Through the inevitable trial and error of searching for a resolution you will learn, evolve and grow. Through acceptance you will clear up space in that beautiful mind of yours for far more prosperous and rewarding thoughts, neural networks and outcomes. In acceptance you also move away from the constant struggle of the thinking brain to the more intuitive and metaphysically empowered processes of the still mind.
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I was sitting on the roof the other night, with my neighbor, discussing what we would do if there was a zombie apocalypse and we were the last, and only person on earth. We both agreed we would find the coolest high performance car we could and just drive like crazy for a few hours, tearing it up. Then we very quickly realized how lonely it would be. Being that there were no other people on earth there would be nothing to live for and we agreed we would probably just be ok with dying. So it got me thinking about the people who are in fact still here and appreciating them more. This off course led me to the idea of perspective and choosing or not choosing to appreciate the people around me.
Not currently being in a relationship I’ve been working on objectively observing those around me who are to get ideas about what to do and not do when I am. One thing I’ve observed is an awful lot of nit picking. I think when we are in a relationship ourselves we don’t notice this as much simply because we are joining in, playing along with the band so to speak. However, from where I’m standing right now, I do see it. Sometimes it’s almost as if they don’t even want to like the other person? Sometimes it’s not that bad. We all fall within the spectrum somewhere from time to time though for a variety of reasons.
So I ask you; If your partner were the only other person on earth that you had for companionship, would it really matter that they tap their toothbrush on the sink or stop to throw the laundry in the dryer even though you’re running late? I’m talking about the little things here. Little things we can choose to focus on or choose to let go? The more you consciously choose to let those things go, the more it becomes habit (automatic, subconscious) to not even notice them and then, not even be bothered by them anymore. Try it, you will see! However there is a bigger win to be had here as well. When we fill the space between us and another person with these low vibrating negative emotions and energies that is what we get. It literally dictates what manifests in our relationship. When we clear this space, we make room for higher vibrating, creation emotions to come in and fill the space. That’s the sweet spot, I’m pretty sure.
Hopefully there won’t be a zombie apocalypse. But just in case, why not appreciate each other now while we’re all still here.
I racked my teacher brain to come up with a quick and easy mnemonic for this one. I wanted to keep this last thought on forgiveness short and sweet. My thinking here is that all things have value (enter silver lining speech) and that moving forward, as a more evolved individual, empowers you. Sometimes you need to forgive someone else, and in other times, just yourself. Some mistakes are small and others send the “oops”ometer into a tail spin. Still the result at the end of the game that we choose to play with ourselves, is always the same. We learn from it and move on. That can be sooner or later? Perhaps, an unwillingness to forgive is really just our way of holding onto pain? Replace that pain with a positive attribute (in this case personal growth for the win!) and you free yourself to move on as a stronger and more complete person. So without further adieu, behold the simple Me/You approach to forgiveness:
My son, Kir was upset about his lunch bag going missing at school and vowed to find out who took it and get even with them. We were riding in the car and I tried to explain that we never really know what other people are feeling, dealing with, and going through, that might cause them to do things that just don’t make sense according to us and our view of the world. However, I could see from his baffled expression in my rear view mirror that this was all a little too much for him so I just let it sit there for a while.
So after school he came home to these two brown paper lunch bags on the coffee table. “What can you tell me about these two bags just by looking I asked?” “They’re both the same,” he quickly replied. “Ok, pick them up, now are they both the same?” He figured out immediately there was something different about each of the bags but was still unsure about what it was. So I asked him to close his eyes and put his hand in each bag and describe the contents. He put his hand in the first bag. “This one is soft and silky.” That was the bag filled with flour. Then he put his hand in the next bag and winced. “Oh it’s hard and prickly.” That was the bag filled with the spikiest mulch I could find out back.
So the lunch bags are like people. It’s easy to assume that everyone is the same, similar to us, or at least coming to the game with a similar set of experiences to guide them, but that is just not always the case. We never know what’s really inside someone and what causes them to act the way they do toward us.
The truth is there is a mixture of flour and mulch in all of our lunch bags. I know I have hurt people in ways and topics that are outside of my area of focus or world view. I am trying to stop and recognize these myself and ask for forgiveness when it happens. One recent morning I was curt with the operator at the cab company. I was stressed about my son not making his train which in NO WAY justifies my being less than kind and grateful for her help. I felt like a real douchebag so I called back to apologize. When I did, she said “that’s ok Kristen, have a great day.” She knew it was me, she offered her forgiveness easily and wished me well. I was overwhelmed by her kindness and it reaffirmed my decision to ask for forgiveness.
Asking for forgiveness is the flip side of forgiving, you never really have just one or the other, we all have both a little flour and a little mulch in our lunch sacks.
Photo credit: super cute huh? I found it on etsy and have to give mad props to this guy, check out Ty’s shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LifetimeLeatherCo?ref=unav_listing-h
Welcome to my world! I decided to start with a series of series because, well, I heart irony! I can’t think of a better way to simplify your life then to lighten your spiritual load so forgiveness seemed like a great place to begin. First in this series, let's lay the foundation by looking at what the bible has to say about the idea. Yeah, the Bible, it turns out life did come with an instruction manual and I can tell you the insights the bible provides on forgiveness are (not surprisingly) life changing. Then we will move onto looking at the whole matter from the perspective of others (yeah, that’s a real thing too ;-) and lastly we’ll delve into practical, hands on ideas to send you on your merry way! That's three post (hellooo series!) so lets jump on in.
So I made a very short list of people I wanted, no wait, needed, to forgive and curled up in bed with the Bible. My first shock came when I learned that if you forgive someone of their sin, they are gone for good. Not the actual person, it turns out, just their sins go away ;-). But really, in John 20:23 (The message) it says: “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good.” What an amazing step to take right? I’ve been praying on this myself and actually feel really awesome in the joy of playing my part. As unnatural as it might first seem, this knowledge has turned out to be a really liberating part of the whole forgiveness process. Certainly I feel far, far better than before when I cringed at the mere thought of someone. Now I smile, I really do!
You better be ready to pony up though, because in Luke 7:47 we learn that, “if the forgiveness is minimal, the gratitude is minimal. OK, gotta bring it, duly noted. I was also stupefied in contemplation when I found James 5:16. “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so you can live together whole and healed.”That last step is doozy and in some cases, maybe not always fully possible, for a variety of reasons, but just imagine the possibilities when you can not only forgive but also heal and live whole and joyful. Yes please! In Romans 5:20 aggressive forgiveness is referred to as grace and “grace invites us into life”. Suddenly any logic I had attached to the idea of carrying around a grudge had been replaced with a more than compelling shift in my perspective and the very real reward of knowing the power of forgiveness myself.
I'm working on it. Like anything else It does takes practice, that’s ok I suppose. Start with the guy who took your parking spot this morning and work your way up. The next time someone wrongs you just look at them, smile and think to yourself, “Dude, I’m going to forgive you so hard!”