The Best Way of Leading

I don’t know what’s best for me or you or the world.  I don’t try to impose my will on you or on anyone else.  I don’t want to change you or improve you or convert you or help you or heal you.  I just welcome things as they come and go.  That’s true love.  The best way of leading people is to let them find their own way.

— Byron Katie, A Thousand Names for Joy, p. 24

Immeasurably More

I think the main thing is, if there is any confusion or doubt as to what you should do, to err on the side of trusting that God can do the impossible….

God can do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine.  He can heal your heart, and he can resurrect your marriage, no matter what state it’s in.

As mere humans, we tend to limit God, especially in this extreme type of situation.  But where there is room for repentance, there is also room for forgiveness and grace.  If you can’t imagine such a miracle in your situation, choose to believe that God can and does.  And in practicing that power you possess to believe God and take him at his word, you will find the strength to commit to acting on that belief.  As we know from experience, reconciliation is a matter of trust, and it begins between you and God.

We didn’t have to remarry; biblically, the grounds for divorce were sound.  But that doesn’t negate the truth that God created marriage to be the foundation of the family, and he created the family to be the foundation of society.  The best thing we can do for ourselves, our children, and our society as a whole is to preserve marriages.  If you choose to give up your right to your ego and your pain and walk the road of forgiveness and grace, you are glorifying God and living according to his purpose.  You are giving an immense gift to yourself, your spouse, and your children.  If you allow God to heal your heart and bolster you with his grace and love, choosing to walk the difficult path, you will never regret it.

— Cheryl & Jeff Scruggs, I Do Again, p. 174-176

Being Lavish

Overindulging or acting unconsciously is quite different from being lavish.  When we are lavish, we inhabit the unconflicted realm of Yes — wholehearted and intentional enthusiasm for life. . . .  When we make strict rules for ourselves about what is allowed and how we may feel, we’re being stingy with ourselves.  That stinginess leads to frustration, suspicion, righteous anger, and, ultimately, grim resignation.  If we don’t believe we can have what we want, we unconsciously create lifestyles that assure we can’t possibly be fulfilled.

— Victoria Castle, The Trance of Scarcity, p. 125

Normal Behaviors Taken Too Far

Caring about people we love, feeling victimized when we’re betrayed, giving our all to people we love, or wanting to control people because we’re watching them destroy themselves and hurt us doesn’t mean we’re sick.  These are natural reactions.  Codependency is about normal behaviors taken too far.  It’s about crossing lines.

— Melody Beattie, The New Codependency, p. 5

The Need to Blame

The need to blame (ourselves or others) runs so deeply at times that it can feel like a basic necessity.  Part of the need arises as a defense against shame.  As shame encroaches, fending it off requires that someone else be proved the villain.  And it is not enough that we protest what they’re doing, that we have our say.  We have to nail them to their crimes, make them confess, make them feel bad and promise to be better.  Only then can we finally have the satisfaction of being free of the denunciation we direct at ourselves….

Knowing oneself is integral to growing up.  But, to the extent that we live in a blaming system, we do not want to know the truth about who we are and, therefore, resist growing up.  We don’t want to know our own murderousness, selfishness, greed, envy, because all of these very human feeling states have been made a source of so much guilt and shame that they lead at once to total condemnation and self-rejection.  We can’t know them, and we can’t know how we came to them.  As a result, we miss out on the experience of self-empathy and self-care, which might be the basis for doing something new, for beginning to emerge from these things we don’t like in ourselves but which hold us prisoner.

Some of what we do is bad and should be changed — the way we bully, deny, manipulate, shirk, indict…. But if we make every misdeed or character orientation into a capital crime, into evidence that our very being is worthless, we will not be able to let ourselves know the full complexity of who we are.  If there can be no mercy, no leniency, no understanding, no forgiveness, no simple tolerance for the magnificent complexity of being human — if we face every flaw or disliked quality as evidence that our blackened souls require rejection and banishment — we will not be captured by our own awareness and motivated to change.  The blaming system, therefore, puts a brake on a fundamental area of growth….

Blame is very absorbent.  It soaks up sadness.  It dries the tears.  It provides an opportunity and a target for fury which is felt as preferable to experiencing pain or loss — whether the loss is a cat, a spouse, an aspect of physical health, a loved object, a piece of work, a good night’s sleep, an election, a colony, or a war.  Blaming and vindictiveness are ways of not feeling one’s sorrow or shame and, by corollary, of not caring for oneself.  Blame is the anti-mourn and, hence, the anti-self.

— Robert Karen, PhD, The Forgiving Self, p. 110-112

Forgiveness Is Letting Go.

The very person you find hardest to forgive is the one YOU NEED TO LET GO OF THE MOST.  Forgiveness means giving up, letting go.  It has nothing to do with condoning behavior.  It’s just letting the whole thing go.  We do not have to know HOW to forgive.  All we need to do is to be WILLING to forgive.  The Universe will take care of the hows.

— Louise L. Hay, You Can Heal Your Life, p. 22

Beloved by God

If you believe that you are the beloved, you can offer forgiveness, even when it cannot be received.  For still you say, “I set you free and I am willing to forgive you even when you cannot forgive me, because I claim my belovedness.”  And you can move on, saying, “I can ask your forgiveness even though you cannot give it to me yet, and perhaps ever.”

— Henri Nouwen, Turn My Mourning Into Dancing, p. 80