Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Oh, God! Here I Go Again" or "Thanks, God! Here I Grow Again" ... The Choice Is Up to Us

The difficulties of life are to make us better, not bitter.”~Unknown

Some of you may recall that I have previously written about a fractured family relationship that has caused me great heartache and sadness for decades.  Unfortunately, I experienced another emotional episode with that same person a while ago.  This time, though, after years of spiritual work, instead of being hooked into the same-old, in-kind reaction, I knew I was okay enough to not only withstand the barrage of anger but to do something about it.  OMIGOD.  What a breakthrough.

I immediately remembered that it takes two people to keep this negative cycle going, and only one to stop it  At that moment I promised myself I was going to be the latter.

Being unaware of the source of the breach between us, I tried many times through the years to ask the person for forgiveness, but to no avail.  Back then I thought it was because she enjoyed having the power to deny my hope for reconciliation.   Now I know it’s because I was meant to recognize the fact that if I’m suffering, it’s my problem, and I need to heal enough to allow whatever I’m holding onto to be faced, felt, and released.

While my inner guidance provided me with the Inner Work technique to use in such situations years ago – the truth is that I seldom saw this individual – so I turned within to focus on this issue only when I was the recipient of another emotional outbreak.    By then, I would be so upset by the depth of the emotions within me that I just wanted to get past it.

This time, however, I knew instantly that I was through with being a handy target for these emotional outbursts and was determined to learn my lesson, grow through it and come to peace with this issue.  I went into prayer and after centering myself, I realized that my inner guidance was urging me to re-read one of my favorite books.  It was by Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandchild of Mahatma Gandhi, and is titled “Legacy of Love – My Education in the Path of Nonviolence.”

Not only did I re-read several chapters, I clearly recalled being at Arun’s presentation that evening back in 2010.  Since I thought that I was in for a history lesson about India’s trials, tribulations and victories, I didn’t expect it to touch me personally.  I was wrong.

His profound insight was that humanity views violence as only physical, therefore missing the awareness that we daily contribute to passive violence.

According to Arun, we do this in many oppressive and disrespectful ways, including gossiping, name calling, blaming, bullying, teasing and insulting, as well as venting our anger on others. As I remembered this statement, I realized immediately that there’s probably not a person on Earth who hasn’t at one time or another unknowingly indulged in some form of passive violence. 

He explained that passive violence generates anger because the target doesn’t know how to deal with it positively, and the only option seems to be to resort to some form of physical violence, or to keep stockpiling resentments.  So, I was actually adding fuel to the fire of my undesirable situation by blaming the other person.  Now I see why no healing was ever possible under those circumstances.

The next insight I gained was that this dysfunctional relationship was somehow linked to my early-childhood experiences in a large family that left me feeling unlovable, unworthy and vulnerable.  This was surely the reason that as an adult I was addicted to being treated with loving kindness and respect.  And when the reality of the unkind and disrespectful relationship with this individual didn’t fit my desires, I reacted with animosity, blame and a prayer that she would eventually learn her lesson and act accordingly.

I seized this latest opportunity to clear and release this sad situation for all time.  I immediately began daily forgiveness work for each of us.  When I began to feel centered, and could come from a level of love for the other person, I started the Inner Work.

After an unusually powerful and tearful energy release, my inner guidance drew me back in my mind’s eye to when my “adversary” was a newborn baby.

My first thought was if this is to “soften” me up, it won’t work.  I was born the seventh of ten children.  And while I loved babies and had enjoyed (most of the time) being in charge of my younger brother and sisters, I was only eight-years-old and just wanted to be free to play outside with the rest of the kids.  When my mother appeared, she took the infant from the baby’s mother and placed her in my arms, indicating that she had volunteered me to care for the baby after school each day and on the weekend.  I was overwhelmed.

I sensed it wasn’t wise to speak up, because my mother made it quite clear the baby was “sickly” and the mother needed help, and we were “family.”  I decided to do what I had to do, but as I girded myself for this unwanted act of charity, I also actually felt a slight hardening of my heart toward this infant.  Just then I got the message my inner guidance was orchestrating.  I had rejected this fellow human being from the beginning, and I had to accept 100% responsibility for my part.  She had chosen to give back to me (unknowingly) the rejection I had set in motion.

When I started to judge myself harshly for what I had done, my inner guidance stopped me in my tracks.  I was to ask myself these questions: Did I do the best I could as a young child? (Yes.) Did I see life differently then? (Yes.).  Did I know then what I know now? (No.)  Would I have acted differently if I had?  (Yes.)  Am I willing to forgive myself for making a mistake, and not realizing the consequences it set in motion?   (Yes.)

At that moment, I relaxed into the process totally, for I knew from past experience that I was being guided into the insight-healing I sought. I was now face to face with the infant, looking directly into her sparkling blue eyes.  I was also the adult I am now, and was captivated by how lively she was, for I knew the life challenges she would face.  As she smiled and gurgled her way into my heart, I felt the plate of armor dissolve and love flowed freely through me to her. WOW!

I recalled soon after the visioning, that by the time this baby was two-years-old, and I was 10, I had chosen the path of love for my life journey.  As a result, I spent many hours – and most of the money I made, (25 cents an hour) from babysitting neighbor children – in trying to add joy to her life as she faced continuing health challenges.

I also realized once again how powerful our thoughts are and the importance of mastering them to assure they yield desirable instead of undesirable results.

When I fully accepted that I was totally responsible for my part in this situation, and my counterpart was 100% responsible for her reactions and responses, I vowed to continue the Inner Work and claimed freedom from this issue for all time. (See the Inner Work steps in the February essay or on the author’s Web Page at:www.FernStewartWelch.com.)

Hip, Hip, Hurray and Hallelujah!  What a gift, and it couldn’t and wouldn’t have happened until I chose to face the truth and to grow through life instead of continuing to suffer through it.
I meet every life experience by smiling, standing tall and saying:Thanks God, here I grow again.
Copyright © 2014 by Fern Stewart Welch   [This archived essay reprinted by request]
The author’s books: “Becoming a Spiritual Warrior of the Heart, (April 2013); “Tea with Elisabeth,” recipient of the 2010 Silver Award for Non-fiction; “You Can Live A Balanced Life In An Unbalanced World,” (Nov. 2008); and “The Heart Knows the Way – How to Follow Your Heart to a Conscious Connection with the Divine Spirit Within,” (Feb. 2008), are available at Amazon.com, other online booksellers, as well as bookstore chains such as Barnes & Noble.

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