The notion of Stewardship is non-denominational, however. It applies to any and every person who lives, works and breathes upon the planet regardless of what religion they do, or do not, subscribe to. It is a duty that we all have. There is no denying that we are going to have to make some sacrifices if we are to rectify the problems we have caused as a species. Yet that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the beauty of nature or engage in the fun, joy or sense of adventure while we relearn how to live without negatively impacting our planet.
I have always prided myself for living in a country that valued its integrity and human rights policy. Now, with tweets of “Fake News” and accusations of lies, of withholding truth, or alternative facts, I find myself questioning the importance of honesty and integrity. For me, this also brings into question our relationships: with our loved ones, that special loved one, with our community, or public leaders, and with ourselves.
Without relationships, I feel the human experience of life as we know it cannot exist. (This is a subject for a blog post on another day.)
Relationships are, of course, complicated and have many elements – but there is one element that glues everything together. That fundamental element is trust.
Honesty and Integrity.
I had two very important relationships in the past with individuals who were not always truthful to me. The mistruths, deceptions, and outright lies eventually broke my trust. Once that trust was broken, I couldn’t get it back. At my core I no longer trusted that person. Consequently, it destroyed the relationship.
What happens, then, when our public leaders withhold truth, lie, or consistently make accusations of others, thereby misconstruing the truth?
- All people have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- Be compassionate to those in need.
- Be tolerant of differences.
- Do no harm.
- People have the right to be free of discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
First, the greatest success in life is being happy with yourself. If integrity is absent from your life, you cannot be happy with yourself. Sure, you can still pursue pleasure … but you will be blocking yourself from any significant fulfillment. If honesty is absent, you will have to lie to yourself to be able to come “comfortably” to terms with your own actions. And the minute you lie to yourself, you violate your integrity … and, in the process, block yourself from true happiness and fulfillment.
If you cannot be honest with people, you cannot develop long-term meaningful relationships with anyone, because there is no trust between you. No matter how skilled you are at being deceptive, the truth eventually comes to the surface. When it does, trust is gone. Without trust the relationship begins to erode like a cancer from within.
If you are not honest with yourself … if you violate your own values, you will have difficulty trusting yourself. You will eventually become overwhelmed with doubt, and with good reason.
This is why I can’t support reducing taxes when one of the costs is sacrificing affordable healthcare for everyone and giving windfalls to the wealthy. Why I can’t stand behind closing our borders to refugees escaping the horrors of war because they come from countries known to house terrorists. Why I can’t support billions of dollars being invested in a wall to separate us from our neighbors, when these same neighbors are so desperate for employment they will take our most menial of jobs. Not to mention that this wall will siphon off funds from much needed programs to help our children, seniors, and the ill or vulnerable.
If you think that taking a shortcut, and sacrificing your integrity and living out of alignment with basic values, will somehow get you more money, success and security or even more fun and pleasure, think again. You’re probably thinking short term. In the long term, violating trust with others or with your self is the surest way to failure. Also, remember to never confuse pleasure with happiness … they are very different terms and values (again, another post for another day – but the basic idea is that pleasure is a shorter term feeling while happiness is a long-term element of the human experience).
Of course, your values and the meanings you attach to honesty and integrity can be different from mine – but regardless of how you define these values, I strongly urge you to take a serious look at how you apply these values in your life, your business, your relationships, and your responses to the world. Short-term results may be deceiving – think about the life you want to create … the person you want to become… and the world you want your grandchildren to inherit.
Belief and Psychic Abilities
Another common theme related to this question is whether or not you need to “believe” in psychic powers. Some psychics and teachers of psychism propose that you don’t need to believe in it at all. As a matter of fact, approaching the subject with an open mind and with a healthy dose of skepticism can be very helpful in differentiating sensations from the physical body, imagination, and real psychic perception. This will allow you to validate the presence of your psychic abilities by way of your own experiences.
