Freedom Comes from Realizing That We Are Blind

“You can’t fill a cup that is already full. That means you can’t approach a new situation, relationship, or job with what you think you know will happen. When you do that, you’re not leaving room for the unexpected, the delightful, and even the miraculous. Try starting from a place of ‘Maybe I don’t know.’ It allows you to be open to something or someone being different from what you experienced in the past. When you approach life in this open way, you also allow the universe to conspire on your behalf. So be empty of expectations. The universe will always dream bigger than you will. Abundance comes when you realize that you can receive what you need-every day.”  by Eden-Clark and John Germain Leto
This quote so speaks to my condition right now. One of the hardest things for me is to allow those I care about to hurt. I want to help them find joy even in times of suffering, both for themselves and partly for myself. But suffering is part of the fabric of life and brings opportunities for grace and each of us has our own way and timing for experiencing it and learning from it. And part of  loving another person is allowing them to be themselves, even if we are totally convinced we know “better” ways to be. Not being able to help my husband accept the losses that come with his illness or to help him trust that death is only a doorway, not the end, is very painful. And feelings of inadequacy and failure easily become less painful when disguised as frustration and impatience.  The quote at the beginning of this showed up as a memory on my face book page today reminding me that my way may not be the best way for someone else and to trust God who loves my husband more than I ever could.
I do relate this experience to Mary’s vigil at the foot of her son’s cross. She had tried to convince him to come home when she realized he was putting himself in danger. She must have struggled with anger when he wouldn’t listen, also with guilt that she had somehow failed him, and with unimaginable heartbreak as she watched him suffer.
In the quote at the beginning of this, I translate “Universe” as God. And however anyone understands salvation, I truly believe that Jesus showed us that this life is not all there is and that suffering has the potential to be redeeming.
And the most counter-intuitive truth he showed us about life was when he prayed from the cross, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” He showed us that forgiveness is the ultimate requirement for love, so that we too can experience forgiveness. Because forgiving others and accepting and experiencing forgiveness are inseparable.
Forgiving others frees us to forgive ourselves, particularly when we have not been able to consciously admit we need forgiveness. We all have the self-righteous belief that our way is the totally right way. And that blinds us to the harm we do. Forgiving others for their blindness both frees and heals us.
Forgiving others is at the core of the command Jesus gave us, “Love one another as I have loved you,”  because forgiveness is the very essence of Good Friday.
My prayer for all of us this Holy Week is that we will find the grace to admit the limits of both our own understanding and of everyone’s human blindness, freeing us to both forgive and accept forgiveness. So then, on Easter, we can celebrate the love of God expressed in Jesus and truly rejoice and be glad in it.

About Eileen

Mother of five, grandmother of nine, great-grandmother of four. 1955 -1959 Rice University in Houston, TX. Taught primary grades; Was Associate Post Director of Religious Education at Ft. Campbell, KY; Consultant on the Myers/Briggs Type Indicator, Was married for 60 years to an Architect in Middle Tennessee.

Posted on March 29, 2018, in change, Death, faith, Forgiveness, Healing, Jesus, Judging, Necessary Losses, Paradox, peace, Personality Differences, Prayer, prejudices, rebirth, relationships, Saved by grace and not by law, spiritual growth, Teaching/Learning Experiences, The Righteous Mind and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Laughter: Carbonated Grace and commented:

    This has been a work in progress all day while Julian took long naps to make up for being awake all night.

  2. So beautifully put. Allowing others to suffer “their” way instead of ours, is a suffering in itself and we have to forgive ourselves for believing our way will eliminate their pain – and ours . And I wonder if we also have to forgive the person suffering because his suffering causes us to suffer and no one wants to suffer.

    • Yes, Julian’s way is very hard for me to accept. Forgiveness all the way around. Happy Easter. Thanks for the E Card. I love sending and getting Christmas and Easter cards, but somehow that has gotten pushed off the schedule. But today was a lovely day, almost like before we hit the bad times two years ago. An Easter Blessing. Hope you have a lovely blessing too. Hugs. Eileen

  3. Happy Easter and blessings on your continuing care of Julian.

  4. Hi Eileen it is Eisley .I like the post you made it was pretty great 👍. How is gr gr

  1. Pingback: Freedom Comes from Realizing That We Are Blind | Laughter: Carbonated Grace

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