By Maryann Patalano, New Thought Leader, Licensed RScP
There is a mistaken belief among many in the spiritual community that to be “good,” “spiritual,” or “holy,” one must hold their hands together in steadfast prayer and accept all people into their lives. However, such is not the case. Let me explain.
The definition of accept is: “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered; agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.” As such, do you believe that a spiritual person is required to consent to the threats, heartache or abuse that another offers them? Would you consider becoming involved in a compromising situation or an unfulfilling relationship – all in the name of acceptance? Should a spiritual person be required to “be in agreement” with the viewpoints of all others? Of course not. Only you can decide for yourself if you agree or disagree with a person or situation. The only form of acceptance that is always valid in any situation is the agreement that all others are emanations of spirit – love in form. And that they have a right to make their own decisions, as do you. The classic saying “live and let live” comes to mind.
If, for your own well-being, you find that you must place distance between yourself and someone else, you can still extend compassion, love and understanding to them, but from a safe place, literally and figuratively.
While it is true that spiritual etiquette dictates that we must RECOGNIZE every individual as a loved emanation of Spirit this does not mean it is wise to maintain a relationship with someone who continuallybehaves in a selfish, destructive, spiteful or harmful manner towards you. Rather it is spiritually sound, as an emanation of Spirit yourself, to be intolerant of objectionable behaviors or attitudes from others in your life. You have permission to reject negativity. It’s okay to make a firm decision that you will maintain only loving, fulfilling and reciprocal relationships. Believe it or not, you have the right to pick and choose your friends… and even your family! The decision is yours.
Too often we believe it’s “not nice” to sever ties with friends, family or co-workers who have displayed habitual and willful negative actions towards us, or towards the world at-large. I am not referring to honest, good-hearted individuals who may occasionally fall victim to a misunderstanding, a mistake, or an occasional bad mood. Understandably and compassionately, it is wise to recognize that no one behaves perfectly all of the time. However, when referring to the chronically destructive, maligning or abusive types, the rules change.
Unfortunately, many do not understand that spiritual acceptance, forgiveness and release (space/distance/removal) are effective protocols when confronted with certain types of individuals. There is no sound reason to remain in harm’s way. Unfortunately, the term “spiritual” is often mistaken for the term “doormat.” Nothing could be more inaccurate. Many individuals lack the courage to take decisive action with regard to their life and surroundings. There are likely many self-deluding reasons why a person would continue to place themselves in harm’s way by maintaining an unhealthy or harmful relationship. However, I suspect in many instances it is because they don’t want to be labelled as mean or uncaring. Perhaps they have been conditioned to believe that martyrdom, in any fashion, is an admirable state with respect to God. The classic “unworthiness syndrome” may also be the culprit. However, common sense dictates that God would never require, request or encourage physical or mental pain as proof of devotion/love in exchange for favor or righteousness. To believe such things, is the epitome of foolishness. Rather, it is admirable to be decisive and claim your happiness.
An integral part of acceptance of others is to realize that it is not your responsibility to change anyone. Only an individual can change themselves. As a person living a spiritual life, you can consciously BLESS destructive people. This simply means to recognize that they are spiritual beings; the divine spark is in and around them. However, that should be the limit of your activity towards them if their presence harms you in any way – physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
Another practical action you can take is to examine the contents of your subconscious programing to identify any demeaning, demoralizing or detrimental beliefs you may harbor towards yourself or others. Perhaps you have attracted someone who is reflecting (like a mirror) the contents of your belief system back at you. If so, you can bless the offending individual again – and become thankful to them for bringing these beliefs to your attention! This is not a time to blame or bash yourself; that would only serve to attract more pain into your experience. Rather it offers you a superb opportunity to recognize negative thought patterns that exist in your subconscious. This recognition precedes change. You can now choose to remove the old, negative beliefs and replace them with affirmative ones.
I urge you to accept the concept that it’s OKAY to be a selfish authority over your own being. You should absolutely make every effort to preserve and nourish your physical, mental and spiritual health. It is wise to be selfish enough to demand respectful, caring and loving relationships for yourself. If you don’t – then who will?!
You are a divine emanation of Spirit, which is the source of all things. You are an on-purpose being who deserves to be happy. Doormats we are not! The word “selfish” gets a bad rap. The only thing that could possibly be bad about being selfish would be if it brings harm to yourself or others. If you take care to love and honor yourself, then it will certainly be within your rights to demand the same from others who wish to establish and maintain a relationship with you. Simple.
AND SO IT IS!
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