Yeah, okay, you’ve got a lot of things to say. What about people who’ve suffered from physical abuse? It’s all well and good to remain in your throne and judge people who committed it. But what if the person who did it was hung from the banisters and hit with a stick. And what if they still managed to maintain some innocence. Why do people judge people who perpetrated the physical abuse, so much?
It is easier for us to recognize the suffering in a victim than it is for us to recognize the suffering in the perpetrator that caused the act of violence. To heal the victim’s suffering is to help move on from such a crime. To heal the perpetrator’s suffering is to prevent such a crime from ever happening.
Here are several thing that can help to keep that in perspective.
1. If someone is happy and at peace, they cannot and will not consciously harm others. There is no interest in such things and nothing to be gained for them. Real happiness is imbued with contentment. All forms of violence be it physical or otherwise comes from a place of unrest, unhappiness, discontentment, and fear of lack.
2. In order to harm others, there is a certain degree of sanity that is forgotten. When Jesus was being murdered, he said “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” This isn’t about taking the moral high ground; it’s about insight into ignorance. Rather than seeing those murderers as inherently bad, which is the meaning of “judgement,” it is important to recognize ignorance as a kind of intoxicated state in which you really don’t fully understand what you are doing, why you are doing it, to whom you are doing it, and who you are as the doer.
3. Ignorance is temporary. It is not an identity or essential nature. Because ignorance is like a kind of intoxication, one can sober up. That is the whole ideal and purpose of rehabilitation, repentance, and forgiveness.
Think of the prison system here in the US. We are very judgmental without being very constructive. We tell people that they are bad, that they have done wrong, and then we punish them. Yet we do not heal them, the punishment rarely serves to connect cause to effect, and often it simply makes things worse by fostering resentment and hate. By not healing and helping those who have committed crimes and wrongful acts, we are not benefitting the wellbeing of our society at large.
It is obvious to most people that a victim needs healing. But the recognition that the perpetrator needs similar attention rather than scorn and hate is a very mature and subtle understanding. Tonglen meditation and Tibetan Buddhist compassion contemplations were instrumental in making me aware of this not just conceptually but in practice within my own life. The book Becoming Enlightened by the Dalai Lama is a wonderful introduction.
This is how we can learn to forgive others and also ourselves of things we still consider unforgivable and unthinkable. Forgiveness does not mean that whatever happened was “okay and all good” but that your mind non-violently accepts those happenings and attends to how best to move forward.
One of my favorite quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh sums this up well: “When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
Namaste my friend.
“The sooner you stop trying to make the world appear according to your expectations, the sooner you will experience a little freedom from feeling helpless in the world.”
Self-Love Is the Key to Getting Anything and Everything You Want
Samantha Ushedo Life Coach. Self-Love Teacher. Inspirational Speaker. Creator of the First Love Yourself Sisterhood.
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: Sam, self-love is a hard sell. No one walks around thinking, “How can I love myself more?”
What you’re thinking is:
How can I lose 20 pounds?
How can I find true love, a best friend, my soul mate?
How can I improve my relationships with family and friends?
How can I make more money, get ahead?
How can I get healthier?
Is this you?
Trust me, I get it.
You’re a smart, successful, high achieving woman who wants it all and wants it now but you may be caught up in the “when… then” game.
Do any of these sound familiar?
When I lose 20 pounds, then I’ll be able to wear a bikini on the beach.
When I meet the man of my dreams, then I’ll finally be happy.
When I get the promotion, then my money problems will disappear.
Essentially, what I’m hearing is that self-love isn’t exactly high on your priority list.
Can I ask why?
Because, if you think about it, what is the one thing that all human beings want more than anything else in the world?
To be loved and to be happy.
And what do they think they’ll get from being thinner, looking and feeling healthier, having better relationships and being more financially secure?
You guessed it: love and happiness.
Most of us think that we can change how we feel by changing our external circumstances. We try to feel differently by looking outside of ourselves, believing the key is “out there”, but the truth is, you’re looking in the wrong place. We can exhaust ourselves trying to change our external circumstances to achieve some external results, but at the end of the day, if you don’t go within, you go without. When we learn to flex our self-love muscles and choose love over fear, that is when your transformation begins.
I speak from experience, and had to learn this important lesson the hard way. It took 5 years, debilitating cystic acne and almost $30,000 (yes, I totaled it up) trying to fix myself, to find that external something that would solve all my problems before I realized that everything I was doing was simply treating a symptom of a bigger issue, which was that I didn’t love or fundamentally accept myself. I was living my life based on the need for outside validation, approval, and affection. Every choice I made in my life was coming from a place of fear, rather than love.
There is little doubt in my mind that suffering from severe cystic acne was the Universe’s way of saying to me, “You’re not meant to be doing this anymore sweetheart and unfortunately, the only way you will listen is if we send you a message you can’t ignore.”
Message received. Loud and clear.
Now, you may not have cystic acne like I did, for you it could be something different entirely. But I want you to think about that thing in your life that is constantly plaguing you, looming over you like a big, black cloud. That thing you’re struggling with, that is keeping you stuck and unhappy. If I can impress one thing upon you today, let it be this: You are good enough. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t have a thigh gap, you’re currently single, you have acne on your face or your career hasn’t taken the direction you expected it to. No amount of dieting, green juicing, and Tinder dates is going to be the key to unlocking your happiness.
You need to FLY. First Love Yourself.
The first and often only step you need to find the success, happiness, health and fulfillment (in any area of life) that you seek begins with first loving yourself. That’s why I created this resource to help you make self-love a choice rather than an afterthought in your life.
Self-love is a choice you make in every moment of every day for the rest of your life. Just like you would join a gym or hire a trainer to strengthen your physical muscles, you can exercise your self-love muscle in much the same way. And you do this through practice, commitment and consistency. When you become aware of the way you relate to yourself, learn to cultivate self-compassion and take action on doing the things that truly light you up inside, you are laying the foundation to develop a beautiful relationship with the most important person in your life… yourself.
And that, my darling, is the key to getting anything and everything you want.
Thoughts are not the truth. They are waves in the ocean of awareness. Coming, going. Fleeting, transient, they move in you but do not define you. You allow thoughts but you are not their slave.
~ Jeff Foster
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman?”
Mahatma Gandhi (via purplebuddhaproject)