Tag Archives: relationship

Having All The Answers Is Impossible

“The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence.” Jiddu Krishnamurti

“We are all hypocrites. We cannot see ourselves or judge ourselves the way we see and judge others.” Jose Emilio Pacheco

“People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves.”  Albert Camus

“No one truly knows what they will do in a certain situation until they are actually in it. It’s very easy to judge someone else’s actions by what you assume your own would be, if you were in their shoes. But we only know what we THINK we would do, not what we WOULD do.”  Ashly Lorenzana

Over the years I have slowly lost my ability to have all the answers. I discover that I can forgive myself for the times I don’t have answers or responses for problems. I can’t always make someone feel better or find solution. I lost my ability to know what should be done but I think I have grown up.

Are there answers or is truth an illusion? At times we believe we know what someone should say or do to make things better. We have faith that our answers are the remedy. We  never consider why we might be wrong. We are sure we have all the answers. Have you ever considered your truth was false along with your perspective? When two people are fighting they are both wrong because they only see their own side.  The truth is found when both parties accept the fault without the percentages.

So  much gets lost in the translation as days and even years pass. A past remembrance is not considering the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual state of the person at that moment in time. How does one recall the issues and burdens they  were experiencing? How do we know the influences we had? How was our judgment? How mature or immature were we? What were our beliefs jobs living arrangements? There are so many unanswered questions that lead us to consider it is fruitless to trust our recollection of past events. We don’t understand the state of mind and body. People have answers at a later point in time but may be clueless during the event.

We believe we were less guilty and deserve less blame. We believe the problems were started by the other person. That is human nature. Do we place too much emphasis on appearing perfect? Can we show weakness? If we allowed weakness perhaps there would be less lies and secrets. We praise only winners yet it is harder to admit defeat than state winning. Do we think  our ideas are correct?  find out in time that we don’t have all the  answers all of the time. We discover how much information is required before we can conclude anything.

It is a human desire to support another with advice. It is human nature to judge another’s choices when they disagrees with our own. Each person picks  for themselves. Our answers are personal. Past events are recalled with our perception of the past. It doesn’t make us right or wrong. We use our own lens  to discern truth. Guilt is unnecessary, The past is over. The past shouldn’t dominate the present. We chose past answers based on an array of mental physical and emotional health and needs. Perhaps someone else would choose differently. We can only walk in our own shoes and learn from our own mistakes.

We never had all of the answers and we never will. The best we can do is never deliberately hurt another individual. We can live our own lives and try to move forward each time we learn a lesson. The lessons can be harsh and hurtful. Instead of blaming anyone for our pain we must be thankful for the lesson which helped us to grow beyond what we were. We have choices always.  We can learn from hurtful past events and become a better person or we can stay linked to them and be afraid to let them go. We don’t have all the answers, cannot control others nor blame them for our predicaments. Moving forward means letting go of guilt and blame and embracing the future. Life teaches us lessons about living and living teaches us how to let go and love.

“When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else.”     David Brin

“When one experiences truth, the madness of finding fault with others disappears.” S.N. Goenka

“Often people that criticise your life are usually the same people that don’t know the price you paid to get where you are today. True friends see the full picture of your soul.” Shannon L. Alder

“We practically always excuse things when we understand them” Mlikhail Lermontov

“When we make judgements we’re inevitably acting on limited knowledge, isn’t it best to ask if we seek to understand, or simply let them be?” Jay Woodman

Intentions

Animals10“Good intentions  are not enough; commitment and sacrifice are necessary.” Laurence G. Boldt

“Just because I am strong enough to handle pain doesn’t mean I deserve it.” Pix

“When our actions are based on good intentions, our soul has no regrets.” Anthony Douglas

“No man ever steps in the same river twice cause it’s not the same river and he is not the same man.” Heractitus

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” C. S. Lewis

Our intentions regarding any matter are mixed and hidden because we are trying to fathom ourselves and others. It may not make sense but if you ask someone why they performed a certain act of kindness or meanness they usually give a group of responses for the one question. It made sound like, “I wanted to help them and they supported me and I felt like  I owed them.” The list continues in a confusing way and you wonder why you asked the question in the first place.

Does this mean we don’t know ourselves? We perform kind acts due to payback? We support others because we feel others are  watching us? Lastly I wanted to Help. I surmise that the majority of us would rather not think about it and just take the credit. It makes us feel better if we can say this person helped me in the past and I owe them or I helped them in the past so they owe me. I wonder if we hate  to feel we owe someone in any way. I am always on watch myself to come to the aid of a person who helped me at another point in time.