A lot of movies unfortunately portray the psychic ability as something obscure (in horror movies, for example), mystical (in some dramas and action movies), or pertaining to a person that is imbalanced or unstable (to avoid the word “crazy”), or that has some grave illness (a brain tumor), suffered an injury, had a near-death experience, or was hit by lightning.
Psychic abilities are natural abilities, and as such some may be learned and some will happen spontaneously. Some may be good at one modality, for example, telepathy, but inexperienced in another, for example, clairvoyance. Here is a list of different psychic modalities:
Adapted from an article on Psychic Abilities by the International Academy of Consciousness
If you are curious about accessing your own “inner-seeing” abilities then please join us for:
A Powerful Discussion with 3 Clairvoyant Seers
How do we know if we are psychic?
So, after experiencing one or more of these things, how do you know if you have psychic abilities? The answer is really simple:
The first step is to understand the different ways that information can reach you. For instance, if you touch a metallic door knob you will get the sensation that it is cold. You perceive this via a physical sense.
- Have you felt drained after meeting someone? Like you need to have a quick nap?
- Have you ever had a feeling that something is about to happen to someone around you only to find out it actually happened soon after?
- Have you ever visited a friend in his/her house (feeling great when arriving) but then left feeling really tired? (when there is no drinking or eating involved)
- Have you ever woken up remembering a very lucid dream or an out-of-body experience?
- Have you ever had a lucid out-of-body experience?
- How about clairvoyance? Have you ever had a flash and you were able to see other dimensions or people that have already passed away?
- Intuition: is it common to you? How relevant are your intuitions?
- Have you ever been able to predict the future?
- How about past events? Have you ever had a retrocognition or recollection of a previous life?
- Have you ever felt spontaneous vibration within your body when waking up or when falling asleep?
For much of recorded history women have been second-class citizens in a male-dominant world. In ancient history this was not the case. Women were honored, as was the Mother Goddess. They could own property, run businesses, children were identified through the mother’s line, and they were community and spiritual leaders.
There have been some fundamental shifts in the global economy and business patterns that are creating change. For better or worse we have moved from an agricultural and manufacturing economy to an information economy which depends on smarts, not brawn. In many countries women equal or exceed the education backgrounds of their male counterparts. More and more women are positioned to benefit economically. Women own half our nation’s wealth and control a majority of household spending decisions – to the tune of five trillion dollars. Women make over 80% of consumer purchases in the US. The results: women are setting trends. For example, the increase in the availability of organic products is because of women’s influence based on their concern for the families’ health and wellbeing.
Nothing that we have taken for granted for the last forty years is safe. And, though we’ve seen the erosion of welfare benefits and reproductive rights take place for decades, including under the watch of President Bill Clinton, there is nothing like this current administration to remind women that we need to be ever vigilant. Just as civil rights have eroded for Black Americans, so have they for women. Both trends will continue in a downward spiral if we don’t constantly hold those in power responsible for protecting the civil and human rights we’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Wow! Where did this come from? I had been giving everyone license to walk all over me. Where was my backbone? What happened to my power?
Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Hunt, refused to follow the traditional female role of wife and mother. Instead she asked her father, Zeus, for a bow and arrow so she could roam free in the woods with her circle of nymphs. Artemis and the nymphs were self-sufficient, hunting and supporting each other. They created a circle of collaboration.
Has someone hurt you in the past? Maybe betrayed a trust? Offered unwelcomed criticism? Placed blame unfairly?
When someone hurt you, did you have you have a hard time letting it go? Did you harbor anger, resentment, or even thoughts of revenge?
Have you found it difficult to embrace forgiveness and move forward?
Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another. Perhaps your mother criticized your parenting skills, your colleague sabotaged a project, or your partner had an affair. These wounds can leave you with lasting feelings of anger, bitterness, or even vengeance.
I’ve harbored bitter feelings towards a couple of ‘exes’ for a long time. During a recent illness that lingered for 6 weeks I was given way too much time to process these old hurts. I did a lot of reflection on forgiveness and compassion and why these too human characteristics are so important.
