"Instead of blaming people
you believe have hurt you,
give them credit for helping you.
They are not devils, but angels."
-- Alan Cohen
New: Audio version
[Classic post from 11-15-15]
It has been said that "the devil is in the details," but what is more true is that the devil is in the past. In the present there is wonder, and in the past can often be darkness and blame carried sometimes for a lifetime. Yet, it is never the event in the past that makes it dark, but how we choose to think of it that makes it so.
The past is over, but it can be brought into the present at will. That is what virtually every significant other relationship argument is about. It is about the past and bringing the past into the present.
That reminds me of yesterday's post about the stock market and how the fear of investors is aroused by a stock missing the analyst's expectation or projection. Isn't that often the way it is in a relationship where we who are to blame have missed the expectations or projections of the analyst [the one blaming]. Or it could be reversed. Someone hurt them in the past and now the expectation is fulfilled when you "hurt" them now. [See? It is happening again. I knew it was going to happen...] But, it isn't now, is it? It was then, and it is all thought. Nothing actually happens, it is simply how we or they choose to think about an event, person or situation.
As Alan Cohen so delightfully points out in A Course In Miracles Made Easy, If we can change our thinking about the past, we can then turn all those devils into angels. He says there are two ways to do that:
"First acknowledge things about them that you genuinely appreciate." Even if they were mean and awful and so hard to find any redeeming quality in them, surely there is one tiny, tiny thing that we can appreciate about them. Then, appreciate that one thing. Even if it seemed impossible, he says, "It's your movie. Change the script."
"The second devil-transformer. Consider: How has this person helped you to grow?" He says that "everyone helps us. Some help us by being kind, and some help us by acting unkind, so that we may choose kindness no matter what they do."
He adds this bit of wisdom: "You will never gain by blaming others for your loss. You will always gain by honoring others for their contribution. This reversal of perspective is the most helpful shift in perception you will ever achieve."
It has been said that we cannot change the past, but that is absolutely false. We can change the past, and I might even say, that we should change the past so that the past is something that we can look on with joy and find no fault whatsoever.
What Would An Argument Be Without The Past? It Wouldn't Be An Argument, Would It? It Would Be No-Thing.
Spread Some Joy Today--by turning all those devils into angels. There is joy in that.