This is a post from my friend and partner Melissa Ann Michael who wanted to share a moment of clarity she experienced when the methods used by Mindful Accord, and the soon to be Masters Of The Mind Institute are implemented. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your story.
Today was a rude awakening. I started my day with conflicting emotions. My daughter was returning from a Summer visit with her father, and this left me both happy for her return, but at the same time, sad that some of my freedom was being taken away. This set the tone for my day and started the emotional rollercoaster ride. You see my daughter's father, and I have had an extremely strained relationship for the past ten years. It has been difficult for both of us, and its effect on our daughter has always been a concern for me. While struggling with these feelings, I was talking to Rich Decker who is my teacher, mentor, and partner about my conflicting emotions and the regret that I felt. He listened to me explain how this man had caused all of these problems for me. We have not been together for several years, but we must still interact with each other because of our daughter. I kept explaining to Rich what this person had done over the years and how difficult it had become. As I was ranting a bit, he would listen attentively then offer a response. “What is your role in this situation? Or in other words what was my part in the difficult interactions and resentments that have been building for years? My initial reaction was one of annoyance. How could he possibly know how I was feeling? He never had children, so how could he possibly understand. Much to my, surprise, he was ready, again with the response, “What was my role in this situation?” Sometimes, when you least expect it, you, get a life lesson. He then would ask “have I taken responsibility for my actions in this situation?” Followed again by, “What is your part?” How did my previous words and action lead to the current situation? It made me take a mindful moment and ask myself, am I even aware of those actions? Have I once considered that my actions are part of the reason why we are in the current situation we are in? Can I actually say that I am wrong? Can I tell the other person I am sorry? Will I be authentic in my apology?
Although I was not happy with the repeated questions, he eventually broke through. What I came to realize is that I needed to take a hard look at myself and see that I cannot solely put the blame on the other person. I need to understand that I played a part in the story. I have made mistakes along the way. I now have to take responsibility for them. Now clearly I can't go back to the past and correct them, but I can tell the other person that I have wronged them and that I am sorry, and let them know that I am working on improving myself daily. Another lesson learned from Rich is that I can't just focus on the wrongs that have been done to me. When I do this, I take myself out of the equation and remove the blame for my actions and behaviors. I need to focus on what I want. Which is a respectful relationship with the father of my daughter? I need to focus on what is best for our daughter and not on any past misgivings and misunderstandings. I need to be true to my authentic self. I need to strive to reach my full potential as a loving and kind woman.
Of course, at times the ego gets in the way for all of us, and we focus too much on the blame game. We need to rise above the ego, accept our part in the situation, and seek forgiveness. I need to stop revisiting the past, where the pain lives. Instead, I need to focus on the present. I need only use the past as a teaching tool. Of course, this is much easier said than done. You may fall seven times, but you get up eight.
Just to let you know my daughter's father and I had a long conversation, and I apologized for my past actions and asked how I can make this situation better. We have begun a new healthier and respectful chapter in all three of our lives.