Working on symptoms seldom solves the real problem so we have to find the main culprit. Engineers use the Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to separate symptoms from problems and determine the core problem that must be solved—this is the first domino that makes the whole stack collapse. The logical analysis finds that the underlying source of this emotional epidemic is two-fold.
First, we do not know how to have great relationships and
Second, few people have a healthy self-love (and this directly results in many relationship problem.)
Then Spiritual Engineering takes the best from science, engineering, psychology and personal spirituality to identify and test a solution that works. These are systematically applied to relationships and the individual in step-by-step methods that produce results.
There’s a hard way and there’s an easy way to do many things in life. We use terms like “on the beam, in the groove, and going with the flow” to describe these. For example, canoeing downstream requires much less work than going upstream. Going with the flow represents a natural order in the physical world—a way that helps us accomplish more by aligning our energy with a natural, pre-existent energy to help achieve our objective. Harmonizing our efforts with natural laws simply works better than going against them.
The Natural Order for Relationships is not complicated. But this 21st century model breaks all existing paradigms. Strawser says “First, great relationships must be built, they don’t just happen. The natural order outlines the components and the procedure for construction.”
Spiritual Engineering discovered that building the highest quality relationships has some similarities to building a house. In both cases, we begin by building a foundation, then erect the walls—the supporting structure—and lastly, we add the roof. This is the natural order for building a house and we follow a similar pattern for building strong, long-lasting relationships.
Spiritual Engineering Axiom #4
The Natural Order for Relationships is:
1. A Relationship with our inner spirit
2. A Relationship with Self
3. Relationships with Others
“If we’re building a house, we wouldn't consider working on the roof before the walls and underpinning were solid; however, we repeatedly do this with relationships, and then we wonder why they come crashing down. We focus our attention and effort on our relationship with the other person (the roof) while we ignore a crumbling foundation (our spiritual concepts) and the cracks in the supporting structure (the walls).”
- You may find it difficult to remember pages of any new idea so Spiritual Engineering keeps it simple.
- Going with the flow requires effort; going against it, struggle.
- Love people; use things. Never love things and use people
- A campfire is easier to extinguish than a blazing forest fire; quenching small problems prevents big ones from consuming you.
- If any relationship is a 50-50 proposition, someone has to keep score. Keeping score automatically ensures defeat for someone.
- Actions reveal priorities. If I say a person is important in my life, how much time do I commit to the relationship?
- Saying “I love you” is vastly different from demonstrating love.
THE WALLS: YOUR SELF-RELATIONSHIP LEARN TO LOVE YOUR SELF
Our relationship with our self is the one relationship that we engage every moment, every day, and every place we go. It is also the walls, the supporting structure for all relationships.
Recognizing that all relationships connect to this self-relationship is nothing new. Over 2,600 years ago, Buddha said, “Consider others as yourself” Then, centuries later, Jesus told us to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s easy to miss the fact that these admonitions imply two great truths: 1) We should extend love all people, but 2) We can only bestow such love as we love our self. This is exactly what causes many relationship problems—we do not love our self in a healthy way so this lack or healthy self-love impairs and contaminates every relationship we’re in. We love others exactly the way we love our self and this sets us up for failure.
Breaking such a deeply entrenched and life-long pattern requires tools similar to solving any complex problem—but is definitely achievable. Spiritual Engineering (here comes the engineering part) uses the EPST. Strawser says “I developed and taught this process to systematically identify the real problems and then have an organized, logical approach to find the best solutions. “ The first part (differentiation) eliminates those things that appear to be problems but are just illusionary concerns; the second part methodically identifies and implements the best solution. This technique has proven to have universal applications—from solving complex engineering problems, as a process to evaluate and solve everyday living problems, to evaluating emotions, to finding the solution about how to “love yourself.” It’s just a practical, logical, structured method to attack any problem.
The Engineering Problem-Solving Technique
Part One: Differentiation (Eliminating Non-Problems)
1. Is this really a problem?
2. Is it my responsibility to solve it?
3. Can I do anything about it today?
4. Do I really want to solve this?
Part Two: Finding and Maintaining a Solution
1. Accept and process the problem.
a) Separate problem from symptoms.
b) Find the root cause.
2. Evaluate possible solutions.
3. Identify the best solution.
4. Implement this solution.
5. Perform the necessary maintenance.
People waste a lot of time and energy on issues that aren’t really problems. Differentiation separates non-problems from real problems and thereby allows us to focus on solving the real problems. Focusing our energy this way leads to more effective solutions.
APPLY EPST TO YOUR PROBLEMS
Spiritual Engineering offers some questions you might ask yourself about your perceived problem:
Personal Differentiation Process
- Is it really a problem, or is it something I think might be a problem? Is it a direct and immediate threat to my well-being, or is it just a nuisance, an irritation? Am I just reacting?
- Is it my responsibility? Whose decisions and actions have brought about this problem? Am I protecting someone else from the consequences of his or her choices or actions? If I take no action will the outcome cause me direct harm? Will it cause someone else harm? If so, why do I have an obligation to prevent it? Is this any of my business?
- Can I do anything about it today that will prevent or alter the situation? If I can take an action today, I need to do so and then move on. If I cannot take an action on it today, it’s not a problem today. It may become a problem, an immediate and direct threat, tomorrow but it isn't today. Instead, it’s a worry, an illusionary problem.
- Do I really need to solve it? Sometimes we forget that we don’t have to find a solution for every problem we face.
- How big is it really? Am I blowing this out of proportion and over-reacting? Many current upsets have little long-term impact on our lives.
LOVE YOURSELF SO YOU CAN RECEIVE AND GIVE LOVE TO OTHERS
To cut to the chase, if you work the process and apply this to developing a healthy self-love, you end up with a three step process. Most people move sequentially through these three phases but you can absolutely find a healthy love for yourself.
1. Know yourself. Understand the how, what, and why of your existence.
- Perceptions (how you see the world)
- Expectations (what should happen)
- Motive (why you make decisions and actions)
2. Accept yourself just as you are at this moment
- Resistive acceptance (I really don’t like it, but have to live with it.)
- Neutral acceptance (Ok , there might be some reason for this.)
- Total acceptance (Hey, it’s a great thing. Why didn’t I see this before?)
3. Love yourself
- Unify your personality
- Our mind can be our best friend or worst enemy
- Aligning our will
- Taking care of our self
- Would you rather be happy or right?
- Life gives us pain, but misery is optional—and self-inflicted.
- Love is active, not passive; it is action, not words.
- Denial condemns us to mediocrity and misery. We cannot solve any problem until we admit we have a problem. I must accept that “If I am not peaceful, I have a problem.”
- The chains of self-righteousness shackle millions to mediocrity and misery
- Forgive but never forget. Release all emotional bonds to past actions but remember the event to avoid repeating it.
- Learning the difference, and learning to communicate the difference, between “I feel” and “I think” is difficult—but essential.