Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Why is this Bugging Me?

"Therefore, in truth, understand well.  Forgiveness is essential.  What has not been forgiven in others, has not been forgiven in you.  But not by a God who sits outside of you, for He never judges.  What you have not forgiven in another or in the world is but a reflection of what you carry within as a burden that you cannot forgive of yourself."  --The Way of Mastery p.26
The next time you find yourself irritated with someone, ask yourself "Why is this bugging me?"  We are almost always most activated by those aspects we dislike in our own character.   Examining our irritations with others is a great way to learn what we need to forgive about ourselves.

For example, I hate a bossy know-it-all.  This is because these are repressed characteristics of my own personality.  I am always struggling to keep them at bay in my self and when I see someone who has let them loose, it just really irritates me!

Forgiveness is a chance to take a good long look in the mirror.  As Colin Tipping likes to say, "If you spot it, you got it!"

Sometimes it's hard to recognize yourself in another's abhorrent behavior.  Keep looking and you'll find yourself there.  It's not always obvious. You might say, "I am upset at a man who murdered his wife, but I'm not a murderer".  Yes, but do you ever have murderous thoughts?  Do you ever wish that someone who annoys you would just be gone?

I am learning to bring these "unattractive" elements of myself to the light of forgiveness.  I can only love others when I am capable of truly loving myself and loving myself means that I love and accept all parts of me.

In The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, Debbie Ford recommends that we not only forgive our most unattractive characteristics but that we actually learn to accept and even celebrate them.  They can become our strengths.

For example,  my tendency towards bossy know-it-all-ness is the same characteristic which enables me to be a good teacher.  Yes, I have to reign it in and keep it under control, but if I wasn't such a bossy know-it-all, I would never have the courage and confidence to teach.  It's when I enfold my bossy know-it-all-ness in love that I am at my very best.

The universe serves us up the lessons we need the most on a platter.  It seems that everywhere I look there is another bossy know-it-all.  This is because this is a lesson I need to repeat often.  Importantly, as I forgive the bossy know-it-alls in my world, I forgive this same characteristic in myself.  And the more I forgive myself, the more I come to peace.  

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