How To Deal With Other People

HopeWhat can you accept in other human beings?  If we look within, most of us will find that there is a certain level of “otherness” we are able to accept, beyond which tolerance dissolves.

This is more obviously the case when we examine our feelings towards people who are dangerous, break laws, or don’t adhere to societal norms of behavior.  On a more subtle level, I see it on the CTA during Chicago’s morning commute, when two people have a loud conversation instead of scrolling through their iPhones.   In that moment a humorously clear gulf is created between the quiet majority, and the atypical loud morning conversationalists.

What creates this separation between people?  It is born of thoughts and opinions in the mind that are completely bought into.  Luckily this can be overcome more easily than it would appear, even in the face of humanity’s long history of alienating others who seem too different to allow.

When you are able to observe these thoughts as they happen, you haven’t immediately identified with them and taken them as truth.  When you see thoughts of separation in the mind, that witnessing provides the choice between alienation and inclusion.  It provides the opportunity to not accept judgment of others as absolute truth.  Before peace becomes more noticeable on a societal level, this small decision will be building its firm foundation.


How To Stop Deflecting Miracles

Waterfall Is there someone in your life you aren’t completely satisfied with? Is there someone you are holding something against?

When I asked myself these questions the answers surprised me. The people in my life with whom a small sliver of dissatisfaction sometimes remains, people who I might want to do something for me or act differently, are generally not unfriendly acquaintances. Rather, they are those I love, and have the deepest connections to.

A grudge is the continued non-forgiveness of another human being, whether it is for something they did or didn’t do, said or didn’t say, or for their inability to make you feel whole and happy. Allowing yourself to look clearly at your non-forgiveness, without self-judgment, is the first and vital step to releasing yourself from the negative consequences of unconsciously wanting others to be different.

When I remind myself that fear and resentment, in whatever forms they appear, prevent my life’s purpose from unfolding, a choice is presented. In this instance I can make a new decision and choose to love being in the moment I am in. Reminding myself that this decision causes a chain reaction of miracles makes this choice all the easier.

The brilliance of this Super Soul Sunday video with Marianne Williamson is that she not only defines miracles and how they occur, but it is also made clear that allowing every individual to be on their own life path is essential to their highest potential as well as to yours. It is so easy to resent where people are at on their journeys, even more so in situations where they disagree with or harbor resentment towards you. But dealing with the consequences of your own resentment is not easy. Knowing that your inability to completely accept other people can prevent you from moving forward towards the miraculous makes the choice to love a more accessible reality.

consciousness, spirituality

How do you forgive yourself?

When I visited an ashram for a short time at the age of 21 I was offered a different perspective about what it meant to forgive yourself. When staying at the ashram I had to do various jobs like housekeeping, landscaping, kitchen duty etc. My first day of housekeeping I was sent outside to bleach shower curtains. As I sprayed, the bleach splashed onto a pair of gray sweatpants hung on the line just in front of me. I rushed inside dousing the pants with water but sure enough, like mold on a strawberry, little white dots began to appear. When the guest came to retrieve his sweatpants he was extremely upset, they had been his favorite pair of pants. I felt terrible and cried to the head of housekeeping about it. There is no concealing your inner state, however you might try, and the other people in my program knew I was sad the rest of that day.

Across the hall from my dorm was a blonde boy, probably a couple years older than me, named Chandler. The most charming thing about him was that he actually said “golly” with all sincerity. When I told him what had happened his response was something I never expected. He said, “Katie, that man has given you the greatest gift! The chance to forgive yourself!” I had never looked at forgiving myself as a gift before. But forgiveness is a gift even when the person you happen to be forgiving is yourself. By forgiving you say, “While this or that has taken place, I see through that to your true self, the same self which is in all of us, holy and untouched by outer circumstance.” When you can say that to yourself, you are loving yourself. And while forgiving yourself at first may seem difficult, because of emotions like guilt and shame, you can practice by forgiving other people.

