Right with Yourself

My youngest son made an interesting observation when I put him to bed last night. He said, “You know there is nothing better than going to bed feeling that you were right with yourself all day.” He then went on to enumerate the many things he had handled well, and highlighted those which he handled well that normally get the better of him. 

Then he asked me if I felt right with myself and I had a similar feeling to his. It was a great day overall and “yes,” I answered, “I felt right with myself.” 

It’s wonderful to go to bed at night knowing that those who love you love you for who you are, and not for who they want you to be. It’s wonderful to consider the day and realize that you kept your integrity, refined your character, and helped others to be better people. Righteousness is gratifying. 

What will you need to do today to be able to rest your head on your pillow tonight and say, “That’s a great question, William. Yes, I was right with myself today”?

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snowflakes, a haiku by Gregg Hake

snowflakes floating down

whisper clouds’ deepest secrets

to the earth below 

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One of the hardest realities to come to terms with when you dedicate your life to truth is that anger, jealousy, and resentment never change the hearts of others, they only change yours. The accommodation of these spirits, however rationalized, is always destructive.

This reality points to the reason why judgment is so devastating to those who judge; judgment is fundamentally self-destructive. Truth has been elusive to man because he feels his own judgment supersedes the working of truth.

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Focus, or single-mindedness, is the state of being in which body, mind, and heart are aligned in relation to a central pattern of spirit. That spirit might be blessing, cursing, or anything in between. Fidelity affords focus.

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“Calm”, a poem by Gregg Hake

Calm before a stormy night
Calm before the day’s first light
Calm within and so without
Calm beyond shadow of doubt
Naught but through a stilly heart
Wisdom doth Her soul impart

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Bullying is a despicable form of interaction reserved unto cowards, liars, and thieves. Bullies feast on the dignity and vulnerability of others while self-righteously justifying their actions to themselves and to those within their sphere of influence.

If you’ve ever been in the presence of a bully who is trying to gain something from you or another through denigration, you know that it is a most unsettling experience. I’ve had experiences in my life, for example, where a so-called friend was trying to dissuade me from my faith in the dignity and honor of a mutual acquaintance. In some cases the intentions were pure, where there was a concern that I had been blind to the true factors, but in digging a little further I discovered that in most cases selfish intent or prejudice were clouding the picture.

As such I’ve made it a policy in my life not to agree to any such denigration without a careful examination of the factors. I would be the first to admit that my perspective is limited, however, I would never discard or dismiss my own observations and experiences in the matter. My central concern is always with what is true and right in those around me and I’ve learned over the years that those who spend their time smearing the reputations of others typically have either low self-esteem, something to hide, or a personal axe to grind.

Such people are better off avoided, but occasionally you have to confront them directly. Sometimes – and this in my view should be the rare occasion – you have to walk reverently into the proverbial temple and overturn the tables of profiteers who trade on human dignity. You need not play by a bully’s rules rules or sink to his level by employing his tactics, but sometimes for the sake of your own dignity you have to cry foul and call a bully a bully in order to end the cycle of abuse.

The world is not always a kind place and yes, people act abominably on occasion. That said, I firmly believe that you are never honored by dishonoring another. You are never made taller by reducing the stature of another in the eyes of those around you. You cannot make yourself look better by making another look worse. To do so – or to agree with those who do so disingenuously – is to deny the source of your own dignity.

If you’ve made it this far in my post, then you know that you’re better than that. Whether you’ve assumed the role of the bully, the enabler, or the helpless victim, you have another level of responsibility to hold if you are honor the truth of love. So get to it!

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