Sunday, July 8, 2012

Part 2 - We’re Never Really Upset For The Reason We Think

Continued from Part 1 - Msg 2, July, 2012

Sometimes I don’t hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I simply imagine another scenario. In the latest issue of “Miracles” magazine [Institute for Personal Religion, Jon Mundy, Publisher, Vol. 11, No. 4, Issue 64, July-August 2012, page 54] there was a small (very helpful) sidebar:
“Heavenly Father, help us to remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with the homework, do the laundry, and spend a few precious moments with her children…. Remind us …that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares…. Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together….”
Sometimes I don’t hear the whispers of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I simply imagine another scenario. Hearing a whisper or envisioning another scenario – isn’t that being offered “…another way of looking at the situation, event, or person?”
I certainly think so. Regardless, imagining a different scenario that fits the situation – but not my initial perception – truly helps me calm down and focus my attention, not on the situation, but on my perception of it. This is very much like my continual use of AA’s Fourth & Fifth Step, which guides me to become aware of my role in whatever situation or event is threatening my serenity or providing me with an upset.
Reviewing my role in a situation reminds me of one of the major principles of Maritime Law governing when two vessels collide. There are 7-8 discrete steps each captain is to follow to avoid a collision. However, the last step states something like “Forget all the other steps and do whatever it takes to avoid the collision.”  In short, when two boats collide, both captains are at fault. Maybe one is 90% at fault and the other is only 10%. But both have made a mistake.
For me that’s so true of life. That’s how my training in working the Fourth Step keeps me humble. In any situation upsetting my serenity or filling me with anger and judgment, I am playing a role in that. I can learn to control my part. I can accept responsibility for my part. If I can forgive the role I’ve played, then I can forgive the role someone else played. After all it’s all coming from my perception.
Just like the woman in the kitchen squeezing orange juice.
Thanks for listening. As always, feel free to share this message with your friends, family, and those with whom you are walking your spiritual path.
#2 July, 2012

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