A lot of the pain we suffer is from the wounds given to us by our friends. We often love the person who has hurt us which only makes the pain that much worse. If a child says something that hurts we don’t feel our world has ended or even take it seriously. We know a child, being physically smaller, has hit out in anger in the only way it can and so ignore it. What we need to realise is that there are a lot of children walking around in adult bodies. Adults who have not grown up are a big problem these days. Peter Pan was a fine storybook character but you wouldn’t want him for your next door neighbour.
These adult children are fun to be with most of the time, they are often a jumble of new ideas and followers of the latest spiritual trends. The problem arises when we turn to them in a time of trouble. Instead of receiving the consolation we expected we are given the shallow self-centred answer of a child. As this usually happens in times of great need the resulting wound is often deep and painful. When this happens it may be we have misread how much our friend has grown up. We do not all grow equally so a little care in who we turn to in times of trouble might be wise.
I had to learn a long time ago not to expect more from another than what there is in me. That we cannot give what we haven’t got is true always. When I rage at the insensitive clod who has hurt me, do I remember the times when that clod was me? We are here to learn lessons on the sometimes painful road to adulthood and all we meet are our teachers. As I teach you so you also teach me. Never look down upon, or despise anyone. At times the most insignificant person may have the greatest lesson for you. The faults I find in others are often my faults and it’s only when I recognise this that I will learn and hopefully move on to the next lesson.
Of course there will be the times when you feel totally betrayed by someone and you will find no lessons in the experience and all you can see is the hurt. These are the times that we must look to our own hearts to find if there is fault there or not. If we find no fault in ourselves then accept that the one who failed us is not at our level. Forgive them and go on. If a friendship is broken by foolish words do not judge them too harshly. Where they are, I have been. There but for the grace of God go I.
To convince some one that they need to forgive the person who has hurt them is very hard because they don’t see the need for it. “What!” they say “I’m the victim here, why should I forgive them? They are the ones who should be punished.” Yes they should but how is it to be done? No matter how much hate we carry for our abuser (physical, mental or what ever) we cannot hurt them no matter how much we wish to. The sad fact is we can only hurt one person and that person is us!
Hate is the deadliest thing to carry in our bodies and it can and will kill! I know from my own experience that how I think influences my health and my relationships with other people. I also believe that once something is created it cannot be destroyed. Yes! this does include our emotions. If this is true, then to create any emotion should be done with caution. Love is the most powerful healing force of all and even love can be perverted and twisted to mislead and hurt people.
How much more dangerous must be the hate that is caused by unforgiveness. Yet we harbour this vile corrosive power inside us simply because we want a revenge that we are powerless to take. No matter how much we yearn for justice it does not happen and the longer we wait the more destructive our hate becomes. So what’s the answer? Forgiveness! that’s what!
So how does it work and why? Firstly we must realise that there are unseen powers at work in our world that operate by certain rules. They get called many names Karma, God, Cause and Effect, Cosmic Justice and so on. Even the most confirmed atheist would have to admit that at times things happen that can’t be explained. Oh! You don’t believe in anything you can’t see. Okay, the next time you see gravity or electricity take a picture of it and send it to me.
So if there is something out there that can deal with our problems then why isn’t it doing it’s job? I’m glad you asked that question because I have an answer. We don’t release them from our judgement until we forgive them. Its that simple. While we hold them in our judgement we actually protect them from the consequences of their actions. Do we really want that? I don’t think so.
Sounds too easy doesn’t it, well it’s not easy. I remember thinking my teeth would shatter the first time I forgave someone. This was after years of sickness and pain and searching for answers and even though I knew it was the only way, the words still came out through gritted teeth. Part of the problem is that a victim has no power so unless we change our way of thinking we stay a powerless victim. The truth is we do have power, in fact avoid anyone who says that you are powerless. I have been berated by a few such people. They are either control freaks, stupid, mad or all these things together, ignore them.
