Matthew Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. And if they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
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This will be the same as piling burning coals on their heads. Psalm Yet God was kind. He often became angry, but never lost his temper. Proverbs Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. We are not just the ones to be compassionate. God is the ultimate example of compassion and mercy. He has shown us the greatest compassion and He is the example we should follow:.
Matthew When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw the large crowd. He felt sorry for them and healed everyone who was sick. John I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.
Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. James Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?
Lamentations The faithful love of the Lord never ends! For some it is the spirits of nature or spirits from other realms. Still others believe that each of us has one or more guardian angels, that we all have a guiding spirit or spirits to help us along the way. Some people believe in all of these. Yet even if you don't believe in any of the above, you might open to the possibility that there is a very wise part of yourself — a higher self or a deeper self — which can provide you with divine guidance from within.
How we define or view the divine is not important here.
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What is important is that we open to this divine presence, however we choose to define it, and that we consciously invite this powerful guidance into our daily lives. I will open to guidance from the divine. Many Ways to Ask. There are many ways to ask for divine guidance. You may already have your own meaningful prayer or meditation practice.
You may want to experiment with different ways you hear about, read about, or come up with yourself. Choose whatever way feels best to you. One beautiful practice is to set aside a few minutes each morning upon awakening. First, reaffirm your commitment to do what's best for yourself and for all in your life this day. Then, ask directly to the divine for guidance in making choices that are best for all involved throughout the coming day.
You might also welcome wisdom and guidance from any angels, deceased relatives and friends, or other spirits committed to what's best. You can do the same at bedtime every night, setting aside time to ask for guidance during your sleep and dream time. Any time during the day when you need to make a significant decision, or you just want to calm or center yourself, stop for a moment.
Take time to ask the divine for help, guidance, and inspiration in choosing what's best for you and for all of us. All Requests Only if it's Best. In communicating with the divine, you might at times request or pray for a particular result. When you ask for something specific, by ending with "only if this is what's best," you open to a higher level of guidance. There are times when in asking for something, you may feel certain that you know what's best.
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Yet there can be unforeseen consequences or reasons why what you're asking for is not what's best. By always adding, "only if this is what's best," you allow divine forces to enrich your life and the lives of those around you in unexpected ways. Challenges as Teachers. There are times when what's best is not what's easiest or most enjoyable. Sometimes unwanted challenges, difficult situations, and even pain can teach us important lessons that in the long run will help us to enjoy life more fully.
When we accept all experiences as gifts from the divine and opportunities for growth and understanding, we open to a deeper level of divine guidance. Atheists Can Benefit, Too. Even if you are uncertain whether God or the divine exists, give this key a try. You might be surprised at what happens, particularly if you are open to change and growth in your life. The results may not always be what you hoped for or expected, but in the long run you are likely to find your life becoming much richer, fuller, and more satisfying.
By opening to divine guidance in all things and asking for guidance in choosing what's best, we invite loving, supportive forces greater than ourselves to help bring whatever is best into our lives and the lives of those around us. Avoiding the Real Me. After making it through a mid-life crisis, an insightful man once commented, "I've spent my whole life trying to be someone who I'm not.
Now I'm ready to focus on accepting and enjoying who I am. So many people are not happy with who they are. Our Divine Essence. Deep down we are all beautiful beings worthy of love and support. The sweet innocence of babies and young children is a clear example of this. Yet for most of us, the shining essence with which we came into this life became obscured over the years as our family and others were unable to give us the kind of unconditional love and support we so craved.
As children, when we were repeatedly told that we were not good enough or were punished just for being who we are, thick layers of confusion and doubt developed, clouding our divine essence.
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Layers of fear and insecurity were woven into our personalities as we learned to survive in a world where others often cared about us only if we made them happy, or when we proved ourselves to be someone they wanted us to be. The Mask. By the time we are grown, most of us have developed a protective mask or persona to hide these layers of fear and insecurity from others, and at times even from ourselves. Though we might outwardly appear happy or content, on the inside most of us to varying degrees feel unhappy with who we are, wishing we were somebody we are not.
We feel the heavy burden of the fears, wounds, and insecurities which have built up. We long ago lost touch with that beautiful, shining core inside of us, buried under unseen layers of fear, anger, guilt, shame, insecurity, inadequacy, and more. Yet that shining essence is still there. It has always been there. Most of us at some point in our lives have had peak experiences where that deeper essence broke through; times where we felt deeply satisfied about our lives, or where we were reminded of who we really are. No matter how much you may have forgotten, no matter how thick those layers clouding your essence may be, your shining core is and always has been there.
