Our priorities frequently become scattered and filled with conflict, as we try to juggle too much at once. I discovered that by choosing a single life’s goal, that of sharing, or giving or being of service, I’ve become better able to focus my energies and priorities. This in turn has enabled me to find true lasting fulfillment in all I do.
This ability required a major shift in consciousness from hyper critically judging the outcomes of life, to observing and accepting them, even when people were not kind.
One of the greatest sages of all time said: “What good is in loving those that love you? Where’s the gain in that? Love your enemies as you love yourself”.
What is the meaning of this? If we start by loving and accepting people, vs. judging them, it will become more and more apparent that “other people” do not have to change for us to experience fulfillment.
This also requires being able to forgive people, and yes that includes being able to forgive yourself.
What is forgiveness? Forgiveness isn’t what we perceive with our limited five senses, it isn’t what religion teaches that we have the power to forgive other’s wrongdoing. What makes us better than the person we are to forgive? What empowers us to forgive them, as we know forgiveness to be? Even if we did have such a power, the purpose of forgiveness is not about the other person.
Forgiveness is about taking responsibility for our feelings, our reaction to how others may have wronged us; forgiveness is removing the blame for our own feelings from others. It is no longer blaming another person for our own reactions.
“When you forgive someone, you set yourself free from the power you have given to them over you.”
Forgiveness is really about recognizing in ourselves the opportunities for improvements, it is realizing that others who push our buttons are actually performing a great thing for our own good.
When you look into a mirror and you see a scar, do you blame the mirror? Do you say, I hate you mirror for causing the scar? All the mirror has done is given you a chance to see what is a part of you, the mirror is just the messenger.
Often people who seem to wrong us, push our buttons, challenge us, they are messengers unknowingly helping us recognize where we need to transform.
“What bothers you about others is true about yourself. You can’t recognize in someone what you are not.”
Sometimes we become so busy with life and complications that may have resulted from choices that didn’t go as planned, and it’s easy in these moments to believe that we don’t have choices.
This belief is also a choice we are making. Everything we do is a choice. No one is a victim, but there are some simple questions to ask yourself to identify if you are choosing love or fear.
These are the questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I choose to find ways to love, or find faults in others?
- Do I choose to be a giver, or a taker?
- Do I express gratitude, or do I complain?
- Do I seek collaboration, or control?
- Do I encourage opinions and vulnerability, or do I avoid intimacy and relationships?
- Do I act worthy, or do I settle for mediocrity?
- Do I believe in myself, or do I let doubts kill the warrior inside of me?
“We are what we believe. We are always either expressing love or fear.”
Fear and love cannot be experienced at the same time. By choosing to love more often than to fear, we can change the nature and quality of our relationships in our lives.
A man seeking inner peace once asked Mother Theresa if he could fly with her on her way to Mexico City, with a gentle smile, she replied: “I would have no objection about your joining me, but since you said you wanted to learn about inner peace, I think you would learn more about inner peace if you would find out how much it costs to fly to Mexico City and back, and give that money to the poor”. What a powerful lesson in giving and receiving.
In order to receive, we must give. In order to be loved, we must first love; in order to be rich, we must first enrich others. Our ability to find love or anything we desire is in our ability to create an opportunity for such a thing to enter our lives. We create luck, we create love, we create happiness, we create peace, we do it all by sharing it with others first.
Next time you blame your mother, father, upbringing, your job, your wife, husband, your children for your problems, think: Is it my ego excusing me from taking responsibility for where I am, so I don’t have to do anything about it? Am I really just trying to avoid the real work I have to do to overcome the problems I have? Is the past just a way to excuse the work I need to do towards the future? I am avoiding being accountable for my own life?
I found fulfillment in my life when I became accountable for it, when I stopped blaming circumstances which I was in, due to my choices. I found fulfillment when I traded in my victim card, with the “I am the captain of my own fate” card.
The first step towards lasting fulfillment is to fully own and acknowledge that you are the captain of your fate, the creator of your reality, and you have the power to direct your life however you want.
The second step is to forgive those who have wronged you, including yourself. In other words, set yourself free from the power you’ve given away to others by playing the victim.
You are the captain of your fate and the director of your life. You and only you. When you accept this fully, you become powerfully unstoppable, fully accountable for your destiny.