It is funny how it  weighs on our conscience to settle the bill. We worry about settling a bill yet we don’t worry about settling an unkind word or action. It seems unsettling to think this person somehow is above us because they performed a kind service to us. We want to come to their aid  even if they don’t want it nor request it. I had a friend who needed to repay any  service I did for her immediately. It didn’t matter if I did not want the repay at that moment or ever. In her mind if she did something for me the debt was paid and her conscience was clear. Another friend I had done something for repaid me far into the future at a time when I truly needed help. I appreciated the second repay far more because she obviously noticed my need and jumped in versus the first repayment of helping when there was no demand.

I thought to myself maybe that was the crux of the issue. It is easier  to avoid facing the necessities  of others with a myriad of  excuses than to observe someone’s hardship and requirement of help. As usual, I am as guilty of this as anyone. If I don’t stop to think over my intentions then I might overlook someone in need. I might choose to ignore someone who requires support and ignore any possible good intentions of helpfulness on my part.

There are times when we do things at work in order to get the promotion or the eye of the boss. We like to receive the great reputation so we extend to others out of our wants rather than the other person’s privation. There is also the guilt factor which leads many of us to repay a debt because it looks good or aids us in some way. So many times good intentions are must do things. Being coerced into doing things happens every day. There are those people who volunteer to do something and force others to jump on the wagon. Of course these actions are many times worthwhile but again the good intentions may not be present.

I sometimes wonder if by going along with good actions we are picking up good vibes and learning to care. I certainly do hope so. It would be nice to see a world of compassion where all of us thought about the next person and their welfare. If every intention was compassionate and full of empathy we would have a better world to live in.

There are times others let us down because they  are thoughtless to our needs and feelings. Recalling those times we did the same to  others helps us to overcome the self pity. I am not saying to stop loving the self as most of us find little time to think about self yet we should. I am saying how easy it is to hurt others without intending to do so. The wrong look, remark, laugh or action can send us reeling for cover. The intention wasn’t there to cause pain but the hurt rang through loud and clear. I suppose we could wear some armor.

Our hope is to always have the best intentions. If we can’t do that perhaps we might attempt to think about others in a sincere way. When we come to realize we are all people with feelings maybe we will stop to think before we do or say something that is painful to another. There are those times our intentions are hurtful and we are now remorseful. There are also times when our intentions were totally honest and without any harm meant.

We don’t have to analyze every word or action done. We just have to try to do our best and observe any need we see that can be fulfilled. The kindness may never make the newspaper but it is always felt within the heart. There is nothing more revitalizing than experiencing that feeling, especially when it is performing an action that likely will never be repaid. That is when it is unconditional and not ever meant to be repaid. That is an unconditional act of love that will endlessly travel around the world.

“Think the best of each other especially of those you say you love. Assume the good and doubt the bad.” Jeffrey R. Holland

“Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.” Anonymous

“I will not die an lived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me. To make me less afraid and more accessible. To loosen my heart until it becomes a wing a torch a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom goes on as fruit.” Dawn Markova

ARE WE USING OUR SENSES?

We have the gift of our senses but we don’t always use our senses nor attempt to apply our sixth sense.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred  gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We  have created a society that  honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend twenty-five minutes thinking about a solution and five minutes thinking about solving it.”    Einstein

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” Albert Einstein

There was such an uproar about  birth order that I found it interesting to reason why we can’t use our senses. I think as human beings we must categorize everything, find solutions, weigh burdens and assets, compare gains support and advantages and compete against each other constantly. We  just can’t admit that everyone has their own issues to deal with. That is the truth. It somehow makes it more important if we can convince others that our lot in life is worse or more difficult. This is full of comparisons and competition of all kinds.

I do think it begins at childhood when parents support the ideas of who is bigger stronger faster more intelligent or beautiful than others. It leads to sibling competition which continues throughout our lives. The one with the most money and toys is considered the winner in some cases. Somehow we threw out the attributes and heart of what is important in life. We are left with more stressful things to contend with. None of us are jealous of those people who live together in family structures and live to support each other and remain equal to each other. In some ways this is more relaxing because the competition is taken out of the equation.

