Category: Forgiveness

Spread Some Joy Today > Forgiveness

Turning From Prejudice Toward Love

From the web:
“As a noun, pre-justice is a preconceived opinion
that is not based on reason or actual experience.
As a verb, pre-justice is defined
as to give rise to prejudice; make biased.”

[New post]

My father died in an accident at age 36 a couple of days before his 37th birthday. I was 13 when he died. I was born in 1949 and he was 22 and my mom was 18. I was the eldest of three from that marriage which ended when I was five years old, my sister was three, and my little brother was only one. My parents were mid-western stock from Iowa and I was born in Iowa until we moved to southern California when I was two. My father was easily angered and quite prejudiced. I grew up early in a judgmental environment. As time went on, I heard more of that. My mother remarried and nothing changed as far as the prejudging of people, things, events were concerned. I got plenty of it from my mother as well, along with friends from school, neighbors, and more. It was normal to be prejudiced. It felt like we were supposed to judge others, their behavior, how they lived, and so much more.

The television promoted prejudice. It always has. It still does today. I began watching television in the early 1950’s. Long before color TV became a reality, television was colored with prejudice. Perhaps I should say lack of color. Movies showed it vividly. The schools I went to promoted prejudice in many ways, through choices of textbooks and who was allowed in, controlling teachers and curriculum to name a few.

I grew up in a white-dominated world. I heard so many words to describe those who weren’t white and even one group who was white but so far below standard as to be called trash. The N-word, the J-word, the other J-word, the C-word, the S-word, the other S-word, the I-word, along with all the color words that began with Y, R, B, the other B. Next, they were nationalized in groups based on where they lived now or where they were from or their lineage was from. Some were Mexican, Asian, Italian, German, African, South American, Icelandic, Pacific Islanders, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and many more.

Indeed, we have so many ways to segregate each other into compartments and categories dehumanizing the world. Even the word people has us and them and they. All of this doesn’t even address the various languages that are spoken, the religions we’ve created and fight about, the foods we eat, lifestyles, and so much more. All of this is easily a place to stand in prejudgment.

Of course, this is not news. It is normal. It is only called normal because it has become habitual and it only became habitual by repetition and it all came from somewhere to get inside of each of us. We learned it. It does not come naturally. It is taught, shared, preached, legislated, from our parents, other family, peers, friends, schools, churches, leaders, government rules and laws, and more. And, it cannot be different until we each decide to be different, to let go of those teachings, to see something more, to change, to grow. Based on this, it will never change outside of us. It can only change within us. The outside world that we think we see is but a reflection. We choose to love or we choose fear. Prejudice in all its forms is simply fear. So when I hear someone spouting nonsense about a group or a country, or idea, I see it for what it is. It is a fearful person sharing their fears. Many will share it openly. Rather than push against them, acceptance is the way toward love. Pushing against anything is expanding fear.

We’ve had such volumes and constant repetitions of prejudicial points of view brought into our lives that to release this and become prejudice-free is a real challenge. However, just like walking five miles is taking the first step and then another and another, releasing our learned fears and turning toward love is releasing some here, some there, again, and over again. We have such a tendency as people to focus on the destination when it is the journey that is life itself. We are all and always a work in progress. All we need first is to become aware. Then choose differently. Seeing how fear rules our lives is enlightening, and we always have had and always will have the power to turn toward love and drop the rope of fear. In so doing, we create the world in which we want to live. It doesn’t matter who or how many may follow our lead. Our own choice and actions are all that matter. Allowing the world to be whatever it is serves us. Allowing all others to think and act in whatever way they think is best for them is empowering for us.

My past is what it was at a different now. I get to choose every second of every day. I choose to release prejudice and have been on this beautifully unfolding journey for many years now. It is a joyous journey of constantly seeing contrast and then pivoting toward love. Love is my home base now. I am home. I am love.

Trust And Allowing Is Love

“I fully trust 
that others do know 
what is best for them.”
 
— Essence of the Tao Te Ching,17th Verse
by Wayne Dyer 
 

[Classic post from 1-30-16]

Excepting the concept of raising young children (and maybe that isn’t really the exception we may imagine it is), how many times in your life have you been around people that you think need your help. Maybe they seem to get it wrong a lot, or maybe they keep tripping over the same switch, or they say they want this and do that instead. And what about all those civil servants, teachers, and other so-called authorities that have their heads in the dark places? Maybe it even seems like the whole world is off the mark, and you wish you could get them back on track. They need to listen to you. And, if they did, they would do better. It’s so simple, right?