There are a million moments each day to forgive other people, to look past their outer form and see their truest inner being. When someone has an opinion you find offensive, you can look through that, you can forgive. When someone is unkind, unhelpful, or unforgiving to you, that is a moment to practice forgiveness. Even further, you can practice forgiveness by forgiving the present moment. Allow the now to be as it is by forgiving whatever it brings. When the present moment is undesirable, practice forgiving that moment by bringing inner acceptance to what is. When you accept and allow you open up space for change. Forgiveness does this for moments you experience, for people in your life, and for you. Forgiveness transforms the illusion of form into the reality of timeless being. Forgiveness makes all and everything holy and unified. No matter what you have done, that you now see in the light of awareness was not the right thing to do, practice forgiving yourself. Practice seeing past what you have done, to who you truly are. Looking past the outer circumstances of your life in turn allows you to do the same for all other beings. It connects us all, and gives us all the chance to live our destiny as fully conscious beings, unshaken by the illusion of outer circumstance.

consciousness, spirituality

“Divine Compensation”

I hope you enjoy this video in which Marianne Williamson talks about how to forgive and living your destiny.  One of the lessons that really changed me was the idea of “divine compensation.” Marianne gives a great description of it but here was the insight I gained from it:

One way of looking at a miracle is when the highest potential of a moment is manifested.  When you block a miracle, perhaps by choices you’ve made, that miracle still exists.  It will merely manifest itself in a different form.  So if it happens that you do something and a miracle doesn’t occur, and you don’t experience the highest potential of that moment, that miracle will appear in your life in a new form when your heart and mind are open.  Which is to say, the highest potential for any moment is becoming realized when you accept life as it is, and allow life to live you.  When you are open to life in all of its possibilities, you give the highest potential the opportunity to manifest in your life.  

When I first wrote this post I was about to publish it, but through some technical difficulties found it was lost and unrecoverable.  I was frustrated at first.  I felt a lot of negative energy taking over me.  My boyfriend suggested we go on a walk, and although I was frustrated I knew that the universe was giving me an opportunity to trust that the potential for the words I had written would be restored to me in a different form.  I always find life gives me the chance to practice any lesson that I feel I understand.  I was definitely frustrated earlier.  Eventually I chose to receive the blessing with gratitude.  Though I lost something, that potential still exsisted for me and was able to manifest differently with these new words.  

When a moment doesn’t go “well” or as planned, instead of suffering, it would be much more enjoyable to be excited about what the new manifestation for its highest potential will look like!  Another way of putting it, you’re always on the right path, your highest potential is always in the midst of you ready to be realized.

Marianne Williamson is a brilliant author and spiritual teacher, and is one of the contributors to A Course In Miracles, another life changing book that I absolutely love.  May this video open your heart and give you a greater experience of love and joy today!  Thanks to Oprah for who you are, and for Super Soul Sunday! Stay tuned for a lesson I was given in self-forgiveness.

“Author Marianne Williamson has been a spiritual friend and counselor to Oprah for many years, and her advice has sometimes taken Oprah by surprise. Watch as Oprah remembers a time where Marianne counseled her to pray for someone who harmed her—and experiences an emotional aha! moment onstage. Then, watch as Marianne explains the principle of divine compensation and how the universe will always return what someone wrongfully took from you.”

consciousness, spirituality

“How to Not Take Things Personally”

Life is much more enjoyable the moment you realize that it is not about you.  We are all the “main characters” in our own stories, so when someone is mean or unhelpful to you, that is all a part of their story, not yours.  As a very sensitive child I longed to know how to not be so hurt by a world that can sometimes be inconsiderate and unforgiving.  That sensitivity has given me many lessons in how to let go, and allow other people to live their own lives.  Here Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, helps explain how to not take things personally.

“The second of don Miguel Ruiz’s four agreements is about not taking everything personally. Watch as Oprah says she thinks it’s one of the hardest to follow, and get the advice don Miguel gives a customer service representative about dealing with challenging customers.”

PS- Stay tuned for the conclusion of “The Bed Bug Incident” tomorrow!