Your life story is based on the life experiences you have accumulated along the way. In this moment, you can only tell yourself and others how you feel and what you think. You communicate your mindset in the present moment, you communicate your thoughts and feelings. The last post (Post #129) brought in the idea that you also communicate with your heart, which is either deceitful or loving, depending on your choices.
Whether you interact from a loving heart or deceitful heart is a choice you decide. No person or circumstance is responsible for you reacting with a deceitful heart – or intentionally speaking from a deceitful heart. This is your choice.
When you’re feeling deceit-full, the pain of wrong, you can bridge into the loving heart by bringing to mind peace-making, not peace-breaking. Don’t allow hostile elements to enter the interaction, either by thought or action. Learn to not focus on the wrong; focus on reconciliation and unity. Focus on peace.
You can’t force yourself to be peaceful; you cannot force yourself to be a peace-maker. Actually, if you’re saying things like “I am trying to have peace between us, and you’re the one keeping us at odds,” that’s blaming, separating, and diverting everyone’s attention away from love. Forget it.
Focus on your own reconciliation and unity. Focus on reconciling your inner and outer self. You have to start there, because if you are not at peace, you cannot be the peacemaker. You cannot force peace. Nor can someone else force you to peace. That’s more deception.
When a deceitful heart is engaged in an interaction, there is no “let’s figure this out.” The situation and relationship will improve only when each of you care enough to reconcile and unite. Do your part to disengage your deceitful heart. Decide how you can forgive and forget the wrong and continue building the better relationship and circumstance.
Reconcile and unite your inside and outside selves first. Decide why you must forgive the wrong, forget the wrong, and keep growing in love. How can your better self show up in the future given a similar situation? That is how you overcome the wrong, grow stronger, and allow a better version of yourself to step forward. You progress, not digress in your personal story to tell.
To forgive and forget the wrong is not to say what was said and done is acceptable and forgotten. It’s important to acknowledge the wrong. Acknowledging the wrong, acknowledging what is and is not acceptable, can progress the situation. This opens the possibility for you and others to gain strength and wisdom. You can give birth to new ideas, blessings, and victories. Acknowledge, forgive, forget, then improve.
Nor does forgive and forget mean the wrong didn’t matter or made no difference. It’s not “just forget it.” Attempting to hide, or ignore, is part of human nature; however, the wrong remains in the mindset of you and/or others. It’s not until you acknowledge the wrong that you can forgive this as part of your past and not bring it into the future. Don’t try to hide or ignore something that is wrong. When you do, it will likely happen again. Allow a better self to step forward.
Finally, forgive and forget certainly does not mean you give or have permission to do the wrong again. Doing the wrong again only hurts the relationship again. When you do wrong again and again, it becomes a habit of mind. The wrong will continue to hinder personal growth and relationships. Acknowledge the wrong, do what you need to step forward better.
Forgive and forget is a choice you make to no longer hold the wrong against a person. You move on, let go of the wrong. You have in mind better ideas. You think about what is needed to resolve and overcome the situation and heal the relationship. Instead of holding a sword of guilt over their head (or yours) and continue to perceive them (or you) to be a lesser version of themselves (or yourself), you think better. You forgive the wrong, forget the wrong, and allow the best self – or better self – to emerge. You give freedom to choose again, to choose better.
To forgive and forget is a personal choice, a choice about the situation and relationship. You choose how you move forward, into your better self. Your intention is to allow everyone to move toward their better self. However, another person’s better self may not show up around you. That is their choice. You may never see it. You may not want to stick around to see that happen. Accept that. You can still wish them well in the present and for the future. There are times when the best way to forgive and forget is to walk away, and give each individual the freedom to choose better in the future. That is the loving thing to do.
Keeping a record of wrong only keeps you and another down. It keeps a lesser version of yourselves in the forefront. Allow the freedom to choose different, choose better.
Keep no record of wrong. Acknowledge the wrong. Forgive and forget. Interact in love.
We all find ourselves in situations that feel like we’re being dragged down. You have that gut feeling, call it intuition, that something is not right here. Our heart and current situation are at odds. We are not at peace. There is a strong disagreement inside and outside of us.
It’s more than a simple misunderstanding of perceptions, as discussed in Post #128. This disagreement is stronger than incorrect or incomplete information, or varying perceptions. This situation has elements of dishonesty, immorality, or injustice. Because there is disagreement inside AND outside of us, our heart becomes involved in the interaction. This is when we tend to speak from the heart.
Our hearts are deceitful or they are loving. We tend to think of the heart as always being loving; however, in tough moments, when our insides and outsides are at odds, our hearts gravitate to deceit. We do more than think wrong, we feel at the bottom of our heart wrong. The wrong can control our thoughts, feelings, and messages we communicate.
Personal growth can be hindered or halted by a deceitful heart. Relationships are definitely negatively impacted. Interactions with a deceitful heart break trust, hope, confidence, joy, peace, and unity. It creates distrust, disbelief, doubt, chaos, and isolation. The deceitful heart has potential to destroy the weak, young, isolated, and unguarded individual. Deceitful messages hurt, maim, and discourage others and you….if you let them.
The truth is, throughout life you will be on the giving and receiving end of both loving hearts and deceitful hearts. It’s human nature. It’s life.
Today, do yourself a favor and begin to realize this. Also begin to realize you choose how you respond. You choose whether to respond with your deceitful heart or loving heart.
At this point, the question that always arises is, “How do you flip to a loving heart when you are so angry?” I mean, this is not the case of being easily angered as in Post #124. We are very angry, disappointed, hurt, discouraged, thinking “ENOUGH”! Our heart is hurting.
It is nearly impossible to say to yourself, “OK, calm down, let me be loving!”
What to do?