I have to admit to having had many of these kinds of thoughts over the years. Not many wanted to listen, or maybe I didn’t go bold and tell them, or maybe I did, but it didn’t do any good. They just weren’t ready I guess. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, and all that.

Then again, maybe people are trying to lead you and you don’t want to hear it. Who do they think they are trying to tell me what to do, how to do it? They should go mind their own business because they could use some help of their own.

I’m finally learning about people. Some are awake and some are not, but deep down inside, we are all made from the same materials from the same factory so to speak. We’re all wise inside. It’s this flabby, soft, bony thing that we walk around in that is making us look and seem different. And we all have different stimuli, desires, and ideas too. But, inside we are basically the same in that we come from the same Source. We are all wise when we connect with that Source within us. We know what to do when we are aligned in that way. We know what we want when we focus there.

When we allow others to be what and who they are and accept that they are perfect however they are, and though we may be willing to help should they desire that, we eventually learn to trust that they know best for themselves, we are in alignment with our Source because our Source is pure unconditional love.

We don’t have to agree with other people’s choices, and our judgment of those choices or those actions is the only thing that keeps us apart from them. We simply need to allow them to choose as they will, while we choose as we desire. If we focus on our own alignment, that will be sufficient, and in the end, as a result of that example, we may love others in a way that is desired by all, honoring and aligning with the Source within us. For that is, after all, the Source of unconditional love–that is how Source sees us all.

So it is a good reminder to read this 17th verse of the all-wise Tao Te Ching from time to time so that we can remember that our place is to allow, to love, to serve, to enjoy, and to be an example of our best self. The more we follow these thoughts on interactions with others, the better our own lives become.

Trust That They Know What Is Best For Them While We Allow All Of That To Be As It Is As We Make Our Own Choices For Our Own Fulfillment. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on what you want for yourself.

Mistakes Are Only Stepping Stones Of Progress

“No matter how many mistakes you make 
or how slow you progress, 
you're still way ahead of everyone 
who isn't trying.” 
 
— Tony Robbins 
 

[Classic post from 1-26-16]

As Yoda said so perfectly, “Do or do not. There is no try,” whatever gets done, gets done by doing. And, what does it matter how long it takes. It's not a race unless that is the way you choose to imagine it. It is simply a journey–a journey of our own choosing, to a destination that is of our own creation, and our pace is not an issue unless we choose to make it so. Truly, it isn't even the destination either. It is simply the decision to do and the doing that matters in the end.

Even if we stop anywhere along that journey, choose something else and focus on it, the previous doing becomes a stepping stone on the much grander journey that we call life. There is no place or time that we need to be, only choices from desires of what we think we want. And, because that is in a constant state of flux, enjoying our life is tantamount to enjoying the doing. We call that living. 

Sometimes we get so hung up on where we think we should be, and the only reason we may think this is in comparison to another or others. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy, and has a tendency to depersonalize the journey. Focusing on what we want is in our best interest. That is our journey and by that focus, it is the best it can be. As to the others, we thrive by blessing them where they are, inviting some to come along should they have a similar desire, and turn our remaining focus to enjoying the trip.

It's all good. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your doing. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.

Don't Forget To Breathe Deeply. You Might Put That On A Sticky Note As A Reminder. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your life as it is on your way to wherever you may be going.

Generosity Examined

“Generosity is not giving me 
that which I need more than you do, 
but is giving me that which 
you need more than I do.” 
 
— Khalil Gibran
 

[Classic post from 1-28-16]

I loved this quote the moment I read it. I've always considered myself a generous person, and in many ways, I do think that I am. I know that others have made that same comment about me too. Yet, Khalil's mention of generosity here is so much more. See if it touches you in a similar way.

Happy Sunday! Happy Today! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by allowing your joy to abound. The easiest way is to let go of that which is not joy–even if for a few minutes. . .

Answering Questions About Forgiveness

“It doesn't take a lot of strength to hang on. 
It takes a lot of strength to let go.” 
 
— J. C. Watts 
 

[Classic post from 1-27-16]

A few days ago, I wrote about forgiveness using a quote from Matthew in the Bible where Peter asks as if he's looking for a reminder of a lesson if a brother sinned against him should he forgive him up to seven times, and the Lord saying that he didn't say that to Peter, but that he should forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. A friend reading this post offered some questions, and I said that I would answer them in today's Daily Inspiration.

