By Eve Hogan

It is said that money is one of the number one challenges in relationships; however, it is not just the lack of money that causes problems. The pursuit of money and the use of money are also capable of challenging, if not destroying, our relationships.

As we put a firm step into the New Year, here are some reminders for maintaining healthy relationships with your loved ones, business associates, and with yourself. These golden rules can take you far further than simple riches can.

Always pay others back the money they loan you before you gift yourself expensive gifts, trips, meals and places to stay. Even a small amount from time to time to let them know you are making the effort makes a huge statement. You will earn the respect of others in business, and your personal life, far greater and faster if you take this lesson to heart.

When someone gives you something, or some kindness, always find ways to return that kindness. Return on investment doesn’t have to always be money. It can be respect, time, communication, and assistance . If someone cooks for you, offer to clean for them. If someone loans you their car, fill it with gas, wash it, communicate and show gratitude and respect. If someone tithes their time, knowledge or money to you, or gives you a place to stay, go overboard in trying to return the investment. A little effort, gratitude, respect, responsibility and communication go a long way.

Do everything in your power to avoid debt. It racks up. It is sneaky. It follows you and it can destroy relationships, businesses and your happiness.

The most important present is being present. Even expensive gifts when given without a personal connection can feel empty. Time, attention, thoughtfulness, and interest in someone else go a long way.

Be humble. While the ego’s mission is trying to protect you, it rarely does so in a healthy way. If you let your ego run your relationships, you will always hit the “iceberg.” When it comes to your parents, (and perhaps your spouse) keep in mind, that the people who raised you, or supported you, did so in the hopes that you would exceed them, not so that you would judge them. In fact, they likely sacrificed what they would have or could have done, investing everything they had in making sure you had what you needed so that you would excel. Lift them up, or simply accept them without judgment.

Spiritual ego is the worst and most dangerous kind. Spiritual ego fools you into thinking you are better than others. Spiritual ego is what causes wars, holocausts, and prejudice and destroys relationships. It helps to remember that Spirit can hide in unique and clever costumes and those you judge may well have the most to teach you.

When someone talks about the virtues of Jesus or Buddha, they push others away. When they behave with the virtues of Jesus or Buddha they draw people in. Similarly, when someone talks ABOUT the importance of making money, being in integrity and having clear communication they may intrigue others with these principles. But when someone demonstrates the value of an agreement, the ability to handle money responsibly and respectfully, and shows respect in their communication, they do far more to spread the message than talk ever will. Talking without the walking only creates distrust and disbelief.

Money is worthless if you haven’t treated others with respect, gratitude and kindness. You may hit the target of being a millionaire, but you will miss the bull’s eye of being in integrity, having self-mastery, being happy and being a good human being. “Being good,” speaks far louder than “looking good.” Always leave others feeling better from your presence than feeling worse.

May 2015 be rich with gratitude, kindness, respect, friendship, humility, health, mindfulness and love. Do that, and the money will follow. Maybe, the money won’t even so necessary.

This article “Money, Ego and Relationships” by Eve Hogan was originally posted on Spiruality & Health. To read the original article click here.

Click here to see Rose’s tips for healthy and happy relationships

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