Perhaps those are the people we should want to imitate. I understand that no lifestyle is perfect but ways to promote better living is available. I think we might question our own ways of living. How many of us rush to buy the latest technological device? How many of us engage in useless activities on the computer? It is easier to hide secret activities on the computer and live a separate life. It appears to gain us more guilt and worry. We cover that over with more activity and just keep ourselves busy. I know  it is  important to reflect and I don’t always take that time to think but when I do I am never disappointed except to say I question if I wasted my time. How sad is that to feel you have wasted your time when you are thinking about your life.

If we did more thinking rather than business we might understand ourselves better and other people. As it is we are mechanical in our relationships and feel empowered as well as content with the number of people we can reach at the push of a button. I find it overwhelming. Instead of gaining us more time for human interaction  it seems we have more time to interact with machines. Does anyone see a problem with this? I am not against technology but without reflection we are being gobbled up and programmed to be robotic. We are almost at the mercy of computers and what they promote and instill in us. To be part of the group you must be involved or you are on the outside looking in and can feel like an outcast if you are younger or old if older. Age has nothing to do with this happening.

Even churches have gotten involved with online services ministries and gospels. If people have no time for church then it will be brought to them in a technological fashion. Are we too busy for the simple exchanges with each other? Are we all considered boring  if it is a one on one exchange? Have we lost the art of conversing with others? I know if we can discuss things on line with many people and have the support of others on line then perhaps happiness might be promoted in that fashion. I just don’t see it happening when I talk to individual people. They have information but no sense of feeling or mindfulness of the people involved.

I also wonder about our generosity and selfishness. Do we take from each other without thought? Are we really supporting others or just printing from our own script what is expected of us to say? It is like we have all the correct words and fast reactions but is the depth of feeling still there? Is it reaching our hearts before our minds or is it in the mind and spoken via text without any real input from the heart?

I sometimes think we are less concerned with others today even though we have quick access to each other and quick response time. The thinking and reflection states have been rendered inactive. We are using honesty but in a way that hurts others and we don’t see it. Things are fast today so what someone says or does for us doesn’t register anymore due to our busy life and swiftly moving days. There is more to do say and people to talk to albeit on the technical device of choice. Human free thought and intuition is crushed in some ways. If we can’t find some time for free thinking away from the hustle of the crowds we don’t even know ourselves.

I suppose it is easy to hide amongst a group of people and easier to refrain from thinking. I don’t mean to insult anyone but just observing people and their busy schedules leaves so little time for using our six senses. Have you looked at a  flower up close lately or smelled one? Have you sat quietly with a friend and listened with your heart and ears and eyes instead of the messages you read? If we wonder why families are in turmoil and kids hate life and people  keep  fighting and anger is not under control perhaps we should question what is going on in our own lives.

It appears that we are slowly but gradually being overpowered with technology to the point of disregarding people right next to us. Consumerism is fostered and looking good is exonerated and we can view pictures of becoming more beautiful than we are so they say. Do we need to wake up and put the devices away? We seem to be in a crises over gaining some power over self. The devices own us rather than we own the technology. They control us to the point of ignoring the people in front of us who wait patiently for us to finish until another new interruption occurs. I don’t mind waiting but how  involved in our conversation can they be if they are constantly returning to their device?

I hope our humanity is not being lost. Instead of cultivating our sixth sense we seem to be losing the five senses we  have. Our inner thoughts and spirit is more important than anything. If one tried to ignore their device for a couple of days they might feel renewed like they just woke up to a new world around them. More and more people appear to  be sleepwalking and caught in chains with technology. I just throw this out as food for thought. I use technology but I have backed off quite a bit due to the viewing of the world so caught up in a façade of constant involvement in a make believe world taking up their times and thoughts. It gives us little time to interact with those close by who may need our support but we don’t have the time or sense awareness to notice.

“The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”     Albert Einstein
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”               Albert Einstein

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein

“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” Albert Einstein

Losers?

Strive For Happiness“I am disturbed when I see the majority of so-called Christians having such little understanding of the real nature of the faith they profess. Faith is a subject of such importance that we should not ignore it because of the distractions or the hectic pace of our lives.”    William Wilberforce

“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or Fight Like Hell.”    Lance Armstrong

“Sri Yukteswar showed no special consideration to those who happened to be powerful or accomplished; neither did he slight others for their poverty or illiteracy. He would listen respectfully to words of truth from a child, and openly ignore a conceited pundit.”    Paramahansa Yogananda

“Scripture is filled with examples of men and women whom God used late in life, often with great impact – men and women who refused to use old age as an excuse to ignore what God wanted them to do.”    Billy Graham

“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”     Marian Wright Edelman

