Just Because It’s Righteous Doesn’t Mean It’s Right

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.

Buddha

When someone does not live up to our “rules,” we feel justified in judging them as unworthy of our love. Withholding love—or out-and-out punishment—is a very common reaction when we think people are not living up to the standards we believe to be the “right” ones.

But shutting our hearts down—even for the best of reasons—does not actually punish the other person as we think it does—and it is far more detrimental to us.

The catabolic reactions are felt in our bodies, not theirs. These are the draining and destructive body processes—such as the release of stress hormones—that actually eat away at our cells.

This is why practicing forgiveness and unconditional love is so powerful. By allowing ourselves to give love—no matter what—we are providing ourselves with constructive, anabolic energy that actually heals us from the inside out.

Withholding love is something we learned—it is not our natural way of being. Look at the love and joy that flows through little children. But almost from day one, we begin giving children the lesson that if they behave in a certain way, they will make us happy and we will then love them. It doesn’t take long for children to learn that control is a part of love.

Begin to notice when you are shutting your heart down in judgment. Pay attention to how uncomfortable that feels. Recognize that it’s up to you to change your reaction—it is not up to the other person to change their behavior—even if you believe them to be “wrong.”

Where people often get stuck is feeling like loving someone anyway is the same as condoning that awful behavior. This is where it is helpful to remember that the Universe (God, Higher Power, All-That-Is–whatever works for you), is involved in that other person’s life, too, and that each of you is receiving guidance. Your job is to pay attention to your reactions and move towards the bigger part of you. Your guidance will always lead you to the best outcome for you. As soon as you begin trying to control another, you lose your true power.

Where in your life are you withholding love? What can you do today to open that door in your heart just a little bit? Notice how much better that feels.

Together we can do it!

Choosing Thoughts of Love

Visiting with my brothers this past weekend.

I’m feeling the love.

This weekend—and this month really—I’ve had the awesome opportunity to reunite members of my family who hadn’t seen each other in close to 30 years. Just contemplating this fills my heart with love.

These reunions are making me even more aware of how important healthy relationships are to overall wellness. Expanding your circle of love and support taps you into positive anabolic energy that literally boosts your body at the cellular level.

But I’m also aware of the value of challenging relationships. As Esther Hicks says, “Every person with whom you interact is a part of the person you are becoming.”

What this means is that even the most challenging relationship gives us the opportunity to decide Who we’re going to be. Just because someone is withholding love from us doesn’t mean we have to withhold love from them.

And it is our decision to offer or withhold love that impacts our wellness—just as the other person’s decision to offer or withhold love impacts their wellness. It is what we are doing to ourselves that impacts us—not what the other person is doing “to us.”

This doesn’t mean that you have to maintain or stay in negative catabolic relationships. You can choose not to be a part of someone’s life, and still move towards forgiveness and even love in your own heart. You can value the opportunity to become more of the loving person you want to be.

Too often we give our power to other people. We think if they behave in X manner the only response is Y. By taking responsibility for your own reactions and choosing a different response—turning the other cheek—the wellness you impact is your own.

This can be particularly challenging when we judge another’s behavior to be “bad.” You may not be able to move from observing their “wrong” actions to loving them in an instant. In those circumstances, reframe your thoughts around the situation just enough so that you feel a sense of relief.

Let’s say someone cuts you off in traffic and instead of getting really angry, you remind yourself that this person isn’t intentionally making your life miserable. They don’t even know you. And perhaps you give them the benefit of the doubt by thinking, “Maybe they just broke up with someone and are upset, or they have a sick child that they’re rushing to get home.” Reach for whatever thought feels better to you. And then just keep doing that a little bit at a time.

Look for reasons to appreciate every interaction you have today. Consciously decide Who you want to become as a result of each encounter. Be more of the person you want to be.

Together we can do it!