Seek peace. Instead of trying to think love, focus on peace. Become a peace-maker and at the very least try to not interact as a peace-breaker. Ask “what and how can my words and/or actions can lead to peace in this moment?” Seeking peace seems to be an easier choice than seeking love, and perhaps can be the bridge from a hurtful place to a loving place.
As a peace-maker, you think about how to pursue a path that will advance a sense of harmony and heal the relationship. When you are a peace-maker, you think and speak words to hopefully initiate the opportunity to reconcile conflict between others and yourself. You choose words to break down the division. You work for understanding. You listen, you care, you don’t take sides about who is more or less wrong. You don’t take their side or your side – you stand on the third side, the side of peace. You choose peace. You make peace-full choices.
The alternative is to permeate a nagging, irritant message and giving pieces of your mind. You can be a peace-breaker or choose to be the peace-maker. Every moment in these heart-breaking situations, you choose to add to the heart breaking by peace-breaking or you think peace-making and add to the heart-mending. As you listen and speak, think, “Peace-breaking or peace-making?; “heart-breaking or heart-mending?”
Do you see how whenever you feel insulted, despised, or any behavior that breaks you down, your deceitful heart awakens? Let that be your signal to pause, and think about how you might respond instead with better knowledge, wisdom, and peace.
Here’s a personal example:
Someone I’ve known for quite some time, I’ll call her Sam. Our sons are about the same age. She and I would meet up periodically at school events as our children were growing up. Through the years, we would get together for coffee or dinner with and without our boys.
One summer day, she came by the house with her sons and asked if her boys could stay there while she ran some errands. “Sure.” She came back almost four hours later, and honestly at the time I was fine with that.
However, two days later, Sam came by again and asked the same question. In that exchange, I shared the message, “Sam, I am happy to help you out on occasion, but please don’t expect me to watch your sons whenever you need to run errands just because I am at home.”
Sam became furious, called me selfish, questioned what kind of friend I was, on and on. She thought she could count on me, etc. She spoke from a deceitful heart in response to what I said.
I listened to a point, and then interrupted in a calm voice: “Stop right now, let me get this straight you are saying …. Because you feel ….”
She started again with her deceitful words, and I stopped her again, saying calmly, “Sam, you are asking me to do you a favor by watching your sons. It’s not yours to decide when I do you a favor, it’s my choice.”
I had to say ‘no’ to her behavior that day, maybe my choice of words was not perfect; however, for me to remain at peace and our relationship healthy, I had to say something to keep the situation and relationship in love. Saying nothing and eventually becoming frustrated or angry would be peace-breaking in the long run. I would be keeping a record of wrong.
To keep peace, to be a peace-maker, it was important to have the difficult conversation sooner before the more deceitful heart got louder. In the Sam story, there was a peaceful resolution, and we have remained friends.
However, this is not always the case. There are interactions that continue to be spoken with deceitful hearts – by others and/or you. There are the interactions that continue to record the wrong.
For you to work on being a peace-maker and not a peace-breaker, try this: focus your thoughts and words on insights or understanding of the circumstances or on facts. For example, above “let me get this straight you are saying …. Because you feel ….” and then later, “Sam, you are asking me to do you a favor by watching your sons. It’s not yours to decide when I do you a favor, it’s my choice.”
Focus on understanding the circumstances and present facts that matter in the situation. Do not focus on the deceitful messages, the wrong. Seek to solve the problem and save the relationship.
As you learn to tell better, you will begin to intuitively sense the direction the conversation is heading – within love or without love. You will learn to continue giving knowledge, wisdom, and peace to the point you realize the interaction is going further downhill, the deceitful heart is getting louder. You will learn to do everyone a favor and excuse yourself. Do not participate in conversations where deceitful hearts are speaking and individuals are stuck in records of wrong.
To continue growing and maturing in wisdom, we all need loving interactions with others and ourselves. Humbly, I admit often I have been on the receiving end of these difficult conversations. Family and dear friends have said to me, “Stop. We can be better than this.” What a blessing!
The bottom line is: Each of us choose our words and actions. The messages we create are based on past experiences. Every day, we have new experiences and interactions with one another.
Today, ask yourself if the messages you tell yourself and others are for better, or worse? How often do you tell with a deceitful heart? Can you shift your intention to interact as a peace-maker instead of a peace-breaker? These are the decisions we make every day as we interact with one another.
For now, Happy Monday. Tell yourself and others better this week! Try and be a peace-maker! Mature your loving heart; do not cultivate your deceitful heart! Keep telling yourself better!
We are currently focusing on foundational themes for T.E.L.L.ing children, and how you might act upon the presented idea.
The first post in this series was introduced Tuesday:
#1: In every interaction you are mentoring and modeling for your child. (Click here if you would like to read this post.)
Today’s foundational thought is…
#2: In every interaction, the words and actions chosen reflect your current heart, mind, and will.
Basically stated, heart is your emotions, mind is your rational thoughts, and will is your desire. Safe to say, a child’s heart, mind, and will are more than likely different than yours.
Try this weekend to…
Consider how your words and actions are being influenced by your current feelings, thinking, and wanting in that moment. Give time each day to evaluate your feelings, thinking, and desires as overall positive or negative. If negative, be more sensitive about how you are projecting your words and actions toward others. Can you find healthy ways to shift your focus to be more positive?
Recognize that your heart, mind, and will in a given moment is more than likely different than your child’s. Diligently seek ways to understand your child’s heart, mind, and will. One way to do this is to periodically pause and ask yourself specifically “How is my child feeling in this moment?”; “What is my child thinking in this situation?” “What is my child wanting right now?”
The words and actions adults choose when interacting with a child influence the child’s heart, mind, and will in the moment and possibly in the future. The better you understand your own heart, mind, and will, the better you are able to support and develop a child’s.