I have often considered myself a loser without having any need to say it out loud. So many times I have watched as other people jump in ahead of me to say or do something. It may be in my mind or heart to make a difference but I am just late on the response. I have always been the last one to get a joke if I got it at all. I received the lower grades than my siblings and was never picked in school to take a part in a school play. School plays are almost obsolete now but at one time quite apropos. I think one can easily get the picture of where I stood in everyone’s eyes. That is what I believed

I recall hearing others talk about college and which ones they wanted to attend. I thought about which ones would possibly accept me. Having entered a college at a young age and having to work to pay for it, I eventually quit after two years and took a full-time job at the place of my employment. I could not work and study and came down with mononucleosis. Of course I felt like a failure and I also believed if I had the guts and stamina I could have done it. So I blamed it on my lack of strength to complete it.

Eventually when my kids were all in school I went back to school and spent twelve years working on my undergraduate and then my graduate degree. I worked part time, raised my kids with my husband and studied at night and on weekends.. I can’t tell you how many times I was going to quit. I came so close every time but having quit before I hung in there until I finally succeeded. I  am nothing to brag about but I made it and graduated. I didn’t make friends at school because they were younger and in a different phase of their lives than I was.

I went to work as a special education  teacher  and discovered the heartache kids endure daily. I was never the best at finding easier ways to teach things but I learned I could sense the feelings of children immediately and alleviate their emotional pain which I did. It took me longer to accomplish anything which left me after school many nights working on my classes. I loved it and didn’t mind because my own kids were high school and college and were busy themselves.

During teacher meetings my opinions were never discussed or considered. Non of my colleagues disliked me but neither was I in the popular groups. I realized how easily someone is classified and delineated into whatever group someone wants them to be in. I accepted this because no matter what my opinion was nor how good my work was others always appeared to be so much better. I had to admit how much I lacked.

I have always felt the desire to help those who have been overlooked or those who simply need help at that moment in time. It got stronger as I got older and now I sense that God is pushing me to accept the responsibility and so I write. I have always written but only recently gotten stuff published. I am not the best and never was no will be. I think  that it is what likely held me back. I believed if I couldn’t be successful like others I should just not try.

I have discovered that the smallest screw serves it’s purpose in keeping a building standing. We are not always those giant beams yet we do our part and without us the largest beams will perhaps crumble. I also realized that worth is defined in numerous ways and God’s definition is different than man’s. Some people are so sure of their value while others devalue  their own worth.

I worked as a volunteer on my town’s fire department for over thirteen years on the ambulance. The group of people were from all walks of life and all had their problems to deal with yet when working together it was like parts of a car. Like magic we each did our part to make it run. No one questioned anyone’s part. We were all thankful for the jobs that were fulfilled. The crazy thing is those people were heroes yet never went out on a call without fear myself included.

Heroes have fear. Winners can believe they are losers. How do we judge what a winner loser or hero is. Someone who stops to change your flat tire on a rainy day is a  hero although he might think the opposite. Giving to toy drives volunteering for building homes for veterans and even to aid an older person who needs help. There is no ending or beginning. There is no job too little or too small that God might ask us to do. I suppose the question is whether or not we will choose to do it.

Being afraid is not being cowardly. I used to think am I the only one who is afraid at a highway accident scene? I dreaded the jaws of life crushing and cutting above my head as I held traction on someone in the back of a car. I prayed they didn’t slip or make any mistakes. At times I wanted to jump out and run and although I never did, I questioned my cowardly feelings. I know many firemen who dread going into a burning building as they  trust their own instincts to know when they should retreat before the ceiling and walls come crashing in on them.

None of them enjoys such an incident and all are relieved when it is over and although many think about retreating, rarely if ever does that happen. They would be the first to admit they didn’t feel brave when a discussion was held after such an incident. They admitted being terrified at times. I bet they did not see themselves as brave or heroes. They saw life in its reality and their desire to help others overcame  their fear of doing nothing.

It leaves all of us with some truths about life and losers. None of us are losers. We face situations everyday that are difficult to deal with. We have job loss, miscarriages, difficult marriages, divorces and all other kinds of problems. We are faced everyday with challenging situations to deal with and endure. All of us fear everyday and some of us even fear how to deal with our lives,  and sometimes we fear those  who live with us.

