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KAL_4109

"Our stories are the stairs that lead us to the stars."  Donovan Livingston, said during his 2016 Harvard Graduate School commencement speech

This young man moved me with his commencement speech.  Such wisdom at such a young age!

I do not advocate living in the past, nor do I think it wise or helpful to base current beliefs, thoughts or actions on things that happened in the past.  I do, however, think it is a good idea to take a look at our past to glean the nuggets that would allow us to live in freedom, joy and happiness.

We've all got stories.  All of us.  We are at choice as to how much we wish to allow those stories to affect us.  We can limit ourselves by saying, "Well, THAT didn't work so I will NEVER do that again!"  Or, "I tried that, it didn't work."  Or, "I had a bad experience with...(fill in the blank with your favorite whipping post) so I won't associate with those type of people."

Our stories can be pathways to hell.....

OR...

They can be stairways to the stars.

We can be like that brilliant young man, who somehow learned that without his stories he wouldn't be giving the commencement speech at Harvard.  I have no idea what his stories are, but I know what mine are.  And Livingston is right, without my stories I would not be where I am now, which is pretty close to the stars.

What are your stories?  Have you gleaned the nuggets and moved on?  Or have you decided never to do THAT again because it didn't work so well the first time around?  Have you explored the stories, done the inner work, forgiven and now live a life free of victimhood?  Or does life seem to be a series of one mishap after another, where you feel continuously victimized by the whims of the weather, other people, or whatever governmental institution you are currently dealing with?

We create our lives by our consciousness, what we focus on expands and what we resist persists.  If what is happening in  your life is not pleasing to you, it may be time to examine your stories and stop believing them.

KAL_0697

 

Every day, as part of my spiritual practice, I read from a couple of different daily readers. Today, both of them are about forgiveness. While some might consider this magical thinking, I've learned not to ignore stuff like this. When I get two readings on the same topic, it allows me to stop and take a closer look and ask myself: is there anything or anyone I need to forgive today in order to provide myself with relief? I spent some time in contemplation this morning and am happy to say that no, no forgiveness is needed today. I have no lingering feelings of resentment that need taken care of. But when I do, I take care of them.

I've learned a few things about forgiveness.  When I forgive, it doesn't excuse or condone bad behavior on the part of another.  Forgiveness really doesn't have anything to do with anything or anyone else.  Rather, forgiveness has to do with myself.  Forgiving gives me relief.  It frees me from victimhood.  Forgiveness feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, allowing me to move easier and breathe freer.  When I forgive, I must also be willing to give up the  payoff that sometimes comes from lack of forgiveness.   Have you ever realized that not forgiving gives us a sort of feeling of power?  "I am strong!  I am NEVER going to allow that other person to think what they did was OK!"  Unfortunately, such a sense of power is false and will turn against us, making us sick.  And what we do doesn't have any bearing on what another thinks.  The real power comes from forgiving and moving on and fully enjoying life.

How about you? Is a lack of forgiveness preventing you from fully experiencing all the joy that life has to offer?

 

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