I found a saved text draft on my phone the other morning. I knew it was there, but hadn't looked at it for a long time. I do that... write texts and just save them in drafts when it's something I want to remember but don't have a pen or paper on me at the time.
Anyway, this is from Marianne Williamson. I think it was from an interview I saw months ago. And it may not be an exact quote, but this is what I wrote:
"If you're holding a grievance or bitterness against anyone, your heart isn't open to receiving love and miracles. You have to first let go, bless the other person, and live in love. Only then will love come to you."
According to Marianne, we can't be bitter or hold a grudge or grievance against anyone if we want to truly experience love and have love come into our lives. Man, that's tough!
I get it though. If we hold a grievance in our hearts, it's like a heavy rock blocking our love from shining, while also taking up space where other love may reside.
It's not like we won't experience any love whatsoever when we have that grievance inside us... but it will block our potential for love... both in giving and receiving. Releasing grievances... dropping those heavy stones... creates space in our hearts and expands our potential for greater love.
It's also the whole "like attracts like" concept. When we carry around a heavy grievance stone, whether we're consciously acting on that grievance or not, it's there. And it will attract more of that to us.
When I thought on this topic this morning I immediately was reminded of my own grievance towards my ex-boyfriend's ex-wife. Boy, I sure carried a heavy grievance stone there! And consequently, I see how it blocked the love between my boyfriend and me, as well as just in my life in general.
The goal is to be as open and loving as possible. To act IN love in everything we do, speak from love, treat others and even think about others in love. Everyone. Not just the people we like or the people we're comfortable with. Even the "uncomfortable" people and even the people we may dislike initially.
I say "initially," because it's really our ego disliking something about them, not our Spirit. So we CAN train our minds to be more loving and get out of that ego frame of mind that judges and dislikes.
I'm thinking of another example that fits this whole grievance = less love concept. I wrote about it in a comment on The Daily Love recently, so it's fresh in my mind. I didn't originally think about it when I started this blog post, but now that I'm writing and rereading what I wrote, I see that it does fit.
I've been holding a grievance for about 30 years that has blocked me from having more love in the form of friendship.
I may have blogged about this before, so if you've heard my story, forgive me for repeating it.
When I was six years old, I was at a sleep-over at my best friend's house. There were about 6-8 little girls, all of us first graders. Our sleeping bags were spread around my friend's living room.
I thought it would be funny to pretend to be asleep. So I did, and somehow I convinced the other girls that I actually had fallen asleep. I remember them poking me and trying to tickle me to see if I really was asleep, and I stayed perfectly still, even my face.
Once they determined that I must be asleep, they did what any girls would do. They started to talk about me. I heard several girls say they "didn't really like me," including my best friend whose house we were at.
Upon hearing this, I was so embarrassed, I continued to pretend to be asleep instead of "waking up" and telling them I heard everything, and that I was just playing a trick on them. Eventually I suppose I really did drift off to sleep. I don't remember much else about the night.
That night has always stuck in my memory. To me, it's "evidence" that people don't "really like me." Even the people who I think are my friends. Talk about a negative, limiting belief!
There was one girl at the slumber party who did stand up for me. One girl who didn't go along with the crowd, and said that she did like me and thought I was nice. I remember that too.
I could have taken so many different lessons from that night.
- There are people who will stand up for you, despite what everyone else is saying.
- Girls can be catty and will sometimes go along with a line of thought that one person starts, whether they truly agree with it or not.
- I do have true friends, who like me no matter what. (So stick with those friends, not the ones who are nice to your face, but will stab you in the back.)
I have tried to "work through" my feelings and beliefs tied to that one night on a few occasions. I know I've made progress, but it still haunts me. Still affects me. That inner belief that "people don't really like me" is hard to shake! After all, I've been holding on to it for 30 years!
I have gone through exercises of forgiveness. Forgiving the girls at the party that night, those little six-year-olds, for saying hurtful things. I know the stuff they said speaks more to their character, even as little kids, than it does to mine or what people really think about me.
I have done positive affirmations that people do like me and value me as a friend.
And now I am considering seeing a life coach myself, or someone to help me work through it more than I've been able to on my own.
We all have grievances. They can build up over the course of our lives. They can be towards romantic partners, family members, friends, acquaintenances, co-workers, and even strangers.
It is essential we learn to let those grievances go in order to grow and open up space for more love in our lives. Some grievances are easier to let go of than others.
I'm still working on letting go of some of mine, namely the one towards my "friends" in first grade. I know it's blocking me from receiving more love. Especially in the form of friends. I've said for years that I don't want a bunch of friends. That I like doing stuff on my own. And I do. But I wonder how much of that has been shaped by that slumber party experience. I wonder how different I'd be if that night never happened, or I never pretended to be asleep.
Everything happens for a reason. I genuinely like the person I am today. But I do still carry a fear-based belief that people don't really like me. Is this holding me back in other areas of my life? Keeping me from greater success in areas besides the number of friends I have? Quite possibly.
So for that reason, if none other, I think it's time to dump this old belief for good.
Time to get to work!
* Additional Note... I was "done" writing this blog, and I was looking for images on Google to put into it. That's when a flash of realization hit me.
I'm not so upset with or disappointed in my "friends" from first grade who I thought liked me, but then talked bad about me when they thought I couldn't hear them, as I am with myself for not standing up for myself. This is my theme in life. My ultimate lesson. It's showed up again and again in different ways.
A situation arises, I hold my thoughts and feelings inside for the "betterment" of those around me, or simply to save face... and then I crumble later. I let the negative situation, that is not me, affect me. I let it inside. I don't stand up for myself often enough. I don't speak out for myself often enough.
Ah yes, that is my lesson. I feel the truth of it as I type this.
What other people think of me is none of my business. I'm sure you've all heard that saying. All any of us can do it live our lives and be someone we're proud to be. The "right" people will like us.
I've been living in fear far too long. I've been letting the catty comments of six-year-olds affect how I view the world!
It's high time I let go of that fear... that fear that "people don't really like me" and know that I like me.
Live in love.
Follow your heart.
Laugh and smile as much as you can.
Find joy and beauty everywhere.
Like yourself and others will like you too.
I know my journey in self-love and living in love in general isn't over. I know that my fear that other people don't like me isn't necessarily gone for good. But this is a start. A turning point. Today is a new day! The first day of the rest of my life!
**Another lesson I'm getting as I reread this blog before posting it is this (man, this stuff just keeps coming up... it's great!):
Sometimes we believe what other people tell us, even about ourselves, more than we believe our own inner Self. Stop that! (I'm talking to myself here as loudly as I'm talking to any of you.) I see that I believed the little girls' words about me... that I wasn't likable... more than I believed what I knew inside... that I am highly likable, lovable, and valuable. I let their judgments and criticisms have more importance than my own Spirit and true nature.
That's the beauty of going within. Of tuning into your Spirit. It's always there. All you have to do is tune in. And there you will find all the love you seek. All the love and acceptance you feel you don't or didn't get from others. It's all inside you!
What other people do, say, and think about you really doesn't matter. Because you have all the love you need and you get to carry it around with you all the time.