We are called upon everyday to make a difference in someone’s life. Every time we respond in the affirmative we have shed our blanket of fear to listen to the call. I like others grab my fear blanket as soon as the crises is over. That is okay because I finally know I am not a loser. I still need to be told what the punch line is on a joke and I am aware of the tremendous amount of people who are stronger and wiser than I will even come close too. I am still not a loser and neither is anyone else who faces their fears everyday with courage.

Someone needs to be there for the person who is at an all time low and needs a listening ear, or the young mother who is in need of support, or the kids who are hurting from all kinds of abuse. At times it requires seeing and hearing and getting the ones involved who can make a difference. During each day,  we must answer the call to come to the aid of others. We can’t ignore the cries with the excuse of being a loser because that is not the truth. Even your smile tells someone somebody sees them and cares.

“Sometimes it takes a lowly, title-less man to humble the world. Kings, rulers, CEOs, judges, doctors, pastors, they are already expected to be greater and wiser.”     Criss Jami

“When emerging from humble beginnings those around you tend to underestimate your authenticity because they knew you before you were somebody.”    Criss Jami

“If you’re an underdog, mentally disabled, physically disabled, if you don’t fit in, if you’re not as pretty as the others, you can still be a hero.”     Steve Guttenberg

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you. Love me and I may be forced to love you.”    William Arthur Ward

Right or Wrong

6th pic presentation“Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”     Vera Nazarian

“A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it. He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.”     Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

“It is hardily credible of how great consequences before God the smallest things are; and what great inconveniences some times follow those which appear to be light faults.” John Wesley

“Many people are yet to understand that admitting to their mistakes isn’t a sign of weakness, but an act of wisdom.”     Edmond Mbiaka    

How many fights continue because people refuse to take any blame? We all want to be right. I honestly think that accepting blame of any kind is not something any of us like to do. As a matter of fact, I think most of us end up saying we’ll take some of the blame but then we go on to say that the other person receives the brunt of it. Even when we are making peace with someone we believe we were less guilty. Somehow it is like winning. So perhaps we are all about winners and losers.

So the question is why do we hate to claim more fault than the other guy. Of course it is the loser who remains with the majority of the fault. We despise being wrong and hate to receive most of the blame. Most of us don’t care at that point because we are essentially searching for peace. If we must endure the most then we just accept it and walk away. Perhaps deep down we all think we are less guilty than we actually are. Why it bothers us so much to outwardly admit guilt is confusing.

I wonder if we sense a feeling of being a worse person. After all if we are to be blamed for something we feel loathsome. We didn’t measure up or make the challenge in the game of life. We lost the game and are not the winner but the loser. It is not a good feeling. We sense like a little child that we have our  hand in the cookie bag. We have been bested when we are found with more guilt. In the end it doesn’t really make a difference but most of us will fight for the one percent less fault.

The trouble is we don’t worry about any wrongdoings as much as who gets more blame. It sounds so silly but if we have done any wrong then we ought to be sorry and skip who is the guiltiest party. I think we sense we have done less wrong when we have less blame. The truth is none of us can be the judge of that. What we perceive as guilty or not guilty might alter with every person’s take on the problem.

Even criminals have a realm of guilt and exoneration. Crimes of passion are judged less harshly. People who have grown up in difficult home situations are not always given any extra pity for falling into the hands of crime. One can see how all of us have had this swaying back and forth of blame and exoneration. Even court systems have a dilemma with it. So how does the everyday person deal with it. I suppose we fight tooth and nail for the 49% not guilty over the 51% guilty.

Seriously though when it comes down to the facts if we have done any wrong to another then arguing over how much is ridiculous. The fighting ends a lot sooner when one is willing to just accept some of the blame and be genuinely sorry for acting the way they did. This has never been about who is more to blame but it is about who caused another person to be hurt.

Whenever we cause a problem and wound someone physically or mentally or even spiritually we owe an apology. The degree of the pain obviously weighs in but in a sense we can’t excuse ourselves with the notion that we didn’t wound someone that much. Asking ourselves how much is too much is another unknown answer. To a child a push or shove is extremely painful. Even an adult can be wounded emotionally to the core.

Alleviating our conscience is likely the reason we care about our right or wrong in a given situation. Maybe it goes back to childhood.  Probably we feel less blame if we can render it someone else’s fault. Or if we can blame another for triggering the occurrence somehow we absolve ourselves. We all have so many ways of looking at a situation that basically involves excusing ourselves of wrongdoing. Have you ever watched two adults arguing? One says but you did this, the other says yes but you did that first, then the first participant recalls and states a previous happening in which he had a grievance against the current individual. The end result can sometimes be an enraging battle.

