feel I don't want to be in your company, it won't be because of any negative feelings you cause in me. Because you don't anymore. You don't have any power over me. I simply might prefer other people's company...And that's all right. To say NO to people - that's wonderful; that's part of waking up. Part of waking up is that you live your life as you see fit. And understand: That is not selfish. The selfish thing is to demand that someone else live their life as YOU see fit. That's selfish. It is not selfish to live your life as you see fit. The selfishness lies in demanding that someone else live their life to suit your tastes, or your pride, or your profit, or your pleasure. That is truly selfish. So I'll protect myself. I won't feel obligated to be with you; I won't feel obligated to say yes to you. If I find your company pleasant, then I'll enjoy it without clinging to it. But I no longer avoid you because of any negative feelings you create in me. You don't have that power anymore."
- Anthony De Mello
a direct message from the Divine...the book fell and opened to this passage...