Note: This is a guest essay by Denise Barry
Just this month I’ve witnessed people deny responsibility for themselves, rage irrationally and act petty, egotistical and self-centered.
They were abusive to others, in denial about their behavior and experienced a total loss of control.
The total loss of control was mine actually.
After witnessing all of this craziness, I really lost it.
I’m not only talking about losing my temper, which I definitely did. I’m talking about losing control. Guess what I forgot in the middle of all this madness?
I don’t have any control. I lost something I never even had!
One reason is because they are people I’ve known since birth (that gives me the right, doesn’t it?). I tend to be much more intolerant to the people I have a long history with.
And I find myself playing out old patterns of behavior before my brain even registers what triggered it. Sometimes, all it takes is a look, a word, or a sigh from them and I’m…off!
In my opinion, they were hurting themselves and others because of their behavior. I felt it was my responsibility to teach this to them – to teach them the right way to be. Even though they wouldn’t listen, I was SURE if I said it again, or in a different way, or a little louder, I could convince them. I thought I could bully them into happiness, which would make everyone else happy too, including me. Well, especially me.
I heard someone say once…
“If you think you’ve become so enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”
Yes, I can see how effective this test is.
Clearly, I have work to do.
I know I could have observed all of the madness and not gotten involved. Maybe I could have even been unaffected by it!
There was a voice in the back of my head saying:“You’re going to regret this. Stop now.”
But I didn’t know how to stop the pattern from playing out, so I ignored it.
Well, for one thing, I alienated myself from them.
Even though this can feel easier at first, it doesn’t actually feel good.
But more importantly, I felt awful after. I mentally beat myself up because I “knew better.” I berated myself for hurting people, whether or not they deserved it. I criticized myself because I was not acting like the person I choose to be today!Then, I remembered something crucial. It’s the one thing we should never forget because it is so primary to our happiness and growth.
Feeling guilty and punishing yourself for screwing up is a complete waste of precious time and accomplishes absolutely nothing!
Of course, I’ve always known that forgiving myself is an essential aspect in loving myself.
But sometimes we know things on an intellectual level only. It takes a long time for some lessons to get from our head to our heart.
And it doesn’t happen overnight. Repetition is the only way to get into a state of Knowingness. It’s the only way to go beyond the intellectual.
This means we are going to make mistakes – and as long as we learn from them, we’re on the right road. I know the little voice in the back of my head wasn’t always there warning me to “stop” in the midst of my losing control.
At first, it wasn’t there at all. Not before, during or after – because I wasn’t conscious that I was doing anything wrong!
Once we recognize that making mistakes is okay – not just okay, but necessary – you find yourself forgiving other people for they’re unconsciousness too.
Once forgiveness settled into my heart, I even went so far as to feel grateful to these people for presenting me with this challenge. After all, it’s what got me to this point!
Does this mean I should spend a lot of time around unconscious people? Well, I just checked in with Knowingness and it’s telling me that “just enough time” is about right.
May you KNOW forgiveness today!
Shared with Love by Denise Barry! To learn more about Denise click here
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.
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