Seeing the best in life's challenges

Understand, Accept, Know, Give

on March 15, 2013

To be understanding and to be understood.

To be accepting and to be accepted.

To know and be known.

To be giving and to receive.

This is a process of seeking that has occupied me for a lot of my life.  For a long time, this has been a mental exercise, but not totally.  It’s also a feeling exercise, because when you get deep enough into it, words are not adequate.  You have to transfer the exercise to your heart, and feel.  You have to learn to listen to that inner knowing, some call it that inner voice, but it doesn’t come from your mind.  I believe it comes from your soul.  And getting to know your soul is a process.  It takes practice and experience.  Seeking is an active verb.

This seeking is counter-intuitive to the process the world has taught us.  The old paradigm taught us we should all play by the same rules (even though different groups would fight about which set of rules was “right” and which was “wrong”).  “How to be” had everything to do with what you “should” do.  It was all about responding to external instructions – The Rules.

(Example:  Remember when Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath, and certain people were upset?  Because He broke The Rules.)

But look, the world is not black and white.  Situations are complicated.  We are not all the same.  In fact, each one of us is wonderfully unique.  So why would the same rule apply to the vast, wide array of humanity?  It just doesn’t make sense.  Christians are told in the Bible that we have been given the Holy Spirit, a counselor – doesn’t this internal guidance from God seem like the best place to look for the answers??

I’m fortunate to have found others that I can connect to and talk to about this stuff.  We are not all at the same place, and we certainly do not all have the same perspective.  We are all seeking in our own way.  It’s not easy to share this with everyone.  Each of us has our own approach, and some approaches don’t mesh too well with others.   This is not an indication that someone is doing something “wrong” – it’s just different.  It’s easiest to practice, at first, with those I feel comfortable with.  Some people would call this your Soul Family.  Whatever you call it, you know in your gut, who “clicks” with you and who doesn’t.

A really important aspect of this process is this:

Before you can really, really “know” an-other, you have to know yourself.

You have to be willing to step back and see yourself.  The “good” and the “bad” and even the “ugly.”  Not only must you see it, you must accept it, understand it, and love it.  You must come to know that you are perfect and loved just the way you are.  How can you accept and love another, if you haven’t first accepted and loved yourself?

I see this process as cyclical, and if you move forward, it’s really a spiral.  You look inward and understand something about yourself, and you accept it.  Then you look outward and get feedback and test it out and see how it feels to embrace this part of yourself while living in the world.

Then you take that info and feedback and go back inward, and process that.  You discover more about yourself and embrace what you have found.  Then you go back out and repeat the cycle.

Sometimes we get stuck.  You may be very, very attached to a certain belief, or an experience that affected you strongly, and you may encounter something that seems insurmountable.  You might not want to acknowledge it’s even there.  If you observe others, these are things that are usually very obvious – but not to the person who is stuck!!  In these cases, have compassion for those others, and for yourself – this is hard work!

After you have gotten enough experience with those who see it how you do, you can stretch yourself further and connect with a wider range of people.  Once you really become comfortable with accepting other perspectives, you can focus on listening and understanding and knowing a wider cross-section of souls.

Some might not be interested in the process.  Or they may approach it in a way that is very difficult to see.  It’s all ok.  The important thing is not to impose your method on someone else…..and not to let an-other impose their method on you.

If you can connect to others and share your journey, it makes a HUGE difference to have their support when you are facing these things.  It can be scary to open up to another and share your challenges, but what a relief to find someone who understands and accepts you anyway!  And, you find out that they have their own challenges, and the whole process becomes less lonely and scary.

The best way to find others who will be open and accepting, is for you to BE open and accepting first.  Demonstrate that you are a safe person to open up to, and others who are looking for the same thing will find you.  Observe how you feel, and your gut will tell you who to share with.  Say a prayer and set your intention to find “helpers” to share your journey, keep your eyes and ears and heart open, and they will show up – just understand they might not be who your mind (or the world) would expect!

Your mind thinks, but your heart knows.


2 responses to “Understand, Accept, Know, Give

  1. Gail Johnson says:

    Wonderful thoughts.
    The more you can find Souls who are journeying on being more open the better.
    I have found they come from many spiritual practices.

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