This morning I found myself sending an email message that began with this:
My philosophy is that those who challenge us should be seen as welcome teachers to further our own growth. For this reason I am grateful for having these students ebb and flow into my life. They teach me as much or more than I teach them.
My intuition immediately after sending this was that the timing was right to publish this post written just over a month ago …..
I am abundantly grateful for life’s uncomfortable lessons and the masterful teachers that bring them about. Often times, our master teachers are those closest to us or who we were close with in the past, people like our kids, parents, spouse, ex-spouse, extended family, and friends. The intimacy we share in these relationships creates an environment ripe for life shifting lessons. My master teachers and their life shifting lessons helped me awaken to the knowledge that I come from a place of love, only have love in my heart to give, and that I am love. This journey began years ago, when I was blessed to experience a life shifting lesson that brought complete and total release to give love, from a place of love, experiencing a peace, calm and compassion that no longer yields to the temptation to engage in drama.
One night in 1997 I could not sleep. At midnight, I turned on the television, and Stephen Covey was on talking about his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was exactly what I needed to hear, perfectly timed, and now I know it was no coincidence. So began an 18-year journey of devouring similar books and progressing to self-help, spirituality, mindfulness, self-actualization and emotional connection.
Several years later, while one of my “master teachers” was in town, it was no coincidence that I was rereading the specific section in Wayne Dyer’s, There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem, based on a line from St. Francis’ The Peace Prayer. I hadn’t planned to be reading that section at the time. However, it was perfect.
“Where there is hatred, let me sow love…”
Dyer’s suggestion that unkindness directed towards us is love going in the opposite direction from people who feel unloved has forever changed how I handle my “master teachers.”
The life lesson I want to share unfolded at the courthouse, in the waiting area, outside of the courtroom, where a routine 3-year child support review would take place. I attempted to keep myself in a place of love. I silently sent blessings and love to everyone. I did not engage in defending my current or past actions. In fact, the oncoming negativity stopped when at one point I said, “You’re right about that.” By lovingly letting the other person relax into the feeling of being right, the unkindness in them deflated. It was amazing. Handling the situation this way was a release, surrender and healing for me. You may not be able to verbalize like this in your situation but you can certainly silently convey the same message.
With gentle reminders from a friend, I began to visualize this person viewing me as I would like him to view me. My measured responses in our encounters were consistently clothed with the fact that I was only coming from a place of love and I was sorry that he felt so unloved. I began to let go of the need to be right or understood or liked.
Sowing love caused the atmosphere and attitude of our interactions to completely change.
This learning and philosophy is not something that happened over night. I was divorced in September 2007 and it took a great deal of time, patience, practice, and love of self to reach this point. Having said that, I am human, and at times I forget what I have learned and revert to old habits and old ways of thinking.
I’m grateful now that I can recognize when I have slipped back, be kind to myself in noticing how I’m thinking, and then begin to release it. Grateful, too, that I let myself travel the path of sowing love as I am now able to use the same approach when my special needs daughter, Lillian, has periodic out-of-control meltdowns.
It’s true that our master teachers aren’t always people. Sometimes, we find them in situations or events. Whether the master teachers of your life lessons present themselves in strained relationships or uncomfortable circumstances, this same method can be applied, shifting the very fabric of our lives and hearts.
- Remind yourself that this person’s behavior is not their true self, that you are both one, that you both come from love, and are love at your core.
- Visualize the disgruntled person viewing you as you would like to be viewed.
- See them as fellow souls who simply feel unloved.
- Drop into your heart so you don’t take what they say personally.
- Silently send love and blessings.
- Let go.
As you continue on your journey, know this in your heart ….
It surrounds us
It connects us
It’s at our core
It’s who we are
It’s everywhere we open our eyes to it
It’s love, and
Love is the answer to peacefully experience life’s lessons.
See It. Share It. BE IT … Spread Love Everywhere You Go!
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Did you know I wrote a book? It’s titled “D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance” and you can read more about it here.