- Written by Lucy Shaw
Dear Lucy: My life has always been so hard. Nobody ever gives me a break. I am sick and tired of it. My boyfriend and I just broke up and I do not have a lot of friends.
Dear AD: In the book, “Be Not Anxious,” I talk a lot about guilt and blame. These seem to me to be two of the emotions that trip us up the most in life. I have been recently teaching a class on some of the qualities that are essential to growing in grace and learning about ourselves and our own ability to be wonderful. One of the essential qualities for greatness is self-respect.
Self-respect is the capacity to love learning and growing so very much that we are willing to take full responsibility for our thinking, doing and being. In the Bible, we are told that “as he thinketh, so is he.”
To create the life we want, it is important to think with honesty. And after we think with honesty we should be prepared to match that honesty in words and deeds. As you may have read in this column before, I believe fully that every person or event in our lives is a reflection of our thinking and our expectations. One of the best signs of maturity is the ability to own up to our own responsibility for what’s going on in our lives.
Here is a little piece called “Autobiography in Five Chapters” by Portia Nelson:
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost...I am hopeless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find my way out.
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I can’t believe I am in the same place. But it isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in...it’s a habit. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.
Blaming others for our own thoughts, actions and subsequent ways of being can become a nasty habit. In the poem, you can see that it can be hard to break. But you may find yourself in the same hole over and over until you choose to think differently and with honesty and responsibility. We are on this Earth to learn and to grow. Please don’t let blame, shame or guilt halt your progress. Sometimes looking at ourselves closely can be painful, uncomfortable or just plain hard to do. Yet, every time we do so, we are practicing honesty and self-respect that helps grow us into the wonderful person that we long to be.
Choose a new street to travel!
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy’s new book, “BE NOT ANXIOUS.” Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)