Tag Archives: forgiveness

On Them Who Lie A Little To Buy A Little … or A Tale Of Why Personal Accountability Is So Cool

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
Mark Twain

Honesty is the best policy. I remember this statement from Miss Green in first grade catechism and from years of being a Cub Scout and later a Boy Scout. Living a truthful life should be the goal for all people. Sadly, we live in a world where on a daily basis we experience crafty, cunning and untrustworthy advertising, business people, religious leaders and politicians. Underhanded, devious practices are revealed on the nightly news and cheating the system is encouraged as innocently as cutting in line at the school cafeteria.

Have we lost the trait of being accountable? What would someone say about your accountability? Has it become so commonplace to embellish everything we say?

Accountability says you are responsible for your actions. The willingness to be accountable for what you do, what you don’t do or refuse to do is a significant trait of your character.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to help make myself more accountable to me.

Unaccountable people have every excuse in the book. They tend to blame others, complain, put things off and do the least amount of work necessary. I should know, for I was unaccountable for quite some time.  It was the easy way out and I was more than willing find any way out.

Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.  It is up to you to give life a meaning.
Jean-Paul Sartre

If you are going to be successful in life you must embrace what contributes to your life, repel what detracts from it, and to accept responsibility for everything in it. If you are personally accountable then you accept the consequences of your actions, words, and decisions, regardless if the outcome is important or significant.

So what are the steps we need to take to make ourselves accountable?

  • Stop shaming and blaming: We can learn to see shame or blame as excess baggage and just set them aside. We could acknowledge and even regret our mistakes and shortcomings while accepting ourselves completely. We can begin working with our list of weaknesses by celebrating them. The more successful people are, the more likely they are to be open to looking at their flaws. We can love and accept ourselves and still work really hard to change ourselves.
  • Tell the truth. Everybody messes up sometimes. Lying about it or trying to cover it up always makes it worse. Remember Richard Nixon? Bernie Madoff?  Pinocchio? Need I say more? Save yourself some time and tell the truth.
  • Forgive yourself — one powerful way to move from shame to acceptance is to forgive ourselves. Before practicing new skills and new ways of being, it’s wise to clean house. We don’t need to beat ourselves up before we re-invent ourselves. We can be totally honest with ourselves and, at the same time, be gentle. While admitting our mistakes, we can treat ourselves with care. After all, everyone makes mistakes.
  • Let go of the past, but learn from it — we can focus on what we have learned from our past, without getting caught up in repeating our mistakes. The past is over. There is nothing you can do to change the past. The past is useful in showing us things we do not want to repeat and in exploring lessons we have learned that can be helpful in creating change in the future.
  • See the connection between strengths and limitations: Most people place strengths and weaknesses in separate, unrelated categories. Another way to perceive them is as being closely related. Often the things about ourselves that we label as weaknesses are simply examples of taking our strengths too far. A person with a passion for organization can become obsessed with details and lose sight of overall goals. A person who listens well may forget to speak about his own thoughts and feelings. The point is to remember that our assets and liabilities may all be part of the same personal account.
  • Police yourself – you are accountable for your actions even if nobody holds you accountable — or nobody catches you.
  • Look to yourself first — if there is trouble, look in the mirror. Ask yourself, “What is the problem?” and “What am I doing — or not doing — and how can I help to solve it?”

Stop blaming and start aiming.
Rob Liano

Personal accountability is sorely lacking and urgently needed. Accountability is not just a mindset but a skill set that everyone can learn and should master. Choose accountability and own it. You will always come out on top.

Each moment of each day, you have the choice to be personally accountable and in control of your destiny. Can you push yourself more? Do you have the internal drive to go the extra mile? Do you exceed expectations because you have to or because you want to?

If you answered yes, then you will agree that personal accountability is marvelous.

Bhole Babaji ki Jai!

