They have blessed me over and over as I have learned to be more patient.
Stage One: You look back and see that you’ve made a mistake.
Stage Two: You notice you are making a mistake right while you are in the midst of it, but you can’t stop. The slide is greased.
Oh well! That’s the way it is, by golly!
Stage Three: You become aware that there is a small gap before you take an action. You now have a choice. You can repeat the stuff you always do, act in the old habitual way, or you can do something new.
In stage three we become less reactive and can bring our imagination into play, finding new responses to life.
Each of these stages takes a relatively long time to integrate.
Attitudes and behaviors repeat endlessly, until we make the effort to really look at them and the underlying supportive structures.
Then, voila! A shift happens!
At this moment we really do have a choice and we know it.
We step up and choose something new, something more satisfying. It may feel a little scary — but exciting at the same time.
For instance, in the first stage I had to become willing to look clearly at my mistakes, feeling the pain I had caused, and the embarrassment and shame that go with it.
This takes a heart that truly wants a better life.
I did lots of journaling, and still do, because we don’t really get over stages One and Two and automatically live in stage Three.
Since we are always learning we pretty much do stages One and Two over and over. But we learn to handle them more skillfully and with less angst.
We realize it’s natural progression to make mistakes and to learn from them.
What do we expect, that we are the all knowing God?
A little humility, please!
Stage Three arrives only after much soul searching and reflection.
Old habits don’t go away by wishing. But if we look them in the face, they become nervous and can’t keep acting in their covert manner.
When habits are brought into the light of awareness they begin to tremble and flutter. The old structures are breaking down.
The light of consciousness eventually dissolves them, for habits need unawareness (darkness) in order to successfully repeat themselves.
Mindfullness breaks up habits. If we are doing something consciously, it’s not a habit, for we have to think about what we’re doing.
We begin to see how conditioned we have been by the past. It was no one’s fault. It was just what took place and where we were, and the times we lived in. It’s a matter of conditioning and culture. It’s the past.
But Stage three is worth all this work. Here is where we become the peacemakers we were meant to be. It’s the future.
And through it all, the energy of Divine Love is breathing us no matter what our attitudes may be, or which stage of learning we find ourselves in.
We are all students in a great school — the school of life and love.
We are God’s beloved!