Maybe we would have a better society and world if we could somehow drop the ego and accept our failure to do the  right thing. It is that simple. If we have done any wrong then it doesn’t matter if anybody else did right or wrong. The final judge won’t excuse us because of another’s “sins”. We walk our own path and are accountable for our own wrongdoings. They have nothing to do with someone  else’s faults. Our faults do not diminish because another’s are so much worse as we see it.

I remember as a child being reminded that if I had more knowledge about right and wrong then I would be judged harsher if I did wrong than somebody who had not been instructed in choosing the better path. That has always stayed with me because the more knowledge we receive pertaining to assessing wrongs and rights the less we enjoy passing  judgements on others.

It is as they say enlightenment adds to our knowledge and understanding of situations. I am not saying all wrongs are okay as long as we don’t know what we are doing. That would only be an excuse for us. I just believe we should stop with the bickering about being more wrong or more right because in the end it is your judgement of your wrongs and my judgement of mine misgivings.

If we have the need to be forgiven for anything perhaps we can begin by simply accepting blame and asking for forgiveness. Most of us ought to be willing to do this provided we witness genuine remorse. Forgiveness is difficult but the more we practice it the more love we spread around and the more enlightened we become. It also becomes easier when we discover how much peace it brings us. It also makes our chains of fear loosen up because what we thought was next to impossible to do, forgiving another, happened and it made us feel better not worse. It is a winning  situation for all. We don’t have to state our case all we have to do is say I’m sorry.

“The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man’s strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say:”I was wrong.” will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.”    Jim Anderson

Is Forgiveness a Sign of Weakness

Is Forgiveness A Sign of Weakness“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and realize that prisoner was you.”Lewis B. Smedes

“forgiveness doesn’t excuse their behavior. Forgiveness prevents their behavior from destroying your heart.”

‘Forgiveness is not forgetting an injustice done; It is the understanding that allows us to set aside the emotional impact of that injustice pertaining to ourselves. When we no longer hold those emotions, and have the understanding for the person, we have forgiven them.” Moon Singer

We sometimes like to believe that  any kind of backing down is a sign of weakness. I suppose forgiving another could be looked at in this way also. One who gives up on an argument is assumed to be in the wrong and recognizing that fact.  One who walks away from a fight is considered afraid and weak. Those people who place their bet on these people who walked away are usually left believing they trusted in the wrong individual.

Having walked away from a situation years ago left me with mixed feelings. On the one side of the issue I believed I let some people  down who had faith in my abilities. On the other side of the issue I was so deeply wounded that all I could think about was running away. It was never out of fear but sadness in the knowledge that those I had cared about and trusted had deserted me. Of course it becomes more difficult when others hurt us behind our backs.

I am aware of how quickly people side with one person on one day only to change their allegiance the next day. I would not want to be the newcomer attempting to merge into an established group or relationship. It renders us to be tolerant and accepting of others even if we don’t agree with them. That is life and our opinions do reflect the various  opinions of other people yet we don’t identify with anyone’s opinions completely.

With huge hours of reflection I came to the understanding that on every level and every day we tend to agree or disagree with others randomly. Perhaps we are looking for friends or in the process of switching friends. Maybe we want something someone else can provide or do for us or maybe we succeed in moving up the ladder with our choices. Perhaps agreeing with some people  places us on the winning side of the argument. Whatever our reasons we do tend to change our minds often and I wonder if that is more of a sign of weakness than walking away.

If we fear standing alone we won’t stand for anything worthwhile. If we need another’s  approval  we will never embrace anything new. If we must always be correct then we will never acknowledge another worthy thought opinion or action. The fear of making waves at work, amongst friends or within the family is stressful. Even some family members hold more power than others. Perhaps at times we agree with a powerless family member yet we don’t offer any vocal outward support because the opposing view is held by a more powerful family member. It appears to be to our advantage to simply remain quiet.

None of us including myself have ever considered this weak. Just getting along with others is problematic unless we are the person setting the rules and trends. Friends at times must downplay the good time they experienced with a third-party because they will hurt our feelings. It seems to me that just about everyone exhibits signs of weakness every day which have nothing to do with forgiveness.

I’m wondering if our low self-esteem is holding us down. Our confidence in us is perhaps missing or at least lacking. We worry and stress about our every interaction with another person. We trust in someone else’s ideas. We believe we are not smart enough to voice our opinion. Our stamina power or control appears to be in need. All we can have faith in is that others would laugh us out of the room if we attempted a differing viewpoint. How ludicrous and sad are these thoughts.

