Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Have Broken My Own Rules!

I have broken my own rules! In previous articles I have suggested we should never part from our loved ones without a hug and “I love you.” I have suggested that our last words to someone or from someone should be positive (His Last Words to Me). Another opportunity may not come about.

I broke these rules recently when circumstances were such between my son and his wife and me that there was no opportunity or willingness to hug. There was no atmosphere in which the warmth of love could be expressed.

Under these circumstances the “I love you” would have sounded hollow and may even have been ridiculed by the person toward whom I would have directed them. It would have probably been seen as hypocritical.

Now I am faced, as many of us sometimes are, with attempting to understand what I could have, should have, done differently. The path of least resistance would dictate blaming the other person in some way. Even if I were able to absolutely know that what someone else did had set in motion the breakdown of the situation, SO WHAT? Is the situation somehow improved now that I have determined who is at fault? I don’t think so!

Let there be no misunderstanding about one thing: in a disagreement between two or more persons there are always at least two sides and those sides are not necessarily right and wrong. Placing blame makes someone appear wrong even if that is not the case. So if I want to move toward reconciliation, I must drop the blame game. I may not at this time be ready to reconcile with the other persons. Still, placing blame puts reconciliation farther from my reach than if I were simply to decide to take a breather. Cool down. Take whatever time I needed—an hour or a year. But I cannot consider it really resolved until peace between us is established. This peace may require that it be defined differently than the usual meaning. Peace, as the absence of turmoil, is not good enough, ultimately. Agreeing to disagree amicably is better, but still leaves a sense of dissatisfaction. Somehow I must love what is and remember that love is only love when it is unconditional. And that is true for all parties. It is only as I can accept another for who he/she is without requiring them to meet my arbitrary standards of behavior that the playing field is level. Hopefully, the other person can look at me in that same way, but whether he/she does or not is none of my business.

I know how difficult this is going to be! I am looking at a disagreement for which my only answer at this time is to get the hell out of the way! This is what I have done. Now I can examine the results of breaking my own rules with some degree of objectivity that can come from distance. Some might say this is a cop out, and that I am not really dealing with the problem, that I am running rather than facing the issues. That may be true. However, as I said, I am not ready to deal with it any other way.

There are two other persons who are part of this issue. On the surface it would appear I cannot reconcile with one without reconciling with the other. I am far from being able to see that happen.

Reaching this apparent impasse in my relationships reveals to me that I need assistance from a third party, an objective counselor, to help bring to light aspects of my behavior I may not have recognized. Walking the road alone can be fraught with pitfalls. Where is the mirror in which I can observe who I am and how well I may be handling the attempt at resolution? While we all have marvelous inner abilities and reserves to meet every challenge, sometimes those abilities are clouded by anger, frustration and blame. Still, within each of us exist the strength to hold on where necessary and the humility to let go of the ego that fears failure. Finally, there is the unbounded love capable of embracing the God-Spirit in others without conditions.

Again, let me repeat: sometimes we are just not ready to take any outer steps toward reconciliation and resolution. At this point, it is difficult for me. I know I have to get there sometime though. Getting there may mean letting go completely of someone I love, or someone for whom I just cannot break through to sufficiently understand. Love is not so much the question here for me as acceptance. When one does not feel accepted or accepting of others there is little basis for communication among “equals.”

Anyone who is in our life at any given time may not always be there. In fact, it is most likely that folks will come and go under a variety of circumstances. We have these “connections” with others because there are things to discover about ourselves and how we can best develop our potential or assist others develop theirs. We are not equally attracted to everyone or for the same reasons. How long a person remains in our circle of relationships is not the determinate of their value or ours nor do the kind of experiences we share make either of us “good” or “bad” persons. It simply recognizes the potential opportunity in our learning process. Share and learn what you can from these relationships and move on, friend!

Moving on with help is what I am going to do now. I am trusting that I will get to that place where my mind and heart can again be open, where I can give full expression to the unconditional love needed in my family relationships. Whether this is the correct course of action for me to take at this moment, only time will tell. I know that as I continue to create my personal reality I must be positive and loving and at the same time seek to express those qualities with increased discrimination, clarity, strength and trust.