We do have power, in fact too much at times, particularly when we use it to destroy ourselves. The only power we can use safely is love because love heals. Where we find a big problem is while we seek vengeance we cannot love properly and we must have love to heal us. I have tried a lot of different methods but I’ve only found one that works for me and that way is forgiveness.
People say to me it didn’t work when I said it. Well how many years have you put in suffering since you were molested or whatever was done to you happened. So if it took time to get where you are, then allow some time to heal. If you want to put some muscle into it pray for the well being of your tormenter (ouch) no I’m not joking! If they are dead then pray for your faults to be revealed and deal with them, but do it gently and with love. Contrary to how it looks I believe we are here to reach our fullest potential and we can’t do that as helpless victims. You can be free and whole if you want to be. Anyway what have you to lose by trying forgiveness, except your chains.
Yes I do realise I am setting my self up to be torn limb from limb for writing this stuff but if it helps one person then it’s done it’s job. Me I don’t much care what people say about me any more. I may be old, fat, stupid and ugly but I got one thing going for me, I m free… are you?
forms a chain
that binds us to the ones
who caused our pain
How can I be free
that I might live
This great truth
is plain to see
Doesn’t make them right
It makes me free
Then wisdom grows
from memories retained
As forgiveness takes
and in time
Our reactions to circumstances are governed by our character, or lack of it.
We are all capable of looking like something that we are not when someone is watching. The real test of who we are comes when we are alone. What are we like then? Are we still happy when nothing much is going on in our lives or do we get bored anxious and depressed. If we feel the need to be the center of attention we sometimes go to strange lengths to get it such as drinking, gambling, love affairs, having weird problems to talk about, or when all else fails, being sick.
These are dangerous games to play, as what started out as attention seeking can become a life and death struggle which can cost us everything including our lives. The person who has built patience and self love into their character will be happy on their own or with people. A rainy day or a day at the beach are equally good as both have opportunities for good things to happen. It’s all in our point of view really. I have spent some of the worst days of my life at the beach and some of the best days in bed with a good book while rain thunders on my roof.
People have told me that self love is wrong and evil and so on but they are ones who are wrong! If we don’t love ourselves then we will never truly love another. We cannot give away what we don’t have! I believe that is why so many people who try to help someone else end up exhausted, drained and bitter. So many have an agenda, like if I do this, they will do that and so on and I will feel good. This is conditional love and it seldom works, unconditional love sees a need and meets it if possible and that’s the end of the story.
My character must have good judgement and truthfulness in it for it may be that I have cast my pearls (of wisdom) before a swine and swine will attack you for trying to help them at times. When someone wants to bring us down the first thing they attack is our integrity. Their whole aim is to make us doubt our motives for doing what ever it was we tried to do. Once we doubt ourselves we are easy to defeat. Never indulge in useless argument. There is an old saying: Never get down in the mud to wrestle a pig. You will both get dirty but the pig will enjoy it.
A person who is easily swayed from what they believe will be blown this way and that and never achieve very much in their life. A double minded person is unstable in all their ways. A trap that many fall in to is the saying it wasn’t meant to be. You will find this is a very popular saying amongst atheists which I find strange. When I ask them who decides what is, or is not meant to be if there is no God, they can’t answer. Christians of course can blame God for their lack of effort and they often do!
Mountains do not move because we looked at them. They are stubborn brutes and require a lot of effort to move them so I must have a positive attitude about what I’m doing and the courage to go on when things look hopeless. So many fail through lack of faith. We must have faith in something (other than the fact that we will fail in whatever we do). Failure is always a possibility but with faith, success is also possible so give it your best shot and see what happens.
So many people say “I have no faith” yet are brave enough to drive and have faith that they will arrive safely. They have no faith! Yet believe their heart will go on beating. We are all one heartbeat away from death yet how many worry about it? We bleat, “I have no direction” yet all around us are things to do. A ship tied to a wharf needs no rudder because it’s not going anywhere. Have the faith to move and direction will come.
If we find nothing else to do then maybe it’s time to work on some character defects. One thing that’s as sure as death and taxes is that our faults will find us out so it makes sense to deal with as many of them as we can. If my character is in good shape then criticism will not drive me into depression nor will praise inflate my ego to a place I must fall from. A good character has balance in all things.