Wise elders from all traditions have told us that if we don’t practice forgiveness, we might be the ones who pay most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, we’re told that we can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy.
Generally, forgiveness is coming to terms with the wisdom of letting go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. Although you might always remember the act that hurt or offended, eventually there is realization that forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on other, more positive parts of your life. The process of forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you. Nor does it minimize or justify the wrong. It’s possible to forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness allows you to find a place of inner peace that helps you go on with life free from the feelings of resentment and bitterness.
Letting go of grudges and bitterness can help you create a life with more happiness, health and peace. The Mayo Clinic claims that forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
When you’re hurt by someone you love and trust, you might become angry, sad or confused. Dwelling on these hurtful events or situations allows grudges filled with resentment, vengeance and hostility to fester and take root. Our imagination is so powerful that rehashing these negative feelings can inflame the hurt and pain so that it crowds out positive feelings. Then you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice.
If you hold onto these old grudges and resentments, the Mayo Clinic states that you might:
- Pollute other relationships and new experiences with anger and bitterness
- Allow the toxic memories of past wrongs to negatively impact the present
- Become depressed or anxious
- Feel that your life lacks meaning or purpose, or to cause you to feel disconnected from spirit or your spiritual beliefs
- Lose valuable and enriching connectedness with others
Forgiveness is decision to be honest with yourself and reflect on the situation with more compassion and a larger perspective of yourself and the other party or parties.
To begin, you might:
- Reflect on the particulars of the situation, how you’ve reacted, and how the resentment and bitterness has affected your life, health and well-being.
- Consider the value of forgiveness and its importance in your life at a given time.
- Actively choose to view the other person with compassion while trying to understand them and their situation, and allow forgiveness to emerge when you are ready.
- Move away from your role as victim and release the control and power that the offending person and situation has had on your life.
As you let go of grudges, you’ll no longer define your life by how you’ve been hurt. You might even find compassion and understanding.
It’s not always easy to forgive. This is especially true if the other person doesn’t want to admit wrong and/or doesn’t speak of his or her own sorrow. If you find yourself stuck:
- Consider the situation from the other person’s point of view.
- Ask yourself why he or she would behave in such a way. Perhaps you would have reacted similarly if you faced the same situation.
- Reflect on times you’ve hurt others and on those who’ve forgiven you.
- Write in a journal, pray or use guided meditation – or talk with a person you’ve found to be wise and compassionate, such as a spiritual leader, a mental health provider, or an impartial loved one or friend.
- Be aware that forgiveness is a process and even small hurts may need to be revisited and forgiven over and over again.
It’s important to remember that forgiveness doesn’t always lead to reconciliation. If you’ve had a close relationship with the offending party prior to the hurt, then forgiveness might lead to reconciliation. This isn’t always the case, however. Sometimes there can be forgiveness yet the relationship never quite goes back to the way it was.
If the offender has died or is unwilling to communicate then it might not be possible to achieve reconciliation. Sometimes reconciliation might not be appropriate. Still, it’s important to remember that forgiveness is possible – even if reconciliation isn’t.
Forgiveness isn’t about getting another person to change his or her actions, behavior or words. Forgiveness is more about how it can change your life by helping you to find greater peace, happiness, and emotional and spiritual healing. Forgiveness can also take away the power the other person continues to wield in your life.
Remember, forgiveness is a process. Your ability to forgive may not happen overnight. Nor can you force someone to forgive you if, in your process, you realize that you might have to take some responsibility for what happened.
People need to move to forgiveness in their own time. Whatever the outcome, allow yourself to move to a state of forgiveness. Forgiveness is important for your own health and well-being. Then commit to treating others with compassion, empathy and respect.
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was YOU!
If you are harboring bitterness, anger, and/or resentment and are having a hard time letting it go, then give Joy Reichard a call to find out how she can help you move to a state of forgiveness so you can find more peace and happiness in your life. Email Joy today or contact Joy at 415-819-8769.
Adapted from words of wisdom obtained from a Mayo Clinic article on forgiveness.