This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of attending the wedding of a good friend who has been a part our lives for many years. Despite hundreds of miles of separation and years of not seeing each other, when it came time for him to celebrate his special day, we went out of our way to be there. While at the wedding, I could not only see, but I could feel the palpable levels of love in the room emanating from everyone in attendance. It was unlike any wedding I have ever attended, and I wish both my friend and his new spouse all the love and success in their future together.
Coming from a large family myself, I have attended my fair share of wedding celebrations, but none came close to this one in terms of the amount of love and acceptance I felt at this one. Unlike our friends, our families are the people we tend to be stuck with, whether they choose to love and accept us for who we are or not.
When I prepared my own guest list for my wedding over 20 years ago, I remember that the choices I made about who to invite and who not to invite were based primarily on which family members held the most influence within the extended family dynamic, and who would be the most offended by not being invited. Since the guest list was limited according to our wedding budget, the people we did not want to invite often took precedence over the ones we actually wanted to be there.
As I think back to my wedding day, it was not the most wonderful experience of my life. Yes, I got to marry the love of my life and after 23 years we are still going strong. However, we both agree that if we had to do it all again, we would have flown to Vegas and gotten married by an Elvis impersonator rather than go through the drama we endured on what was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives.
Why do we surround ourselves with people who challenge who we are and who fail to accept us? Worse, why do we invite people who question our spiritual choices or who we choose to love to the most special moments in our lives? Is there a way where we can eliminate the people in our lives who bring down our vibration, and instead, surround ourselves with only those people who lift us up?
SPIRIT informs us that the main purpose of our families is to provide us with experiences to inform the soul through the contrast of positive and negative energies. However, part of that experiential lesson is about “letting go of the old” (Chart 19). In other words, we learn about the contrast so that we can choose a more positive path, not embrace the negative. Therefore, if you have a friend or relative who judges or otherwise mistreats you, the lesson you are trying to learn may be to remove this type of person from your life!
Another aspect of letting go of the old is the acceptance that “mankind is blameless” (Chart 26). We choose to live this physical existence in order to experience the lessons of life and to seek enjoyment in its execution. If we choose to surround ourselves by people to belittle and cause us to stray from our highest destiny, we are choosing to not learn what we need to learn, and we are certainly not enjoying the experience! The ability to let go of the people who hurt us without judgement or blame is an extremely important part of this process.
We all want to learn and grow as spiritual beings, and for some of us, that means experiencing the contrast on a daily basis. Each day we get up, we go to work, and along the way, we meet people and situations that challenge our sense of self and the choices we made in our lives. However, we know we are getting better at actually learning our lessons when life becomes more effortless and fun and less of a daily chore.
Is your life a balanced mix of learning and fun? If not, try this exercise.
Step 1: Write down a list of the people in your life whom you have the most contact with on a daily basis. Draw a line under the name of the last person on the list and then write down the names of your friends and family members who you speak or interact with at least once every other month.
Step 2: Imagine that you were planning a happy celebration of some type. This could be a wedding, a coming out party, holiday dinner or just a friendly tabletop game night. Look at your list and place a checkmark next to the name of each person you would want to be there because you know that this person accepts you for who you are and loves you without condition.
Step 3: Now this is the hard part. Examine your list and make a conscious effort to spend more time with the people on your list with the checkmarks, and less time with the people without checkmarks. The reason why this can be hard is that often the people who make us feel the worst about ourselves are the people who are supposed to love us the most. These can be your parents, your current spouse, or even your own adult children. SPIRIT tells us to “replace worry” (Chart 19) when it comes to letting go of the people in your life who cannot love and accept you for whatever reason they choose not to do so. Remember that the people you choose to let go of in this lifetime have their own path to travel, and it is not your responsibility to help them if they choose to not be helped by you.
Step 4: Open your heart to everyone! Now that you have surrounded yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are, you are now free to do the same for everyone else you meet! You will be surprised by how many new friends the Universe will provide to you and the level of unconditional love that will surround you!
Thank You SPIRIT!