The questions were, Does the process of forgiveness require a request to be forgiven, or can one forgive the issues of the past without risking being hurt 70 x 7 +1 times? Can one forgive a transgression without the desire to open one up to continued transgressions? Can forgiveness be a one-way street?

I've looked at forgiveness pretty well, and I will give you what I have come to know on the subject that should answer these questions and many others too.

According to the Course in Miracles, there are only two states, love, and fear. It also indicates to get rid of the duality associated with almost everything in our world, that fear is an illusion, and that the only real thing is love. It is also said that God IS Love, and I believe that to be true also. Some say that God created everything so then God created all the other stuff too, yet I think a simple answer to that is that He gave us the authority in that area, and He gave us an ego too.

The ego was meant to serve us in time of need, and yet so many of us have let it rule our lives instead, and the ego is all about fear. So, in our world of duality, we have the ability to choose love or to choose fear at any time in all ways. When we are listening to or being guided by our ego, whether consciously or unconsciously, being aware or being unaware, choices will always be fear-based.

God also gave us the constant connection to Him or All-That-Is or the Universe, depending on the words you like best, and that we can choose that connection, to align with that connection any time we choose. That connection is always, or in All Ways Love. It's always there. We don't need to be in a particular place or learn anything special. It is always, and in All Ways there.

In our world here in the physical, as we are dealing with fear-based agendas and thoughts, it is a given to build resentments as our ego rules our lives. Our ego is all about being the best, staying alive, while at the same time pointing to our every mistaken choice, real and imagined. Forgiveness is a tool or an idea that allows us to return to the connection we so desire deep within by letting go of those thoughts.

The quote above says that though we think strength, being tough and resilient, totally in charge, is all about holding on to fear (hurts, grievances, pain, illness, hatred, worry, doubt, blame, revenge, anger, jealousy, guilt, unworthiness, insecurity, depression, powerlessness, discouragement, disappointment, to name a few), but that is an illusion as all fear is. Our real strength and the only thing that is really real is Love, and we make that choice by letting go–letting go of fear.

What is absolutely true on this earth as we experience this physical life, is that what we focus on expands. We attract more of what we think about, talk about, act about. As we give energy to those hurts, disappointments, transgressions, etc., we attract more of that into our lives. We focus on fear, we attract more fear. It doesn't matter how hard we work on it. The more energy we give it, the more of that we get back. It's really easy to see this in other people, and that is one of the huge benefits of having others around us, so we can see ourselves. The only solution is to let it go, and that is called forgiveness. We give it up. We let it go. We turn and focus on that all-knowing connection that is our Source and is Love.

The person we need forgiveness for is ourselves because all of those fear-based, ego-driven thoughts and actions and imaginings are purely our own. People say these things are real, but they are only pretending to be real. We always get to choose between fear and love. We have no need to ask or beg forgiveness from another, we need only let it go and turn toward love, focus on love, and as we are loving, we are healed.

Fear of being hurt again, having transgressions upon us again is fear. All of that stuff is fear. Is forgiveness a one-way street? Absolutely. We must forgive ourselves. We do that by letting go of fear and turning to love. What I have forgiven no longer exists. It is done. I am healed. I am whole. I am Love.

Choose Fear Or Choose Love. It Is Always, In All Ways, Our Own Choice. Love IS Letting Go Of Fear. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Love is joy. Joy is love. What a great thing to spread around today. It takes no effort. Simply be that true self you know you are deep within.

Truth and Lies

“Truth is beautiful, 
without a doubt; 
but so are lies.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-25-16]

Just as I’ve learned that there is no way, but there is your way, my way, and their way, the same philosophy applies to truth and lies. One person’s truth is another person’s lies, and so on. It is purely a personal judgment that thinks one is better than the other. With many billions of us on the planet, that idea is even more valid.

I love how Abraham, Esther Hicks makes such sense of this idea:

“There is a big mix out there, and there are lots of different things going on, and there is no one way that was intended to be the right way. Just like there’s not one color or one flower or one vegetable or one fingerprint. There is not one that is to be the right one over all others. The variety is what fosters creativity. And so you say, “Okay, I accept that there’s lots of variety, but I don’t like to eat cucumbers.” Don’t eat cucumbers. But don’t ask them to be eliminated and don’t condemn those who eat them. Don’t stand on corners waving signs trying to outlaw the things that you don’t like. Don’t ruin your life by pushing against anything. Instead, say, “I choose this instead. This does please me.” 

