I’ve had little time for reading this week, but what I’ve read (some of it re-reading) has been rich and worth sharing.
First, a quote from Anthony de Mello, a Jesuit priest: “I’m an ass, you’re an ass.” Here’s what James F. Twyman, author of The Proof, says about that: “…it instantly allows us to be more compassionate and acknowledge that we all have issues…we’re all asses sometimes…we’re all enrolled in this Earth School to learn, expand, and heal, then we begin to set aside our complaints, our need to always be right. We begin to embrace ourselves and others in ways that offer healing instead of greater separation.”
He goes on to say, “If you allow your grievance to control you, you engage in the losing battle of constantly perceiving threats and attacking. Your actions, choices, and behaviors reflect this illusion; and you begin operating in a world of separation. You create stories about the ‘bad others’ to assign blame and relieve the pain of your isolation…It’s your choice whether to surrender the nightmare of your self-created separation for healing or to continue to suffer in the darkness.”
This is a big lesson I continue to need to work on and it’s no coincidence I found it again, today, all full of a grievance I suffered last week. I want to remember that I’m much happier filling up with Love than hurt and blame.
Gary Zukav presents much the same lesson in his Soul Stories, which I’ve been reading a little every day. “Authentically empowered people forgive naturally. They forgive because they do not want to carry the burden of not forgiving like heavy suitcases through a crowded airport…Have you ever thought that someone treated you badly, and then thought about it again and again? How did that make you feel? Were you angry, or sad, or frightened?...Until you forgive, you cannot use all of your creativity. Part of you is thinking about what you have not forgiven. Do you want to live your life that way? Is it worth it? Is anything worth that? Forgiveness and harmony go together. When you forgive someone, nothing stands between you and that person. Even if the person you forgive does not like you, you have laid your suitcases down…Put down one suitcase at a time. That is how you create harmony. It is also how you forgive.”
Again, that I read these two things in the same time frame can be no coincidence. I need to work, work, work that lesson.
How can I do that? Gary Zukav tells the story of a Hawaiian shaman who explained how by saying that the most important thing of all is to bless everyone all of the time. He was certain that there is something about everybody that you can find to bless; that if you look for it, you will find it.
“Just in case, I am going to give you an emergency blessing. You can use it if you can’t find one thing about someone to bless…Tell yourself…His exhalation feeds the plants.”
Gary Zukav added another emergency blessing for good measure. “This person is bringing me a lesson that is very important for me to learn. If it were not for this person, I might not be able to learn it.”
These readings passed by my eyes for a reason and I’m paying attention. Now I’m going outside, since it’s mostly sunny today, and pull weeds in my flower beds. Working in the yard gives me a feeling of accomplishment and time to ruminate on the lessons the Universe has presented to me. And since, indeed, I am sometimes an ass, I will be blessing myself and my exhalations will be feeding the plants.