Ever had a working situation with a person that you try to avoid? Perhaps you know of someone that just gets under your skin?
Recently I had a rather ‘interesting’ personality that I was blessed to have regular contact with. Now i’ll admit that at the time in no way shape or form feel did I feel that the encounters were blessings...
After a particular encounter I was left feeling hurt and yes, I shed a few tears. I was thought of in a negative way and was not given the benefit of the doubt, or a chance to explain myself. Afterwards I took time out and went Forest Gump style walking - “walk forest, walk!”...
Walking is healing, an activity that helps me to process emotions; a way I can pray and connect with God. When walking it struck me; where is the benefit of the doubt? I was not being given the benefit of the doubt, and if i’m really honest, I was not pulling my weight either.
From that point on if there was any encounter (with any person) and if challenged or confused I followed this recipe:
1. Give the benefit of the doubt (we all bleed red)
2. Give over to God (let go)
3. Give love (acceptance)
Following this recipe my interactions completely changed. Consciously and consistently giving the benefit of the doubt, trusting with whole heart that this person is coming from a place of goodness, this is my brother or my sister, a fellow human, there is no malice intended. We are all different, we interact in different ways, but we are all the same, we all bleed red, we all deserve dignity and acceptance.
To put this in a visual context:
Think about corrective insoles in shoes. These insoles ensure leg bones and joints align in a supportive manner as to stop pronation (stopping ankle and knee joints collapsing in). The insoles can be seen as that first thought, give the benefit of the doubt. Then give over to God, let go, you don't own the world and everyone's differences... breathe out, take your first step. Keep stepping, give love, give dignity for all... and run forest run!
Once your heart alignment is in place, your legs (soul) can function in a fluid, solid, supported fashion. If you choose to let it, this alignment, built on good soil will lead you in the direction of positive, loving, accepting movement - aka God.
The Sisters of St Joseph just hosted a two day conference (17-18 August) at Mary MacKillop Place called ‘A Running Jump’. We heard from many experts in the areas of social justice, religion and ethics. At 150 years we are mindful of where the heartbeat of the world is needed; we can see that Australia is undoubtedly completely out of alignment in regards to refugee and asylum seeker policies…
To apply this alignment recipe to the #letthemstay and #bringthemhere asylum seeker issue:
Think about refugees not as separate, but as fellow humans: Give the benefit of the doubt, compassion, understanding. Give over to God, letting go of fear, "do not be afraid". Give love, give dignity, give heartfelt compassion connection with the other.
I wonder what would happen to government policy if this alignment recipe was adopted? Would the obvious significance of human dignity finally come into focus?
I recently had a conversation with a young women about this. She said to me "but what if they come and end up on the benefit?"
Firstly, there are plenty of Australian citizens that are on the government benefit. Secondly, the percentage that are too lazy to work is very very small. The overwhelming majority desire employment, desiring dignity. If I focus on the negative viewpoint then fear is taking priority over my heart and mind alignment. I would rather give the benefit of the doubt and be wrong on the odd occasion than live a life based on fear.
God always gives unconditional love to us; I pray that we can always give love and the benefit of the doubt in return.
Try using this recipe and invite people into your life who are NOT like you. Let go of fear.
Happy alignment cooking. Give. 1. 2. 3...
My take away quote from Andrew West at the conference:
"The Sisters of St Joseph have been annoying powerful people for 150years. Long may it continue!"
It will indeed be my pleasure to oblige.
Jane Maisey rsj