Moving Forward with Playfulness

As you are willing to move forward, your playfulness is a way of moving beyond any kind of contraction. Play creates flow. Be willing to share anything that needs to be shared, but be playful about that sharing. See how much you can play today, and how much you can get yourself into the flow. Play is the little sister of creativity, so treat it well. It will release old feelings of hurt and revenge if you allow it to do so.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 393-394

Photo: Lake Ontario, July 1990

Priorities

It’s not easy to establish priorities in life. Most of life is spent needing to do everything at once. And that’s impossible. At least it is impossible to do them all at the same level of artistry all the time. There are simply some things worth doing that at some times are worth doing poorly. Sometimes the soufflé doesn’t come out as raised as we would like it, but it is food on the table and that is all that matters for now.

The ability to deal with failure, with doing some things well enough without having to do them compulsively, is a great gift.

— Joan Chittister, Between the Dark and the Daylight, p. 58

Photo: Burg Rheinfels, Germany, April 2003

Shine Like a Star

A star is a person who shines so brightly, who gives their gifts so fully, who loves so completely that everyone is drawn by the light of this star to find the way home. For us to truly know ourselves is to know that we are a star. For us to be truly ourselves is to recognize the genius in us, and to know what a gift we are to everyone around us. Stars may do very quiet things, but they shine an intense love light that burns through the darkness.

Today, recognize yourselves as a star, and allow anything that stops you from shining to fall away. Choose to forgive, or let go of any grievance or judgment that allows you control over yourselves, others, or the situation. Choose not to use anyone or anything to hold yourselves back. Choose to utterly and completely love. Nothing else will satisfy you. Nothing else is worthy of you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 333

Photo: Lake Geneva and Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland, November 12, 2000

Cause for Celebration

Also, you remember what happened so that you can pat yourself on the back for forgiving. You deserve praise for forgiveness, for letting something go and moving on. You have succeeded on a difficult journey, and that is cause for celebration. You remember your hurts from the point of view of healing, not from that of helpless victimization. You do not need to dwell on what happened or get a swelled head because you have forgiven. You do want to acknowledge the courage and perseverance that led to overcoming the wounds of the past.

— Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 74

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 29, 2016

Give Space to the Good

The third benefit from forgiveness emerges as we give more love and care to the important people in our lives. I know from my own experience and those of many others that hurts from the past often cause us to draw away and mistrust the very people who are trying to love us. Too often the people who suffer from our grievances are not the people who hurt us but those who care for us today.

If we rent too much space to what went wrong, where is the space to appreciate the good in our lives? If we focus our attention on past defeats, how can we give our full loving attention to our significant other, friends, or co-workers? If we remain bitter over past parenting cruelties, who suffers — our parents or our current friends and loved ones?

— Fred Luskin, Forgvie for Good, p. 73

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 26, 2014

Our Vulnerabilities

We all have to show our vulnerabilities. We all have to learn that it is okay to be vulnerable and that no one is perfect. Friendships are often the best place to show this vulnerability. The next time you are with your friends, observe who is allowing their true selves to show, warts and all, and who is keeping the barriers up, presenting themselves and their lives as perfect. It may be you.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 56

More Life and Freedom

I really hate that Jesus’ Gospel is so much about death. I hate it. I wish that Jesus’ message was, Follow me and all your dreams of cash and prizes will come true; follow me and you’ll have free liposuction and winning lotto tickets for life. But obviously he’s not like that. Jesus says, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” He says, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first,” and infuriating things like “if you seek to find your life you will lose it but those who lose their life will find it.” And every single time I die to something — my notions of my own specialness, my plans and desires for something to be a very particular way — every single time I fight it and yet every single time I discover more life and more freedom than if I had gotten what I wanted.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix, p. 186-187

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

The Freedom of Others

People do not want to be told how to live. They want to be loved. Lecturing, cajoling, and manipulating will only bring about a cynical attitude toward humanity. Even when others do happen to change under your influence, you will not respect them for it. If you want people to be human beings rather than puppets, take your hands off their strings. Give them plenty of room to breathe, and you’ll breathe easier yourself.

I cannot set anyone else free. Only God can do that, and even He wants their cooperation. But if I make a habit of treating others as if they are already free, they’ll stand a much better chance of getting the hang of it. The reason they are not kind and loving may well be that no one has ever treated them as if they are. If you want to see kingly qualities, treat people like kings.

— Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People, p. 189-190

[Photo: Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, June 15, 2008]