We are just so capable in insurmountable  ways  but we never focus on our attributes.  We only notice the attributes of others while observing our own shortcomings. Of course if we all measure what other people have deemed as good and worthy values then so much of our worth is not even perceived or considered even in our own judgements. I had a cousin who never spoke an unkind word about anyone. If others were gossiping behind someone’s back he rolled his eyes and smiled. He wasn’t as much fun to talk to because he never had a wild story to tell about anyone. Being a lot younger, not that it excuses me,  I spent more time listening to the gossips. Now I am so aware of his awesome qualities and regret not having spoken more with him. He had a different slant on life and living and he never held a grudge.

I mention him now because he was loved by everyone in the family and nobody spoke ill of him yet no one ever sought him out first. I can only surmise that everyone was attempting to find the dirt on everyone else. In the process we all got headaches from the anxiety  and stress of constantly attempting to explain words and actions. No wonder in the end people hide so much. I think we all want to get along with others while having as little grief as possible. Maybe that is even why we agree with the people we are with in order to save a confrontation.

Honestly I believe that speaking the truth at all times and voicing an opinion without fear is probably the best way to live. It doesn’t mean we are forcing our ideas on others only giving our own voice to the problem. Truth is denied stretched bent hidden and lost in translation. People discover they are guilty of ideas they never embraced. In the end most people determine it is easier to let it all go than to try to fix it with more words or actions.

The fear of truth and silence causes a dilemma for many. We would rather rehash false beliefs and actions. It leaves us desiring forgiveness or in a position of doubting the extender of forgiveness. When someone receives forgiveness they are filled with joy and anxious to face a new day. They are happy to wipe a slate clean and begin again. They are renewed and as bright as the dawning of daylight. Such an awesome occurrence yet not often seen or done. Forgiveness is extremely difficult and anything but a sign of weakness.  I would say it is perhaps something that is next to impossible depending on the incident.

The person who must forgive is tired, weary confused unsure and wounded deeply. Nobody thinks about the depth of the cut and pain. We all want to go back to life as usual and we do just that as soon as another forgives us. I know it is not that easy nor that simple. I also know that it is without any doubt the best way to  behave. I suppose it is never up to us to decide if the person requesting or needing the forgiveness is actually sorry. All we can do is  hope and have faith that they are remorseful.

I remember people saying sure you can forgive someone that is easy but forgetting is another thing. I agree with that statement only to a point. If we are reaching the point of wanting to forgive another then we must think about how much we are able to forget. Now it is on our shoulders to find it in our hearts to release the pain. It is the ache of the happening that keeps us chained to the event. In a way when we can forgive we are found to have more freedom and release from the pent-up  tension. The seeker in need of the absolution also finds peace.

How strange it is to have such power to actually improve the happiness in another person’s life with the simple words of compassion for the transgressor. To forgive takes so much courage. To forget can be accomplished only by those who are braver and stronger than the strongest metal. Most of us pride ourselves in our courage to handle problems yet we can’t forgive a family member or parent, spouse, sibling, cousin or friend. If we do extend the mercy we go back on it when we recall it during a new argument or disagreement. That is why forgiveness is superhuman. It takes every power within us to extend it when we understand and appreciate the consequences of the action. It also gives us so much love and serenity when it is done. We might wonder why we hesitated.

Most people never plan on hurting others. We likely never plan on being deceitful. It occurs when we are anxious about our own wants and needs. When we come to realize that we are sorry, we become anxious to have it forgiven. When we are the person in need of absolving another it is so painfully difficult. In both cases we are in need of releasing the burdens immediately.  Forgiveness is only used by the strong. You must be made of iron in order to hold in the bursting pain while bestowing compassion and pardon to another. Without a doubt it is not for the weak.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is  devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this we are less prone to hate our enemies.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“To err is human; To forgive divine.” Alexander Pope

“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” Reinhold Niebuhr

 

 

 

 

Absolution for the Suffering

Absolution“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

“We will not just say, “I love him very much,” but instead, “I will do something so that he will suffer less.”

