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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Kindness Is a Big Spiritual Deal

Sometimes we get a bit sidetracked in our spiritual quest and overthink ideas. Sometimes we argue over fine points of some theological notion or the other. But, we can quite easily see how well we are doing on our quest by how we live our lives.

Are we exuding kindness, forgiveness, and compassion? Are we at peace? Do we approach life with a generous heart? Can people know we believe what we say we believe by how we act and speak?

If there are a few hitches in the above landmarks of walking a fairly advanced spiritual path, it seems to me we need to go back to basics - the most basic is forgiveness of self and others.

I'm speaking on forgiveness July 16, 2017, at the Temecula United Methodist Church. If you're in the area, I do hope you will come. Anyway, in preparation, I'm re-reading my book on forgiveness. I haven't read it for a couple of years, so it seems fresh to me. I am always amazed when I go back and read something I wrote that flowed as if through me, beyond me. It reinforces my knowing that the Holy Spirit is active in our lives, as we sometimes seem to know more than we know.

The Key - Forgiveness and Beyond by [Oaks, Marlene]
I' m going to share the beginning of the introduction:
My experience tells me that few people want a miserable life. Actually, I think almost all people want the good life, which includes: peace of mind; prosperity; harmonious and loving relationships with self, other people and God; a healthy body and mind; some meaningful contribution to life so that a positive difference is made by one’s life; spiritual awakening; in general all that life on earth has to offer. We have been told that all of these are available. Often what stands between us and our dreams coming true is us. Alas, we do not always know what to do with this information and ask ourselves, “What about me is it that is standing in my own way?”

Well, I don’t have all of the answers, no one does. I know it has to do with our self-talk, the way we speak to ourselves in the privacy of our own heads. I know it has to do with our ability to live authentically from our core, having discovered our own core by letting go of false ideas of self and embracing the wholeness of who we are in Reality. I know it has to do whether or not we are able to be in charge of our own emotions, at least most of the time --- or if we are puppets on other people’s strings being happy when they pull one string or sad or angry or in a rage if they pull other strings. I know it has to do with whether or not we are in harmony and personal relationship with God. And, I know all of this has to do with forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the keys that opens the door to the kind of life we want. Forgiveness is freedom from a great deal of baggage we may be carrying in our heads and hearts. Without forgiveness, we are ever importing sorrows and upsets from the past into the present moment, infecting it with stale and cloudy echoes that do not belong here. Life without forgiveness is a bitter life, full of resentment.  Lack of forgiveness inhabits and inhibits all aspects of our lives. That’s a big statement, and I have come to know that it is very true.
If you find this helpful, go to Amazon in the Kindle section. You can download it and consider the ideas that have given me freedom and peace and see if they could do so for you too. God bless you in your spiritual quest.

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