I am sure most of us have been “wrongly” accused of something at one time or another in our lives. It can be very painful and traumatic and may take a long time to heal. Some of you may still be struggling with something in your past that you are holding onto. Of course, it is only natural to want to defend ourselves and prove our innocence. It has been my experience that Spirit allows things to happen to show me how I have grown (or not grown) in how I handle situations where I have been accused of wrong doing.
For example: I attended a water aerobics class this week and the teacher who I had just met invited me to her pool party on Saturday. A few days later, she saw a friend of mine and told her how upset and angry she was with me for something someone told her I did.
Of course, my friend was shocked and said, “That doesn’t sound like Pat.” When my friend called and shared with me what happened, I felt embarrassed because of the things she accused me of doing. I was shocked and felt terrible. I immediately called the teacher to explain what happened. She didn’t answer her phone so I left a message and apologized for the misunderstanding and asked her to please forgive me.
What I know about myself is that I would never intentionally hurt another person. We all have different perspectives and experiences in life so, unfortunately, we do hurt others and may never even know it.
Instead of beating up on myself or doubting myself, after my friend called me, I released it and didn’t let it ruin my day. I called the teacher and took responsibility for what actually happened. I was a little anxious about seeing her when I attended the next aerobics class. When I prayed about it, I heard Spirit reassure and say “You didn’t do anything wrong and I want you to walk into the class with your head held high. Know that I place everything and everyone and every encounter in your life for a reason. You are learning to trust that more deeply.”
I approached the teacher before the class started and asked if she received my phone call. She said, “Yes, and I wrote you a response 2 days ago, but haven’t sent it.” She was still angry at me and couldn’t understand my actions. I tried to explain my side of what happened, but she didn’t want to hear it. I found out later that she accused me of doing something that was second hand.
I needed to let it go and send her love. I am not responsible and cannot control what other people think of me or say about me. All I am responsible for is me, my actions and keeping my side of the street clean. I can hold onto resentments and ruminate about what happened to me until the cows come home. What good does that do? It only hurts me and robs me of my peace. Whenever the situation popped up in my mind during the day, I released judgment and sent her light and love.
Spirit showed me how I had grown because I didn’t take it personally and I moved through it quickly.
This situation brought to mind what happened to me in my career over 10 years ago when I was wrongly accused of something I didn’t do. It devastated me and took every ounce of energy and prayer to move through it. Someone I trusted had gone behind my back to the boss and said things about me that weren’t true and almost cost me my job. I am so grateful for the friends in the department who loved and supported me through this. In the end, I was vindicated and the truth came to the light, which it always does. But during that time, I learned some valuable lessons about life.
Instead of being bitter and resentful when I walked by her office every day, I learned about forgiveness. I quietly prayed, “I release judgment and send light and love.” It was the only way I could remain peaceful and remain at the job until I was ready to retire.
We can become BITTER or BETTER by what life brings us. I chose to become better. I wasn’t going to allow someone else’s behavior to determine my behavior. It wasn’t easy, but peace was more important to me than being right.
How about you? Is there someone in your life that has hurt or betrayed you and you have been unable to let go and forgive? If not now, when? Forgiveness is a choice and it is for you, not the other person. You are not condoning the act, but forgiving the person for what they did. Take yourself out of the prison of resentment and free yourself to live the best life you can live. Remember, we are not promised tomorrow. All we have is today.
Aloha friends, thought some of you may be wondering why I haven’t been contributing to the blog the last couple of weeks. Truth is, I haven’t had anything to write about. I seem to be in a place right now where it’s better for me to listen instead of writing. I was reading in Alan Cohens book entitled “Enough Already- The Power of Radical Contentment” today and Alan shares a story about an annual retreat in Assisi, Italy. The retreat is basically silent, the rule is: “Speak only if what you have to say is more powerful than the silence.” He also shares about the benefit of being silent and listening. We all go through times in our lives when it is better to listen and not speak so much. It seems like this is where I am right now so I will keep listening and write again when I feel whatever I have to say seems more important than my silence.
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