Neale Talks About... the Purpose of Relationships

Some years ago when I was doing metaphysical counseling, a woman came to me lamenting the state of her relationship. After listening to her go on for a while about how bad things had become, I asked her a simple question.

“When was the last time you brought your husband flowers?”

“What?” she responded, a bit startled.

“When was the last time you brought your husband flowers?” I repeated.

“Uh, well...I don’t think I ever did that.”

“Would you like to?”

 “Huh?”

“Do you love your husband?”

“Yes.”

“Would you like to take him flowers?”

“You know, I think I would. That would be nice. I just never thought of it. I mean, giving a man flowers.”

“Try it. Take him a bunch of flowers tonight.”

“Well...okay,” she stammered, not knowing what to really make of the suggestion. “Do you think that will work?”

“Depends on what you are trying to do,” I replied.

The next day there came a pounding at my front door. The “flower lady” was on the other side, and she was not very happy.

“You said to take my husband flowers!” she cried, bursting past me. “Well, I did, and all he said was, ‘Hmmph. What am I supposed to do with these?’”

“I see,” said I. “And so?”

“So it was a rotten idea!”

“How so?”

“How so? How so? I just told you what he said! Is that your idea of things going well?”

 “You’re not pleased with his response.”

“Of course not!  Would you be pleased with that response from your wife?”

“I wouldn’t give flowers to my wife to get a response.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I would give flowers to my wife to give flowers to my wife. The flowers are an expression of how I feel about her, not of how I want her to feel about me. The action is therefore complete in the giving. I don’t care what she does with them. I don’t care what she says about them.”

“Well, then you’re crazy,” the lady in my foyer blurted.

“Perhaps,” I smiled, “but I’m not sad.”

When we do something for another, we should do it for the response it produces in us, not the response we hope it will produce in the other. And the response in us should be a true experience of Who We Are, or we shouldn’t do it.

That is the only reason to do anything. The only purpose of any thought, word or action should be to bring ourselves a true experience of Who We Really Are—and who we choose to be.

And when we make the highest choice, when we choose to be our grandest self, then the blessing is spread to all those whose lives we touch; we see that our best interest is their best interest; we come from an understanding that all of us are one. And so, self interest becomes group interest, and putting oneself first in all things produces the highest good for everyone when what originates every action is a thought that the highest good we can do for ourselves is that which produces the highest good for another.

What would cause us to construct such a reality? What could cause us to hold such a thought? A clear understanding of Who and What We Really Are.

Several years ago, as I was reviewing the many years of what I considered, in my own value system, the mistakes and misdeeds which marked my own prior relationship experiences, I didn’t seem to know how to change. I seemed to be in some kind of never ending cycle of dysfunction. Then the first Conversations with God Book came, and from it, I learned more about relationships than I had in 25 years of trying so hard to make them work. That was the problem, of course. I was trying to make relationships work, and I should have been trying to make them joy.

So now, I’m assessing where I’ve been and where I want to go with regard to my loving relationships. I’m using this as a time to rededicate myself to living the grandest version of the greatest vision I ever held about myself. I only wish I could have come to this years ago. I could have avoided hurting a lot of people. And how has it been for you? Are you, too, ready now to reassess and reevaluate how it has been, and will be, in relationship for you, and for those who have been with you?  

Neale Donald Walsch

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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.

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