If you are like me and you open #Facebook, #Twitter or and other #SocialMedia site, You are inundated with #Quotes of affirmation, as well as seeing people complaining about personal, or social injustices that inflame their personal sense of being.
We are surrounded by incredible life coaches such Tony Robbins, Joel Osteen, Tim Ferriss, And the list goes on and on... We are starved for a steady drum beat of "you are amazing and should be happy!!!"
Even if you 'google' "what does the bible say about sadness?" You will receive back countless sites that give tons of affirming verses, that seems to indicate that sadness is bad, and that you shouldn't experience emotions such as sadness, regret, or remorse. One of the most popular blog post of 2016 was 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, which isn't bad but lacks clarity on dealing with our sadness... We long to not feel bad, we run as fast as we can from our sorrows.
Sp lets be honest for a second, we've just gone through one of the most ludicrous times in our American Calendar... A presidential #election! A time where it's all about divide and conquer, take no blame. Only seeking to put down others to elevate self. It happens on both sides of the Isle, both in government and the public. Everyone is the enemy unless they think like me!!! I mean come on, If I think something, it must be true. Don't challenge how I feel, or what makes me feel comfortable!
The Commentary on TV and social media was lets find someone to blame. Blame the administration, no blame the media, no blame the protestors, no it's not their fault blame the celebrities they follow, no blame the liberals that they listen too, no blame the conservatives that are looking to ruin our environment and steal our rights. Ouch!!!
All our top selling books are aimed at teaching you how to "feel better" about who you are. Don't feel bad or guilty about your prior mistakes, move on. You're a great person. Post something negative on Facebook and you won't have people message you privately asking how they can help you make changes in your life. They will publicly affirm you telling you not to feel bad. Of course, that is unless your feeling better clashes with their feeling good. Then you'll have a fight on your hands.
I'd like to suggest our pendulum has swung to far in the direction of self gratification.
I want to look at a few of the Major Religious and Philosophical Views in Life. What do they say? I am a Christian, however I believe that there is wisdom reflected in many views, thoughts and religions. Let's see what we find?
Are we supposed to run from our pain, discomfort, and mistakes, or are we supposed to acknowledge the mistakes, and allow the pain to bring us humility, and compassion. Can this pain we hate be the cause for a change in our hearts, and actions.
Although guilt is not seen as a very positive emotion, #repentance is seen as very important factor to improve our ways of thinking and behaving. The positive / transforming aspect of guilt can be that we admit our mistakes, ponder over them and motivate ourselves to not repeat negative actions - repentance.
A vow found in (Avatamsaka Sutra, Chapter 40) expresses this. "For all the evil deeds I have done in the past, Created by my body, speech and mind, From beginningless greed, hatred and delusion, I now know shame and repent them all."
Great quotes from Leaders and Followers:
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.- Budha
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. - Budha
Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, isolation, loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. -Dhali Lama
Vedas (like Scripture or Text)
11.229: More and more the heart is filled with remorse against misdeeds conducted, more and more the body gets purified of the misdeed. And hence by cleaning the heart one gets rid of sin.
11.230: By repenting in heart, one gets rid of sanskaars (habits or traditions) of sin in future. And when the person resolves that he shall not commit the mistake again, then he becomes pure again.
11.231: By thinking about Law of Karma that no one can escape, one should resolve to not commit sin again. And emphatically conduct noble deeds.
Another example of a repentant call for change. "O Supreme, relieve us of our sins. We resolve to improve and not repeat them. With this resolve, I am now at peace, a free person who has conquered all guilts and all vices. I thank you O Lord, and resolve to follow your footsteps alone henceforth. May peace be everywhere." (Yajurveda Ch 20)
Great Quotes From Leaders and Followers:
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Mahatma Ghandi
Namaste meaning : My soul honors your soul. I honor the place in you where the entire Universe resides. I honor the light, love, truth, beauty and peace within you, because it is also within me. In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one
Christianity / Catholicism / Judaism (Bible)
One of the central premise of the Bible is that Man's heart is deceptive and when followed leads to folly. Therefore we need to realize that God is loving and desires abundance and beauty for us. We must turn from our wicked ways to receive His Blessing. He uses His Word, His People, His Demonstrations or Grace and Mercy and Even Pain to produce change and to get our attention that we might learn from Him (My Commentary)
Hebrews 12:11–13 (HCSB)
11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed instead.
