Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This is part 4 of a series on tools for going through major life transitions.
Tool #4 in going through life transitions is the ability and practice of honoring everyone, especially those who may have hurt us. Honor is similar to self-acceptance and self-respect but it is done for the other. It is also something that you can practice doing regularly throughout the day. It takes away the need for righteousness or the need to be right. In fact, it is almost like pouring cold water on that live wire that is sizzling with self-righteousness. It fine tunes and focuses the image you see in your big picture. When you can honor people who drive you crazy or even characters in the news who are portrayed as truly evil, you are able to see more clearly and into farther distances. You can disentangle from the pangs of judgment that you may have experienced when you first encountered someone who did something you consider wrong. It feels like when the Novocain sets in and you begin to feel nothing. It allows you to expand your consciousness so you can feel grander than your human story.
Honor is about accepting others for where they are at, no matter what. You don’t have to condone or agree with their actions or words, but you can still honor them for their experience and the role they play in your journey. I personally have learned more from the difficult people in my life than from those I’ve had agreeable relationships with. It is as if the tension in the relationship is a lesson ready to be unwrapped. So often we get stuck in our own opinions, our way of being brought up and our view of the world that we need to be shaken up a bit. The horror in the news provides that shake up, the opening of the eyes, the soul, and the heart to understanding a bigger world. Once we allow the other to be as they are (by the simple practice of honoring), we have stretched our reality and this makes everything easier. We are now free to expand and move into a new place and a new experience.
Tool #4 or honor can also make self-love or self-acceptance easier. If you are having difficulty with self-acceptance, then honoring others will loosen things up and you will find that now you can use tool #3 more easily. Also, if you are wondering how to use honor, it is very simple. Just practice saying it out loud or in your own head when someone makes you mad. Start with the easy ones, not some serial killer in the news or an abusive parent. Start with the rude person you encountered at the grocery store. If it feels fake, keep on saying it until it does not. Then you can use it with people who have hurt you in a deeper way. Try it at least for a week consistently and decide for yourself if you sense a change or a shift.
Stay tuned for tool #5 in next week’s post!