This week’s blog is about love …
*Note – may be a bit confronting for some readers.
I just finished reading an awesome book by Scarlett Lewis.
It’s called Nurturing. Healing. Love. – A mother’s journey of hope and forgiveness.
Its about her journey of forgiveness and healing, after her son Jesse died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.
I’ve never had a deep tragedy like this happen to my family, so I found it really moving and inspiring to read about how she came to a deep understanding and forgiveness of the man who killed her son. How did she do that?
And it got me thinking about the number of opportunities that we are given (daily) to forgive …
Opportunities to let go … to heal … to love … and to raise our lives to a higher level …
And these daily loving opportunities to forgive are not as intense as Scarlett’s (well, I hope not anyway).
Sometimes it’s others we could forgive … and sometimes it’s ourselves.
Do we take these opportunities?
Mostly we don’t.
I believe we don’t because of a few reasons …
– wanting to avoid discomfort
– wanting to be right
– wanting to feel free
All are totally valid choices.
You don’t HAVE to do anything.
You always have the option to choose.
#1 – Ahhh avoiding discomfort …
No one really likes being uncomfortable … well except maybe Tom Gleeson (and other comediams) who’s stories seem to revolve around it.
We’re naturally inclined to move away from painful situations.
So it takes practice to sit with a discomfort or pain (yours or another’s).
It takes practice to hold space and then address a discomfort. Not judge it.
Just to observe it and send love to it.
For me it’s easier to do that when I’m feeling loved and being loving to myself.
And doesn’t that make sense?
Your ability to be loving to others comes from loving yourself.
So, step one is – love yourself through the discomfort.
#2 – Hmmm what about being right …
Everyone likes to be right.
I know I do. Don’t you?
If I’m right then I feel better about myself.
But … because I know that it doesn’t serve the harmony of my relationships, if I’m always trying to win – it’s a hollow victory
Someone once said ‘do you want to be happy or right?’
You may be thinking (like me) “I thought I WAS happy when I’m right.”
Bring right is about one person being better than everyone else.
But over the years I’ve learnt that being happy is about everyone feeling accepted and honoured, including me.
Equally. Now that is balanced.
So, step two is – look for the happy option rather than the winning option.
#3 – And finally that need to feel free …
I really get it. Freedom is one of my top 10 values. It’s guided most of my life decisions.
Travelling the world with no permanent home wouldn’t work if you had a high value of security.
Most people say they want to be free to make their own decisions.
Free to hold onto the past.
Free to say what they want.
Free to keep things the same.
What if I slightly adjust this value?
Why not add the freedom to love.
The freedom to forgive.
The freedom to heal.
The freedom to grow.
Then you are still honouring the value of freedom but serving yourself and others too.
So, step three is – adding to your value of freedom the choices of love, healing and growth.
Scarlett Lewis says that when she realised that the man who went into that school was mentally unstable and needed help, she felt compassion. Then she could come to a place of forgiveness because he knew not what he was doing.
He was ‘out of his mind’ and completely out of balance.
And we’ve all been there – maybe not to the degree of that young man in Sandy Hook, Newtown, but we can learn something important from this.
We’ve ALL been completely out of balance.
We’ve ALL felt disconnected.
We’ve ALL been in a situation where we could have called out for help but didn’t.
We’ve ALL felt lost and alone.
So, I encourage you to see where you can forgive, love, and grow just a little bit more in your life this week.
Blessings Pip x
Reference: Nurturing. Healing. Love – A Mother’s Journey of Hope and Forgiveness – by Scarlett Lewis