” The mind of compassion is truly present when it is effective in removing another person’s suffering.” Thich Nhat Hanh

“The fact is that when you make the other suffer, he will try to find relief by making you suffer more. The result is an escalation of suffering on both sides.”    Thich Nhat Hanh

At the Holiday  time of year we are filled with anticipation for ourselves and for others. The last thing we think about is absolution. Perhaps we are all in need of forgiveness.  Sometimes we hold on to grudges for many years. I honestly don’t know why we can’t let things go. I act the same way. As much as I might know what the correct thing to do is, finding the strength to behave in such a manner is next to impossible. What is the attraction of clinging to past hurts and pain? Maybe we enjoy the pain because we feel self-righteous and above the person who hurt us. Being the victim has its’ perks of gaining attention when we discuss our pain with others. We might even feel like the hero who was capable of enduring such misery.

No matter how we figure it on any given day it can become like a crutch that we reach for when we need it for any particular time or bad mood we are experiencing. Once we have absolved someone the transgression, we place it in a safe but hidden place  within our minds. The plan is to keep it there but that rarely happens. There are those times when the memories slip back through to the forefront and we tend to forget the fact that we already  forgave this misdeed. One must ask why we recall the negative.

I tend to believe that we become proud of  our suffering. We probably become our own hero which may not always be a bad thing. If we think about it we find that when we are hurting or feeling insecure and persecuted we reach for our defense of self-sympathy. We likely attempt to ease our own pain. It is understandable but it keeps the real forgiveness at a distance. Anything that cuts us deeply no matter how others view it, is difficult to absolve. We all understand there are degrees of depravity and also degrees of ability to forgive the wrongdoings of others.

I am as guilty as anyone of reminding some people of misdeeds and what I consider crimes against me. Over and over I suppose I am making them suffer. Now I wonder at what price and also how long is long enough. I am not sure about the length of time it takes to overcome emotional suffering. I know it is possible to forgive but certainly requires tremendous strength and will power to forget. There are those days we can do it but again we retrieve the pain when we deem it necessary when we need to comfort ourselves. Now the question becomes does it really comfort us?

I am considering the fact that when we keep recalling misdeeds, we perhaps do not truly have faith in the notion that the guilty person is actually deeply sorry. Now that might be the real issue. Many of us may feel that we haven’t been compensated for our suffering. We bring it to the present to hurt another over again until the day we suppose they are truly sorry. Of course we never consider how much agony we are bestowing someone we care for. If we reflected hard enough we might understand that we  have become the one providing the suffering. Never do we seem to look at ourselves in this manner because we feel the perpetrator deserves any pain we can render. Somehow I  am questioning if this is not ruthless. We can become the one who needs forgiveness.

There are those people who commit the same offense against us repeatedly. Of course forgiveness is difficult if not impossible. That leaves one with a choice of staying or moving on. I surmise that if one is willing to constantly forgive and accept the consequences  of a repeat offense run the risk of continued controversy.  It is a reasonable decision because at any point the faith and trust one has in a person is perhaps the only thing that keeps them afloat. Some people hope to stop their depravity or the depravity in another. On the other side of the issue is the amount of offense any one person  can endure before giving up.

I appreciate the fact that we can’t live for another and it isn’t always up to us to be their hero. Many of us don’t look at a situation in that way. Maybe we are someone’s hero and we don’t know it. Perhaps we make someone stronger than they are alone. It is not that I profess to linger with someone who constantly disappoints us but when there is love and the person falters but exhibits honesty in their attempt to improve it does entrust us with choices. If a person or a relationship of any kind is worth the effort and the absolution, likely we should take the chance. Peace and tolerance are always better than distress and grief.

True forgiveness is almost an ability of angels and not man. However I still find it important to strive for that goal. Forgiveness makes us stronger and more fulfilled as we genuinely attempt to let go of our own suffering. Forgiveness is tied into suffering. If we come to the point of letting another be released from our revenge then we find serenity together. Most of us see the need to keep another in the chains of remorse until we deem them worthy enough to be set free. What we don’t consider is that we are actually waiting to release ourselves from the prison of anguish and revenge. We must be ready to release and dispose of the crutch of suffering. It pains us numerous times. That is not keeping us free. We embellish the iniquity to the point of not recognizing the truth of a situation. Time also bends the actuality of the occurrence.

In this season of love  and forgiveness perhaps it is time to take a look at our lives and let go of the many fears and angers due to hurts caused by those we love. We have locked them into a cell as much as we have locked ourselves into one. Release your own spirit and free  will and you will find the courage to let go of the pain that keeps others constrained. Now I believe that hanging on to the negative brings you down while reaching for the possible goodness brings joy and peace. May you all experience peace in this awesome season.

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive
effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change”    Thich Nhat Hanh

“The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”    Thich Nhat Hanh