Allowing the entire mix of things and ideas and choices to be and relax in our own ability to choose what is important and pleasing to us is to live a very healthy life I think. Pushing against unwanted only increases unwanted. What we resist persists. But we always have the personal power of choice. What we choose could be easily seen as our only responsibility.

To Each His or Her Own. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by realizing as Eckhart Tolle said so succinctly: “All problems are illusions of the mind.” That means that we can choose not that, but joy instead.

Love IS Forgiveness

“Then Peter came and said to Him, 
“Lord, how often 
shall my brother sin against me 
and I forgive him? 
Up to seven times?” 
 
Jesus said to him, 
“I do not say to you, 
up to seven times, 
but up to seventy times seven.”” 
 
— The Bible,
Matthew 18:21,22, NAS 
 

[Classic post from 1-24-16]

Seventy times seven would be 490 times, but I think the point here is not a number, but always.

From the first time I read or heard that passage, I've taken it to heart. That doesn't mean that I haven't been in Peter's position, but that I haven't forgotten the lesson that this wonderful passage contains. 

Whether it is a debt or some other grievance that has caused conflict with another, how many times should we forgive them? Seventy times seven.

There is often confusion about forgiveness. The word indicates that we are releasing the other and giving them relief from the debt, or the transgression. That would be like Peter saying, “I hate this that happened by the poor dealing of another to me, and I don't want to forgive them, but you teach forgiveness, Lord, and I want to learn. I am willing to forgive them. How many times do I have to forgive such things? Did you say up to seven?”

Then, it is like the Lord saying, “No Peter. Not seven times. This isn't about them. It is about you. Forgiveness isn't letting them go free, it is about letting yourself free from the burden of carrying that weight with you affecting everything that you think and do. That's why I say, not seven, but seventy times seven. When you pay attention to your own feelings, you will know what feels right and what feels wrong. You will notice the tension and the resistance, and the joy. I want you to have joy. That is the purpose of forgiveness. It is to release you to experience more joy and to lighten any burdens that you have accumulated. Let go of it. Love your brothers. Love your so-called enemies. Love is the most powerful force in the heavens, and when you love yourself enough to let go of the hurt, you then can let go of the blame of the other, and allow love to fill all that space.”

Love Is Forgiveness. Love Is Kind. Love Is… 

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing any of those accumulated hurts and so-called failings. Drop the rope. Just let go of it. Feel the relief in that. That is the path to joy.

Lighten Up!

“Be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe 
no less than the trees and the stars; 
you have a right to be here.” 
 
— Max Ehrmann 
 

[Classic post from 1-19-16]

Many times when we are trying to change something and continually failing to follow through, we may beat up on ourselves for failing one more time, renewing our vow to break through tomorrow. Until tomorrow arrives. In that new present, our current passion, habitual thought, or habitual activity seems so much more comfortable and enticing. Then, we get mad at ourselves again, reiterate our vow to change, and that process may go on for years. I should know, as I have much personal experience in this.

I realized something recently that puts a different spin on all of that. It is this: stop beating myself up and start loving myself unconditionally. Beating myself up just reinforces a low self-image, imagining that I'm so weak that I cannot do as I want to do, and I do what is habitual instead. We are, after all, very habitual creatures. Habit is a benefit in our lives and it also can be a detriment. Nonetheless, beating myself is the worst thing I can do. It is not helpful, and it is not loving at all. 

You can see this in the world where you're out and about and you hear a parent berating their child, yelling impatiently at them, telling them what they are doing wrong. You can hear it on the sidelines at ball games with angry coaches thinking that their loud angry voice is of benefit to the players. You can even find it in the workplace with angry bosses or supervisors yelling at their workers, and finally, we can hear it at home with our spouses from time to time. None of it helps.

No, none of it helps because it is reinforcing the pattern that is supposedly desiring of change. In other words, rather than leading us away from the thing, we say we no longer want to do, or the behavior that is somehow “wrong,” the verbal abuse simply makes that stand out more. It is the exact same thing within ourselves. Beating ourselves up only reinforces the so-called failing.