You might ask why I share this challenge with you. Every article I have written has come out my personal experience. That is what I know something about. Sometimes I do well and do it quickly and sometimes it takes longer because I don’t do as well. In any case it may be helpful to others to follow along as I learn to process these experiences and come to understand how to bring about healing. Certainly, that is my hope.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sometimes We Have To Be Scared Into Our Beliefs

This article originally appeared in the Whole Life Learning Center Blog on September 22, 2005.

Just three weeks from the destruction and chaos of hurricane Katrina we found ourselves facing yet another one. Hurricane Rita, the third most powerful hurricane on record for this country, was targeting Galveston, the southern Texas coast and Houston.

What a contrast between the preparations for Katrina and the preparations for Rita. Maybe we have to be scared into believing that there is real power in the force of nature. Maybe we have to see what happens when we are nonchalant as opposed to actively engaged in dealing with our lives. It will seem harsh perhaps to call the residents of New Orleans nonchalant or complacent in the face of warnings to evacuate. It was not simply the residents there who were not paying attention. Look what happened with our government’s response (or lack of it!) Maybe we give too much credit to the folks of the Texas coast for planning ahead, when it was simply facing the fear of what happened with Katrina. In any case maybe it isn’t our job at all to judge either of the situations, since we were probably not in the midst of the action. Bystanders and Monday morning quarterbacks seem to always consider themselves smarter than the rest of the crowd.

I happen to be one of those persons who believes sincerely that we create our own reality. Not just the good stuff. I believe we create all of the experiences of our lives. What! You might say. What are you talking about? Surely you can’t say all those folks in New Orleans brought this upon themselves. After all, those that suffered most were those who were poor, disadvantaged and had no means of getting out of the way. Yes, somehow and in some way each of those persons were where they were because of who they were and they are who they are because of their inner belief systems, whether they were aware of those beliefs or not. Wow! I can hear the judgments coming my way already!

I suggest a source for further consideration of the subject of creating our own reality. Go to Here you will find folks who have studied this subject intensely and have witnessed in their own lives how this principle of how we create reality has worked.

Obviously, there is much to consider with this subject. I have worked with this belief system for over 50 years. Sometimes the reality of it is clearer to me than at other times, but this I know (for me) if I create my reality, I have some control over my life. If I don’t create my reality, who does?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. --Dan

When Love Fails

This article originally appeared in the Whole Life Learning Center Blog November 4, 2005.

The scripture assures us, “Love never fails.” (I Cor. 13.8) Yet so many times in our lives we definitely feel that love has vanished, that no matter how hard we have tried we cannot find love. Hurts and disappointments of the past seem to loom larger and larger until we are completely overwhelmed. At those times we are unable to take comfort in the fact that we have been loved, that there were those who cared—and perhaps still do even though we cannot feel it.
It is impossible to know exactly what brings a person to the point where his/her life appears totally bereft of love, yet surely we do know people who are suffering in that depth of despair. Often our attempts to be of help fall on deaf ears or are met with fear and mistrust incapacitating them from accepting that help. When this happens our best hope is to stand by, but stand back. Hold the person dear in your heart of love and trust that the working of Spirit will dislodge them from being locked in loss and hopelessness.
It may seem that our choice to stand back is no help at all. When someone we care for is hurting, we want to do whatever is possible to make things better for them. And yet if the person will not or cannot respond to our efforts we may only make things worse by outwardly pushing them to do something we believe is right for them. In these matters, we ourselves must return to our own trust and faith in Spirit to move in Its own mysterious ways to bring resolution. When we fully let go and trust, then we have done our best. It is then up to the other person to proceed in the best way he/she knows how. Our hearts may ache for them to choose differently. We may absolutely believe that we know what it will take for them to overcome their challenge. In fact, we cannot know. In truth each person chooses his/her path according to their specific needs and understanding of who they are and the powers they feel they have.
No matter the path a loved one may choose our steadfast trust in the nature of the universe as a place where truth will ultimately prevail is the best support we can offer. The “truth” may not appear to be the same for every person, but beyond personal truth there is eternal Truth the understanding of which we are all seeking and which when understood in growing degrees brings peace of mind and release and healing.
Love Never Fails!