Proverbs 6:23 (HCSB) 23 For a command is a lamp, teaching is a light, and corrective discipline is the way to life.
Psalm 32:3–5 (HCSB) 3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You took away the guilt of my sin. Selah
I could list off easily 100 verses that show pain, hurt, and discomfort. Aren't something we are to run from buts we are to stop and examine a need for change we are to look at our hearts and allow them to be changed.
Great Quotes from leaders and followers:
"Life changing repentance begins where blame shifting ends". - Tim Keller
"Now repentance is no fun at all. It is something much harder than merely eating humble pie. It means unlearning all the self-conceit and self-will that we have been training ourselves into for thousands of years. It means undergoing a kind of death". - CS Lewis
"The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man's strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG" - Jim Anderson
Tawbah Nasuh (genuine repentance) means a pure, sincere repentance that perfectly reforms and improves the one who feels it. One who feels such a sincere, heartfelt, and true remorse for the sin committed seeks to abandon it, thereby setting a good example for others. The Quran points to this when it mentions true repentance: "O you who believe! Turn to God in true, sincere repentance."(At-Tahrim: 8).
Here is a moving prayer by Imam Ash-Shafi; "To You, the Creator, I raise my longing, Though I am a sinner and a wrongdoer. When it becomes black before my eyes, I seek refuge in You and place my trust and hope. When the heaps of my sins are compared to Your Grace. Your Grace is greater and covers all the globe."
Great Quotes by Leaders and Followers
"I have not heard words more profitable to Satan, nor more ugly and foolish, than these two words which are frequently uttered by his followers. The first is excusing one’s wrongdoing by claiming that someone else committed the same wrong before him. The second is excusing one’s wrongdoing by saying that he already committed another wrong. These two words have become easy excuses to commit evil, and reasons to engage in wrongdoing without feeling regret".— Ibn Hazm
There is a powerful and amazing thing about tawbah (repentance) and turning back to Allah (swt). We are told that it is a polish for the heart. What’s amazing about a polish is that it doesn’t just clean. It makes the object that is polished even shinier than it was before it got dirty. - Yasmin Mogahed
Humanism / Agnosticism / Atheism
Although Humanism / Agnosticism / Atheism don't believe there is a specific duty or accountability to forgive, or to examine your heart. Although there isn't a divine connection, oneness, or cohesiveness. The Idea of self examination, forgiveness and self correction is critical for self and societal betterment. Emotions like love and sorrow are not considered an issue of soul, yet the are considered a highly tuned evolutionary catalyst to maintain societal cohesiveness (My Commentary)
Great Quotes by Leaders and Followers:
"Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All of these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill... I can neither be harmed by any of them, for no man will involve me in wrong, nor can I be angry with my kinsman or hate him; for we have come into the world to work together..." Marcus Aurelius Stoic (agnostic)
"We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed! What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired?" -Seneca the Elder (Stoic Philosopher)
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself” – Tony Robbins
I could have gone on forever. However my hope is to show that the consensus of #Wisdom in both religious and secular thought is that pain, remorse, regret, are highly profitable as a teacher, a coach and a friend. It refines and illuminates and if we allow it develops compassion, empathy and the ability to forgive and restore . I don't want to suggest that we don't move on, or that we wallow in our misery. But that we would allow it to work within you. Pain, hurt and disappointment can be the cocoon that turns the caterpillar into a butterfly.
Our culture needs leaders that examine and admit their mistakes. We need people that are willing to remove the plank from our own eyes before we help our neighbor with their speck.
How we respond to others mistakes will move our hearts, and the hearts of others, either toward restoration or debilitation. If the woman caught in adultery has to be the one to remind us to set down our stones we are ruined. We are so quick to condemn those that interrupt our happiness, we are in danger of losing hearts capable of love.