One would think it might be easier to accept something than to expend effort to change it, but that does not seem to be the case in most of our relationships. Why do we want others to be and act a certain way? And what creates our expectations about how they should be? Ego often oversteps its role of differentiation and says: I know what is needed in this situation. I know how others should act. I want them to do what I want them to do because it is the right way to do it. It suits my purposes. And if they act the way I want them to I don't have to deal with my own emotional response patterns, my own fear, loneliness, or anger. Many of these conversations (and others about safety, familiarity, duty, and security) are beneath our conscious awareness and are more potent for being so.
It was in the rooms of Alanon that I first recognized how much easier it was for me to focus on someone else's issues than to look at my own. Putting my attention on others gave me the illusion of being right and powerful, or conversely, the self pitying comfort of being a victim. And the key word there is 'illusion', because trying to control or change others is very much like spitting against the wind. Change is an inside job and putting all our energy into to trying to do it outside of ourselves distracts us from our true point of power: our ability to interface with divine forces and change and grow into our full potential as a spiritual being in a physical body.
"It is not for you to judge the journey of another's soul. It is for you to decide who YOU are, not who another has been or has failed to be." Neale Donald Walsch in Conversations With God, Book Two.
I have heard spiritual progress described as a detoxification process: things need to come up before they can be released. A holy relationship is one that grants a safe place to be who we are, to allow our stuff come up and our dark places be seen, knowing we will not be judged, but instead offered compassion and forgiveness. And without the distraction of degradation we are able to learn to change what we can change ... ourselves. Part of that healing change is in response to the supportive environment, and the internalization of that experience leads us to practice love and forgiveness with ourselves and others. We come to understand relationship as a context for healing through mutual forgiveness. A significant aspect of that healing process is the recognition and appreciation of the divine spark that is in all of us, linking us together as one.