Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I am not the Punisher anymore...

How to accept those people who rub you the wrong way.

Have you ever the read the verse: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye. You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Matthew 7:3-5

For years this verse was totally lost on me. I did not have understanding and I remember when I first started to grasp it. I had started attending Alanon meetings and went as many do~ to stop someone from abusing a substance. It only took one meeting for my focus to shift to the person in the mirror ~ ME. I had for many years clearly seen where others could change and should change. Acceptance to me was not about unconditional love...acceptance translated tolerance and approval. I was the judge and punisher, any other behavior for me was condoning and I would not~could not accept wrong behavior. When God lead me to Alanon I was ready to see the truth of my situation and I looked hard in the mirror. My God was gentle with me, He didn't crush me. He loved me. I saw I had been doing the best I knew how. But I had been doing it wrong. Why did it take so many years to see the person in the mirror? I only know that God promises when you seek after Him with all your heart you will find Him. He doesn't say when you will have your answers, but God knows our hearts.

Today when someone "messes up" and their "mess up" effects me~ I remember that verse and look at myself in the mirror. What is the plank in my eye? I can honestly say I am not perfect and I can accept that now. Sometimes I still want to slip into "The Punisher Suit", but it doesn't fit me anymore. I immediately feel uncomfortable and I know in short time I will be made extremely aware of the person in the mirror and her shortcomings. When I extend acceptance and unconditional love I am able to receive it myself.

Can you see clearly where others go wrong? Do you hear yourself saying "If they would just..." do this or that? When I start down that path I recognize where it leads me in the end. I become critical and judgemental. I am reminded of the prayer we ended each Alanon meeting with:

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

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