I was talking with someone the other day and we were trying to come to grips with a few issues which needed to be addressed so this person could move forward in life. We wanted to learn from his past but not be chained to it. One of the questions I asked was; “Who, if anyone, can criticize you?” The question hung in the air. I continued; “If we aren’t capable of receiving information about areas of our lives in which we need to improve we will never grow beyond our perception of ourselves.”
Being critical of ourselves, allowing others to shed light on dark, perhaps unexplored places, of who we are isn’t easy. I’m not sure anyone enjoys receiving an insight from someone else that isn’t flattering or realizing for ourselves we have a long way to go and grow, in multiple areas of life.
Wisdom teaches us that perfection isn’t ours for the taking but progression is a possibility. To progress, however, we must be vulnerable to the perception of weakness, habit, hurt or hang-up in ourselves and possess the willingness to accept it and begin to change.
Last night we had our Spring 2016 certificate ceremony for our incarcerated fathers’ class; Inside Out Dad. For the last session I give them their certificates and we talk about what we’ve learned over the last 3 months. One of the key points I focus on is self-awareness. It is the realization that most, if not all, our problems and challenges start with us. I tell the men; “Self-awareness is like looking in a mirror and truly seeing ourselves. We are able to recognize the good, bad, positive, negative, things we do well and things which need improvement.” I remind them to move beyond blaming others for our present conditions, accept responsibility for what we’ve done and should have done, and take an honest look at who we are and what we’ve become. “Only when we truly know ourselves can we be and do better.”
It’s a wisdom lesson for us all, a discipline which takes a lifetime to learn and practice, and one we can’t start soon enough.
It was cold in the house this morning as I pulled off the covers and began turning on the heaters. “Whoo!” I thought to myself. After a few moments I took the dogs outside for their routine and several minutes later, when I came back inside, suddenly the house felt much warmer. I knew it wasn’t because it had suddenly become warm but because out was much colder than in.
Perspective. Change your perspective and you change a lot. Sometimes the difference makes all the difference.
We are quick to label, judge, decide, hand in a verdict, before we look at situations, people, life from a different point of view. Wisdom teaches us that often it’s not the other that needs changing its our way of seeing, knowing, being.
The migraine that ate Tokyo came crashing into my life on Monday. It started in the morning and by the afternoon it had brought me to my knees. It was my fault. I had over extended myself this past weekend and the anxiety, fatigue and over stuffed schedule made me vulnerable to its attack. After taking plenty of meds and recovering Tuesday I ventured out today. Migraines affect different people in various ways and one of mine is tired and extremely sensitive eyes. During a migraine my eyes feel like they have ice picks stabbing them from the inside and even after it subsides subtle light can be blinding. For the record; the sun is blazing brilliantly today and as a result I’m struggling to adjust.
A year ago today my friend Mary passed away. I miss her greatly. She was one of those people whom the world is worse off because she’s no longer in it. June 17th of 2014 I wrote about her passing and another post the day before. I still remember watching the sun rise the morning I received word of her death. It was beautiful. I wondered and still do; “What is she seeing? Does the sun in all it’s glory pale in comparison to the light that now surrounds and penetrates her?”
I don’t know much about heaven and eternity. I’m wary of anyone who says they do. I believe in life after death and being united with loved ones who have crossed over to the other side. As I’ve wrestled with the light today I’ve also reflected upon whether or not my friend Mary has adjusted to her new eyes, a new light, a new way of seeing.