Imagine you're God and that you are a loving God. You invented unconditional love. You promote it. Now imagine looking at the failing you. You've failed to follow through or change one more time. As a loving God, are you going to lay on some guilt and anger, or will you lavish total peace with your unconditional love? What would that unconditional love feel like? It would feel pretty dang good, don't you think? You might even begin feeling good about yourself, feeling your value, loving your life, blessing your actions as okay.

Now, if you really wanted to change, as opposed to thinking you need to change, you have a far better chance at fulfillment with the love than with the chiding. Wouldn't you agree?

Next time you want to change something, whether it is to begin something and move in a new direction, or to let loose of something no longer desired, feel the love. You can do the pretending I'm God thing if you need a little more authority, but I am certain that a loving God taught us how to love ourselves. It's part of our DNA. We simply forget from time to time. Be gentle and loving with yourself. You're the only you that exists. You're special. A loving God created you. Take joy in that.


More Love In The World Begins With You Loving Yourself. 

Spread Some Joy Today–let it be.

I Am Already Complete

“We must be our own 
before we can be another's.”
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-18-16]

There are a lot of ways so many give their power away. One that is so predominant in our world has to do with the conditional loving of romantic relationships. Who hasn't heard the very famous line from the movie, Jerry Maguire: “You complete me.” And songs. . . wow, thousands of songs about this subject, like the classic, All Out of Love by Air Supply. You know, “I'm all out of love, I'm so lost without you. . . I'm all out of love, what am I without you?” Even in songs at contemporary Christian churches, it is easy to hear these kinds of lyrics and messages, except referring to us and God or Jesus instead of two people.

The idea of being lonely or feeling lonely comes from this place of imagined incompleteness. This whole idea of thinking that “I'm nothing without you, or lost without you” makes me want to bust out laughing, yet I used to plug into that concept just like so many do today.

I began to see myself as whole instead of trying to find my missing part, and now I have my own power back. When we think that we are incomplete and we require someone else to complete us, we are powerless until that happens, yet within a certain amount of variable time, after we find that special someone, something is likely to cause us to feel incomplete again, even with the one who supposedly completes us. It is simply because we aren't loving ourselves and realizing that we are whole and complete already.

I think that a healthy vow would be, “I don't need you to complete me. I want you to be with me because I enjoy being around you. I feel good when I'm around you. I love your laugh. You're smart and you are great to talk with. I love myself just the way I am, as I love you just the way you are. For however long coming together will enhance and benefit us both, I'm in for that, and when it's not, I'm okay with that too. Thank you for being my friend and lover. I so enjoy being with you. I look forward to enjoying being with you in the days to come. I love you without any conditions attached as we come together freely seeking to enhance our joy.”

This is true when it comes to careers, jobs, other kinds of relationships, and more. We keep our power within ourselves when we don't need those people or situations outside of ourselves to know our value. Our value within is a gift from our Creator, and She will never take that away, and as long as we choose to be full and not give it away ourselves, we are complete within. A relationship based on need is weak. A relationship based on desire from a place of fullness is always strong.


Let Us Come Together As Equal Whole People, Whether In Business Or In Our Relationships. That Place Is Limitless. 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whatever the weather wherever you are, there is joy in the air. Grab some.

Measured Esteem

“Men have looked away from themselves 
and at things so long 
that they have come to esteem 
the religious, learned, and civil institutions 
as guards of property, 
and they deprecate assaults on these, 
because they feel them to be assaults on property. 
They measure their esteem of each other 
by what each has, and not by what each is.” 
 
— Ralph Waldo Emerson 
 

[Classic post from 1-4-16]

As we deal with things virtually every day of our lives, and we have a tendency to place judgment on people and where they are on the scale of what they own or lack of what they own, how much money they have, or the lack of money they have, and so many other comparisons, it would be beneficial to make the effort to see the person inside beyond that facade as if it were true that we are all on the same journey of living a life in a body, yet we are all connected in spirit.

We don't have to change our whole world of things because things are such a part of our world, but it is beneficial to see beyond this limited view as often as we can to keep our loving perspective. 

Whether we are being given our cup of coffee, or talking to a prospect for our services or product, passing someone in the hallway, seeing someone on the news that seems to hate our ideals, if we can take even a second or two to acknowledge that we are all related, and yet unique, we open ourselves to the joy of living and better enjoyment of our own journey.

Who Is That Person, Really? It Is Me On A Different Journey. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving each other.

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