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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pockets in Our Hearts

I remember when I was in my teens having a hard time not comparing myself to everyone else.  That seems to be part of the problem with one of my children.  Tonight it became apparent that this couldn't go on any longer.  Enter Mom, the motivational speaker.....

We discussed that each person who comes to earth comes with their own package and their own path.  We talked about the paths intersecting at times when we meet and interact with others.

We talked about how it's not fair to compare yourself to anyone else because you're just you and that person's just that person.  Peas don't become carrots--a carrot's always a carrot and a pea is always a pea.  You're really nothing like each other except for the fact that you're both children of God, so in that respect, you need to be kind and respectful to each other.  So, comparing's kind of dumb and pointless.

I talked about a lesson I learned while in Japan.  Brother Asano told us that we needed to say three things to everyone we met each day.  We were to say, "Konnichi wa" (Hello); "Otsukaresama desu" (difficult to translate, but something like you're a tireless worker, or something like that); and "Arigatou" (Thank you).  These are polite, encouraging words used to recognize others' existence.

On the final day, Brother Asano shared why we were supposed to say these things.  He said, "You never know when you're going to need the other person."  I think he knew very much what he was talking about considering the changes his life had been through and all the people he'd needed.  In other words, Brother Asano was telling us "don't burn bridges."

The child didn't quite get what that meant, so we talked about getting from one place to another in this life and sometimes you have to take a bridge to get to the next place, and sometimes you can't get there alone; you have to rely on the help of others to get there, but if you're jealous of or hating on everybody around you, you will have no one to help you in life.

This child's really been struggling to be nice to other people, so I knew from this conversation that we couldn't just walk away saying, "Aw.  Now wasn't that a nice little talk."  Something had to change. 

I shared my challenge with my cupboards, drawers and closets in this house and the need I have to clean them out and organize them.  I shared that, for that child, a heart needs to be cleaned out at times.

I asked the child to help me out and go around and choose six places in the house that needed to be cleaned out and take photos of them for me.  I have no idea what I'll be cleaning out this week until I download those pics.  That'll be in the next post.  Could be interesting.  I'm glad that we're both helping each other out with our challenges right now.

Then we discussed that when we meet someone it's like we create a pocket in our heart for that person.  How we feel about that person is immediately placed in that pocket as either mud or a star.  I asked this child to choose three of the biggest "mud" people and three other random people and write them down.  The child is to write a note to each of the six people this week and keep rotating people into the list, so when one note is written to a "mud" person, another "mud" person must take the place on the list until there are no mud people left.

I shared that, a lot like cleaning out the spaces of my house, if I were to only spend time on the worst areas, I would soon become discouraged.  Thus the reason for choosing three non-mudders.  The purpose of the notes are to provide forgiveness for whoever it might be and to share sincere positive feelings for that person.  We also talked about the fact that when we fail to forgive, it's "like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."  I LOVE this quote; it's so true.  I'm hoping that through this exercise, this child will learn to appreciate others and be quicker to forgive.

We talked about getting the hardest one done first and that if it's particularly hard to write one, the child should pray first to know just what to say.

Tonight's note is written.   It was the hardest.  It'll be interesting to see how it is received.

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

I really enjoyed reading your thoughts today. You presented a great teaching moment and I loved all that you wrote about. I would be interested in knowing how the note's were received.
Blessings to you for a great read!

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