Thought for the day: 16 May 2017

forgive-others

I love this! It seems to me that forgiveness is ALWAYS the right choice.

I’m not suggesting we forget necessarily but I am suggesting we forgive – for our own sake if not that of others. And I know I keep saying it – but if I want to be forgiven, I must learn to forgive. Like many things in life forgiveness is a two way street! And the bonus of forgiving another person – YOU get peace!

Unfortunately, sometimes forgiveness is not just a one-off choice but more of an ongoing process. If you’ve been really badly hurt, you might make the choice to forgive the person who has caused you so much pain. Then the next day you realise that you have to make the same decision to forgive them all over again. Just as loving someone is an ongoing choice, so too forgiveness can be an ongoing choice. And maybe all you can do is forgive what you can right now, knowing that you may have to choose to do it again in an hour’s time, or tomorrow, next week or next month.

If I fell and grazed my knee, my body doesn’t heal itself instantaneously (even if I want it to). It takes time for the white blood cells to form a seal over the injury in order to protect the body. And just as it takes time for a scab to form and for the physical injury to heal itself, so other types of hurt and pain can also take time to heal too. We don’t heal in an instant;  healing is on ongoing process. So too forgiveness can become an ongoing process. Not everything in life is “one and done” – you make a decision and suddenly you’re facing the consequences. Some decisions, like love and forgiveness, can be ongoing choices that we need to make over and over and over again. And all you can do (even in the midst of that pain) is to make the best decision you can at any given time. And that’s all any of us can do.  So don’t beat yourself up if you find you have to forgive the same person for the same thing more than once – because forgiveness, like love and healing, can take time.

I wish you peace.

Thought for the day: 16 April 2017

go-easy-on-yourself

Some days I think we just need to give ourselves a break!  Some days we might not have the energy or the motivation or the time to do the things that we think we ought to do. And some days that’s ok.

Some days what I’m capable of might not seem like much, and maybe it’s not. And on those days I use the motto “All I can do is all I can do.” And some days that has to be enough.

We’re allowed to take time out to rest, or to play, or to work in the garden, or to NOT work in the garden. Some days we just need a little time – it might be a little time for ourselves, or time with a friend; time to read or to play, to relax or to sleep. Whatever you feel like you need  – it’s ok.

Be kind to YOU.

“Go easy on yourself. Whatever you do today, let it be enough.”

Thought for the day: 5 March 2017

if-you-have-kindness-in-your-heart

In order for kindness to become a way of life, I need first to develop the habit of being kind and creating acts of kindness. To create a habit I have to practice regularly. I have today, tomorrow and the remainder of my lifetime to practice acts of kindness. I hope that kindness will, for me, become a way of life.

If I were to die, and the people I know and love wrote on my tombstone “she was kind” – I’d be happy with that.

In my world: KINDNESS MATTERS.

Thoughts on fear, assumptions and my right to judge others – an opinion

This afternoon I was sitting watching a TV program and as I watched a few stray tears ran down my cheeks. While it doesn’t matter what the program was or what the specific issue was – what interests me is why I responded as I did.  And I think it’s about situations where we as people allow our fears and assumptions to override or outweigh the actual beliefs, characters and motivations of others – and how wrong that seems to me.

I see the masses (whose questions are heralded by the press) wanting answers to their questions when their assumptions are inaccurate and their motivations mistaken.

The story I watched was a fictitious one where a support character, let’s call him Bob, had to defend himself – his motivations, his character, his background and his faith all under scrutiny because of a violent act carried out by someone with a tenuous link to Bob. The link was what the media focused on – understandably – but what the program highlighted to me was the imbalance of media pressure (supported by the majority of people, underlined by their own sense of panic, and the need to bring to justice the perpetrators) when the insubstantial link had no bearing on the act carried out by the offender. And Bob was left having to defend himself to his countrymen and women for an act of kindness he had performed, and its innocuous link to the perpetrator, which then called into question Bob’s character, his motivations, his commitment to his friends, family, to his country and his beliefs.

One could look at the situation and say that the story and it’s violence justified the means (investigation and accusation). While I understand that, my empathetic response was for Bob, the person who had been accused having done nothing wrong other than being true to himself, and his own sense of right and wrong (ie, so nothing wrong at all).

As a New Zealander, these days I shun writing about politics whether international or at home. I would seldom discuss my beliefs in terms of politics, religion or similar with anyone other than close friends. I tend to keep my beliefs regarding those subjects to myself. They are not open for discussion unless I choose otherwise (which I seldom do). My character and attitudes, and my aspirations for my character development are a different matter; to me that’s something which is pretty much (certainly in this forum) ‘free for all’.

I’m interested in why I responded with such a strong reaction to what I knew to be a fictitious TV program.  And it’s because my empathy button was pressed. Why was that? Because I allowed myself to slip into the shoes of the character who had been placed in an unfair position (some would say victimised). His unjust treatment was based on what I interpreted as an underlying sense of fear, assumption and the need for blame.  I wonder how often we as people do this to others. I wonder how often I’ve done this in the past – and not realised the underlying reason(s) for my responses.

Please understand that my aim here is not to make a statement regarding violence at all; merely to investigate my own response to a fictional situation to which I felt an emotional response.

Note to self:  I don’t want to have to justify myself or my beliefs. I also don’t want to judge others, particularly when that judgement is based on my own fears, assumptions or what I think may or may not be someone else’s motivation. (Who am I to judge the motivation of another anyway? Have I seen inside their heart and mind?)

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”  – Mother Teresa

I think the following quote is appropriate but my preface would be to alter’mistakes’ ‘perceived mistakes’:

it-is-eady-to-judge

[Quote above courtesy of Linked In Self Motivation Quotes]