I am writing this from a beautiful 14th century castle, high in the hills surrounding Assisi, Italy. Assisi is often referred to as the heart of the world. As I look out over the valley of olive trees and wheat fields, it’s easy to reflect upon the qualities of the heart that we’re encouraged to nurture and live by: compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Having this perspective, from a hill top, (which most of you at Sun Peaks have experienced from the top of Tod Mountain) is a wonderful metaphor for how we want to view our experience of life.
What is it that keeps us stuck in our thoughts of judgement and blame? Why does it so often seem difficult to forgive? Could it be that we are taking our thoughts about life and our judgements of others, too seriously and too personally?
If we could step back from our thoughts and see the bigger picture—view our judgements from the perspective of a hill top. We may begin to see the humanity in the other person and in ourselves.
We have talked before about our experience of life being the product of our thinking—the pictures that our thoughts paint. Could we then paint a different picture? Could we then let that thought of judgement or blame drift away, see life from a fresh point of view, less personally?
If, for instance, we are finding it difficult to forgive an old hurt, perhaps we should step back from the situation and see how we are perpetuating the memory of hurt, through our thoughts about it.
As we become more aware of the relationships between our thoughts, feelings and our experience, moment to moment, we can recognize that we’re the creators of our script. We can’t always control what happens, but we have a whole palette of choices about how we respond to what happens.
Once we recognize that we have the capacity to drop a thought and change our perspective, our natural default setting of compassion and understanding will kick in. We will see that we are the only ones suffering when we judge or blame. We will see too, that simply with a change of heart, we can free ourselves to live in a good feeling and in well being, more of the time.