Character……have one or be one…
There is a difference!
People waste so much of their time worrying about death. Where and when it will happen. Who cares! Death is an integral part of life, without death life would have no savour at all. It would be a dreary never ending sameness that stretches into an endless boring infinity. It is only death that brings life into such a sharp contrast to show us what we have. Sickness shows us what we took for granted when we had good health and death does the same for life. It is the spice that flavours the substance of life itself. Food without flavour is tasteless and boring and so is life. It is sad that we take such a precious gift for granted and have to face the reality of death to realise what we have wasted so carelessly.
Whether there is life after death does not greatly concern me, if there is life before death does. So many people live in fear of what might happen that they are barely living at all. If death scares us so much why do we live with constant fear? Fear is a greased chute that will take us to our doom that much more quickly. Either by attracting the diseases we fear or binding us so badly that we cannot interact with other people or enjoy the life we have. We all need people. Books, television or music will all stimulate our minds to a degree but not like people can.
To me death is a guide post on a journey, not a sign saying end of the line. While I am alive I will always seek life and the vast plethora of riches it brings. I do not willingly seek out pain but if it is inevitable that I suffer pain then I look for the lessons that it will teach me. One of the cruelest deceptions we suffer from is that we are all equal, this makes no sense to me. I believe we are all in different positions like rungs on a ladder and we are given lessons that we need to learn. I could not imagine me dying now and qualifying for an afterlife as my presence would spoil it the instant I arrived there.
No I feel life is to be lived to the best of our ability and knowledge each day. Lived in such a way that we sleep at night with no regrets over what we should have said and done. If we have loved all who crossed our paths and needed loving. If we have helped those we could and made few enemies then why should we fear death. We will welcome it as an old friend. If I have fulfilled my purpose in being here on earth then it will not trouble me overmuch where and when I die.
As I see it laziness is the biggest obstacle to changing our lives. We don t like to think that we are at fault so we blame shift. This takes away out responsibility to change (so we think). I have heard (and used) every excuse under the sun for my problems. The excuses are endless. Abused as a child, no parents, tortured, alcoholic parents, drug addiction, enslaved by alien kangaroos, and the list goes on. The thing is what have we done since we became aware that we have a problem? In most cases we keep the problem and nurture it by hanging with people who have problems also. (Well they understand us don’t they).
I don’t need to hang with messed up people so that I feel it’s all right to be messed up. What I need is to face my problems and admit they are mine then do something about them. We all know what our problems are but it’s laziness that stops us dealing with them. When we say I can’t change! then read that as I WON’T CHANGE! That is the truth of the matter. The sad thing is that change is inevitable. If our attitudes have produced cancer for instance it will change us whether we like it or not. By the time this happens it is generally too late.
The time to change is NOW. By the way don’t tell me about your addictive genes. This is a cop out. If your jeans are addictive throw them away and buy a pair tha’ s not. This is another blame shift and a very common one.
Another example of laziness is the wish! I have said “I wish” more times than I can remember. The thing is wishes come in two parts. First comes the desire then the hard work. For instahce I wish to give up smoking, so PUT THEM DOWN that’s easy.. LEAVE THEM DOWN.. that’s hard. I wish to lose weight so, FIND A DIET that’s easy.. STICK TO IT.. that s hard. I want to play music, so FIND AN INSTRUMENT that’s easy.. THEN PRACTISE.’ that’s hard. All wish’s have an easy part and a part that requires effort.
Of course there is always the amazingly gifted person who picks up a guitar and can play in an hour or two or gives up smoking and never desires a cigarette ever again. However this is not you and me we have to put in the hard yards to achieve success. Don’t look at others to see what they are doing it’s what we are doing that counts.
So, who is Don Lloyd? Nobody famous or remarkable really. I don’t claim to have any special wisdom apart from surviving life (so far) but if these words help one person, or make you think, they will have achieved their purpose.