Tonight, I picked up "Reaching Out" - The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life - by one of my favorite authors, Henry J.M. Nouwen. He breaks it down to these 3 movements:
1) Reaching out to our innermost self
2) Reaching out to our fellow human
3) Reaching our to our God
There was a part of the book under "Molding Interruptions" that really resonated with me tonight. He said " Don't we look at many events of our lives as big or small interruptions, interrupting many of plans, projects and life's schemes? Don't we feel an inner protest when a student interrupts our reading, bad weather our summer, illness our well-scheduled plans, the death of a dear friend our peaceful state of mind, a cruel war our ideas about goodness of man, and the many harsh realities of life our good dreams about it? And doesn't this unending row of interruptions build in our hearts feelings of anger, frustration and even revenge, so much so that at times we see the real possibility that growing old can become synonymous with growing bitter.
BUT, what if our interruptions are in fact our opportunities, if they are challenges to an inner response by which growth takes place and through which we come to the FULLNESS OF BEING? ...What if all the unexpected interruptions are in fact the invitations to give up old-fashioned and out-moded styles of living and are opening up new unexplored areas of experience?"
Interesting huh....a different perspective....I really like how Henry sees all the opportunities to better one self and within his books challenges us all to do the same!!
I also read through recovery type books quite often to remind me of the position I need to maintain in life. For me that is one of surrender, gratitude, letting go, taking it one day at a time, taking internal inventory to own what is mine and trying to keep my side of the street clean!
So I happen to turn to a certain page tonight that was speaking about forgiveness. It talked about how people can become addicted to their bitterness. Boy do I know some people like that...it's so familiar and it's all they know and so they choose, time and time again - to become and remain bitter.
The book says "A life characterized by bitterness, resentment, and anger will kill us emotionally and shrivel our souls. Such a life will most likely produce depression, despair and discouragement. An unforgiving heart will cause us more pain and destruction than it will EVER cause the person who has hurt us! Forgiveness BREAKS the negative cycle. It doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice, or fairness, but it does allow relationships to heal."
- Interruptions might just be an opportunity to experience something, and I want to become aware of this...and accept these invitations.
- I certainly have a lot to work on with regard to forgiving my ex. It's a journey....one day at a time. I love how in the book it says..."it doesn't settle all the questions of blame, justice or fairness..." because I think that's where a lot of us get caught - we were wronged and we want justice...I know that's where I get stuck.