On Forbidden Entrances & Angelic Messengers or A Tale of Relearning to Forgive

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

Mark Twain

I AM a firm believer in forgiveness.  I believe that forgiveness is the key for each and everyone of us in working out our personal salvation and soul’s growth. It is one of the greatest gifts we have received from God.  For me the problem with forgiveness is not in forgiving a fellow traveler upon the path, but that I have to keep relearning this lesson over and over and over again.  Why is this such a hard lesson to master?  Why can’t I get it right?  Why do I struggle to forgive at times, when other times it is so easy?

Recently I watched DR. Maya Angelou on Super Soul Sunday.  I love DR. Angelou and consider her to be one of my greatest teachers.  During the interview Oprah asked DR. Angelou what is one of greatest  lessons she has learned and Dr. Angelou responded, her mother told her to forgive. To which Dr. Angelou further added “I forgive it. I don’t anoint it with anything. I just forgive it.” Oprah then asked Dr Angelou when you forgive someone,  does not mean you invite them into your house after that? To which Dr. Angelou responded, “No not at all. When I forgive you, it means I am done. I am finished with you. Go away. Not go away and harm someone else. I do so because I have to protect myself.” To which Oprah said, ” I have to be willing to take care of me first then I have enough to take care of myself first.”

This was an AHA moment for me.  “When I forgive you, it means I am done. I am finished with you. Go away.” There is so much more to this statement than meets the eyes.  This is not just a statement to be taken literally.  No, not literally, there is much to ponder here.  For me it meant I AM done with this lesson.  It is learned. I will not repeat this again.

I choose to write on forgiveness this evening due to two recent events that took place in my family during the past two weeks that left me deeply hurt, angered and depressed. Two weeks ago one of my cousins’ son graduated from high school.  They hosted a large party for him and the entire family was invited — well not quite the entire family.  I was not invited.  I was the only family member not to receive an invitation.  Upon seeing the pictures posted online and hearing others talk about the good time had by all I was deeply hurt by the exclusion.  To make matters worse, another cousin, the brother of the cousin I referred to previously, has a son who was married yesterday.  You guessed it; the entire family was invited except for me.  This exclusion was was like a knife being twisted in my guts.  I experienced two Cinderella moments and they hurt badly.  Again I saw the pictures and again I experienced a deep pain.

Earlier I referred to DR. Angelou and her approach to forgiveness.  She mentioned she does not “anoint” the situation.  My error this weekend was in anointing the situation.  I put too much time, energy and thought into the pain and hurt I was feeling.  My emotions spiraled out of control, leaving me feeling tired and drained and off kilter.  Thankfully through pray and silence I gained some insight and control.

So at this moment, I choose forgiveness.  I move past this hurt.  It doesn’t mean I approve of what’s happened. I’m not giving them a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE CARD.  No, I’m giving myself that card.  Rather, I AM moving on with my life. This is the choice I make.

This isn’t to say the pain will miraculously disappear, The pain may never completely disappear, But I can let go of the anger.  I’m not going to invest in resentment anymore

I am a person who works to forgive. I try to see things from all sides. Often when we are being attacked, the attack is not about you or me but rather about the person who is attacking. This is easy to understand when the person attacking is not someone who was very special to us.

But when the hurt comes from someone that was very close to us, it is very hard to just turn our feelings off. It is very hard to just close the door without feeling some pain and hurt having to make that decision. It is on those occasions that we have to dig deep and go through the pain and hurt and separation in order to accept as DR Angelou says, “When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.”

Again, this is where it all clicked for me. “When I forgive you, it means I am done. I am finished with you. Go away.” Like so many others I felt forgiveness means that I open the door again when in fact it does not. Forgiveness means I hold no spite to the person or people who have hurt me.  It does not mean I have to open my heart again to allow them in. I simply know it’s time to move on and let go. And that is exactly what I choose to do.

It is up to us to decide if we can invite those who have trespassed against us back in and if we can’t we forgive their transgression with love and let them go.

And so to my two cousins and your wives I say I forgive you.  I am done. I am finished with you. Go away.

Bhole Babaji ki Jai!