Acceptance and Compassion for Myself. You can choose right now to invite that beautiful inner essence to shine through the clouds and to shine again in your life. By doing your best to accept and have compassion for all of who you are — both your deep shining essence and the layers of dark clouds within — you can open more fully to life, and enjoy the gift of who you are. When fears, dark thoughts, difficult emotions, or selfish desires arise, first choose to accept that they are there.
Once you've recognized and accepted them, work towards finding compassion for these dark clouds and where they came from. By choosing to accept and have compassion for all parts of yourself, the clouds gradually begin to shift and disperse. Pathways to your divine core begin to open, thus allowing your radiant inner essence to shine through.
And don't forget to ask for divine guidance and for what's best as you explore and transform these dark and hidden places. It takes courage to accept and find compassion for our fears and weaknesses. It takes even more courage to allow others to see the clouds, to see us as we really are. Yet by allowing ourselves to be seen — by doing our best to be fully ourselves in all our strengths and weaknesses — our relationships can grow richer, deeper, and more meaningful.
This may be awkward at first. It can be challenging, as some people are unable or unwilling to accept certain parts of who we are. Some may even reject us or ask us not to be our real selves with them. Yet as those around us see us becoming more real and honest with them, many will also be inspired to be more real and honest with us. Thus, instead of continually avoiding or denying those clouds or dark layers in both ourselves and others, we open to a deeper, more authentic way of living and relating with others.
As these hidden parts of ourselves are accepted and forgiven, they become increasingly lighter. Life gradually becomes fuller and more free as we no longer have to expend so much energy in supporting a mask or persona. Like that insightful middle-aged man, we are more able to accept and enjoy who we are right now, with all our strengths and weaknesses.
Acceptance and Compassion for Others. As you develop greater acceptance and compassion for yourself, you will notice that others, too, have many layers clouding their divine essence. In trying to survive in this world, they too have lost touch with who they really are. There is darkness and light, good and bad in all of us. Consider, too, the possibility that all of us are doing what we believe to be right based upon our beliefs, circumstances, and upbringing. As you work to accept and find compassion for yourself, it is most important that you choose also to give this gift to those around you.
I will do my best to accept and find compassion for myself and all around me. The Serenity Prayer sums it up beautifully:. Acceptance of what is, coupled with compassion and discerning what we can change and what we cannot, allows us to find the courage to be all that we can be, and to empower others in doing the same. I will do my best to choose what's best, and to open to divine guidance as I strive to accept and find compassion for myself and all around me. Through cultivating acceptance and compassion for both our bright inner essence and the dark layers which cloud that divine essence, we naturally open to expressing the final simple key — love and empowerment.
Loving and Empowering Me. Let me start with myself. I will do my best to love myself and to empower myself to be the best I can be today and every day of my life. By making this commitment to yourself, to your own personal growth, it becomes easier to love and empower those around you.
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Now let us move to others. But do you really want to give this gift to all other people? Can you really love and empower everyone around you? What if you really don't like someone? When you feel a dislike towards a person, remind yourself that it is usually the personality that you don't like — the mask or dark clouds blocking their deeper essence. You can recognize that beneath the mask, beneath those dark clouds in everyone is a shining divine essence, no matter how hidden or obscured it may be. While acknowledging those parts you don't like, do your best to find love and support for the shining being hidden beneath all the clouds, beneath the mask or personality that you don't like.
You can choose to love and empower the divine spark within all.
I will love and empower all to be the best that we can be. Negative Judgment.
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A common distraction from the intention to love and empower is negative judgment. No matter how negative a person's actions or behavior might be, judging someone to be bad as a person does not empower or inspire anyone to be a better person. When you find yourself feeling negative judgment, first acknowledge and have compassion for the part of you that wants to judge — the part that wants to be right and better than others.
Remind yourself that we all have our faults and weaknesses. Do your best to understand and learn from your judgment. Then let it go. Open to finding first acceptance, and then compassion and love both for you and for the person you judged. Choose to let your last thought always be that of love.
In doing this, you can powerfully transform judgment into love and empowerment. What if you see someone doing something that is clearly wrong or that causes harm? In this case, you can be firm and take whatever action you feel is best to stop harm. Enforcing a serious consequence with someone who has acted out of extreme self-interest at the expense of others may be the most loving, empowering action you can take. Yet even as you take firm action, see if you can find compassion for what brought the person to do this.
Open to seeing their inner clouds. Then choose to look beyond those clouds, beyond the inner turmoil that causes people to do harm. In this way, you can act from a place of love and support for their deeper essence, even while firmly stopping a person from doing wrong or causing harm. Through choosing to see beneath all of the pain, suffering, and hatred, and to recognize and connect with the divine essence within even those who would do us harm, not only do we heal the world, we heal ourselves. Imagine for a moment a world where all people truly did their best to love and empower each other.
Imagine if a significant number of the people on this planet truly did their best to live by these simple keys to life or similar ideals.