Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Choosing to believe

It's a good thing I wrote about forgiveness yesterday as I tested a friend's capacity to forgive. We were to have met for lunch. I had made the reservation last week -- and I forgot. In the crunch of a long morning meeting, I didn't notice the time until I checked my email later in the day and saw his name. OUCH! I had really messed up. Fortunately for me, he is a forgiving friend.

One of the things I said as soon as I realized my mistake was, "I can't believe I did that." I'd best get over my disbelief because I did do it.

That phrase, "I can't believe...." has plagued me much of my life. My mother used to say it when I was young, "I can't believe you'd...." and then remind me of some transgression. When I'd do something not particularly smart, I'd say, "I can't believe I...." After Conrad was arrested and I had spent some time healing, I said, "I can't believe I...."

For a small phrase it has a lot of power in its ability to pull me from my truth. Three powerful words that don't add up to empowering me in my life.

In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker says, "I can’t believe it." Yoda replies, "That is why you fail.”

The opposite of can't is 'can'. The opposite of failure is success.

Last night, two friends were here from New York whom I haven't seen for several years -- since sometime during getting lost on the road to hell relationship in fact! C.Y. had read my book, The Dandelion Spirit, and commented, 'I can't believe that was you."

Believe it. It was.

To heal. To change. To grow, I must believe I'm where I'm at before I'm able to take steps away from the place that's holding me back from moving on. I must believe I did, am feeling, am doing, whatever it is that keeps me stuck in disbelief.

In disbelief, I can deny the truth. I can deny my accountability. I can deny myself the freedom to change.

In belief, I live with grace and ease, the Serenity Prayer,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

I goofed. I acknowledged my mistake and apologized. I asked my friend what I could do to make amends.

Nelson Mandela said, "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Denying I fell would keep me lying on the ground.

Rising up keeps me living freely, without fear.

The question is: Where are you keeping yourself stuck in disbelief that you are where you're at? Where are you not accepting you have the power to change your life?

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