I've come to understand that sometimes the pain that we think comes from someone else's actions or behavior might actually be caused by our own thoughts about these incidents. This means that instead of looking outside ourselves for the cause of our pain, we need to examine our discomfort, which actually provides us with the opportunity to grow by pointing out issues we need to deal with and rise above. Pulling away, shutting off, closing up, or feeling drained cause discomfort because they signify areas of growth we need to experience. If we listen and realize that this discomfort is a signal from God to turn the other cheek, or to choose a different response than our usual one, eventually we come back to the realization of our true origins and know to Whom we belong. We may first remember feeling this discomfort with our own parents or guardians, people who truly loved us, eventually realizing that those feelings were meant to help us grow with one another through our blessed emotions.
We come equipped with many gifts to help guide us in our lives, and when we use them to serve one another, we go forward. We all benefit by honoring each other; doing so brings the spirit of God into our awareness. Almost every difficult situation brings this gift along with it, and when we choose to focus on the love in our relationships, we grow and develop with a balance that nurtures others as well as ourselves. By valuing all knowledge, whether it is learned academically, through intuition, or from experience, we support one another's growth.
Each time we share our gifts with someone else, the spirit of God's sacred wisdom shines through, helping us learn and grow. We will not find true joy or our purpose in life by unfairly judging others or believing that we alone have a special gift. We must all use our own unique awareness to guide us on our journey. Everyone is valuable, no matter how great or small, and that includes each person's intelligence or intellectual capacity. All forms of intelligence are valuable and reflect God's laws that honor all of creation. We must learn to appreciate and develop these gifts to be in alignment with the people in our lives, and to be able to grow further ourselves.
On my journey, I have seen academically gifted people suffer as a result of relying on their education alone to get ahead in the world. I have also watched others falter who relied strictly on their intuitive gifts. For me, it wasn't until I let go of all judgment that I was able to let myself understand and accept guidance from God, and I believe this is true for all of us. We won't find inner peace fully until we finally stop judging; otherwise we will always feel that something is missing from our lives. We need to support one another and help each other develop what may appear to be lacking, for without each others' support, we cannot reach our full potential in the way that God intended. Until we do so, we will continue to suffer.
In life, there are times when we feel neglected more intensely than usual, and sometimes those who hurt us the most may be more wounded than we realize. We can help them rise above their own pain by offering our forgiveness and compassion, and by reminding ourselves of the truth about who we really are. To help us in our quest to be less affected by injury or insult, we must pray to be able to see the experience through the other's eyes to better understand the person who hurts us. We may then ask to be God's instrument of forgiveness and perseverance, and ask for His guidance in this effort. We can best assist others when we're guided by God, who transforms us, allowing us to respond to everyone around us‒even those who hurt us‒with understanding, compassion, and love. In this way, we share God's mercy with all who suffer, release them from their debt, even if they have hurt us. Truth is that forgiveness frees both the forgiven and the forgiver.
Father Mike Schmitz says it beautiful and best in this three-step-process of the true meaning of forgiveness from the beginning:
About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, works of Marianne Williamson, and conferences, including the National Theology of the Body Congress. She is also an Ambassador of the Society of Emotional Intelligence. The mother of two children and now a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom .