Miracle 19 is all about relationships, and the complications of knowing what is right and what is wrong. This is the lesson, and miracle, of a lifetime, that never ends. The opportunities to learn, love and forgive are endless. Here is my answer, to “do the right thing.”
Relationships are difficult. They test our very boundaries of sanity at times. They can be soul-filled streams of delight, and sometimes the darkest nightmares of separation and uncertainty. The strands that hold us together can be quite thin, until we ask what it is that will make things better, or what we need to “do the right thing.”
One thing the miracle has taught me is my immediate answer is not always the right one.
I can think of several circumstances where my guilty conscience, or need to please, or need to entertain myself without concern for others, took the place of doing the more difficult but right thing.
For example, at times I may have trouble giving more than I want to in the moment – or in a different way than I am used to. I start off hesitant, judgmental, fearful that the demand is too great. That somehow I won’t be able to. My crabby girl sets in, or resentful crazy person, or worse, “hopeless one” who thinks it will never work. Why not give up?
And yet, when I ask my internal teacher what to do, the answer comes:
“Do what you can when you can - no more, but also, no less.”
And so, a simple call to say hello, or to help out a friend in need, or agreeing to try something new, give it another chance, transforms me from gloomy and irrational to cheerful and relieved…
A wave of love soars through me, and our conversation ends in a laugh and the reward of a grateful “Bless you”.
It is more difficult when times change, or values separate, or the need to do go in a new direction threatens a familiar relationship or pattern or way. It can be terrifying to contemplate the loss of a loved one, or an institution, or familial bond. I know when I need to take ownership of who I really am and be authentic. I can try and try, but I cannot pretend.
What to do in these awkward and difficult times? As difficult as it is, and as much as I want to avoid or retreat, I have found the miracle to be this:
(DO THE RIGHT THING)
To me, that means: Don’t hide, don’t pretend, don’t lie.
Just do the right thing.
I tell my loved one how I am feeling. Or cry my irrational tears until I have let it all out. I consider myself fortunate to have very good and understanding people in my life who can tolerate a lot of change and disruption. I made a pact with myself that I must be myself, even if I am mad, sad or uncertain.
I have to be who I am.
And if I can’t be myself, if my thoughts are not welcome, then I know the opposite is true – that retreat can be good. If I have been honest and done everything I can but still feel something is amiss, then sometimes change and accepting the truth is doing the right thing.
There is no simple answer.Each relationship is unique, and all are gifts to teach us who we are and what lessons we need to learn here.
My miracles have come in the form of many relationships. Some have been catalysts for awakenings, activators for change and growth to spur each other to new heights. Others have been there for comfort and grounding, like a gentle tether holding a giant hot air balloon, so I don’t completely drift off! Others still test my limits and challenge me to be myself, and to be patient and wise with others, to balance my needs with theirs, to say yes or no with strength and not sacrifice.
Each relationship, no matter what the outcome, is a potential miracle because it is a tool for transformation.
“Doing the right thing” is different in each one. Only I know when I’ve got it right. It is often feels like relief, warmth, delight. And sometimes it is sheer joy, grace and gratitude, a feeling of “Thank God, I didn’t give up.”
Until that moment, I don’t know. I struggle to protect myself. But when I let go, speak the truth and discover what it is I am really trying to say, I no longer fear the other can take that away.
Sometimes doing the right thing means loving myself, and not blaming them.
And when I’m in doubt, I take a time out. I put that person, or situation, on the alter of my mind. I pray a silent prayer of care and love, that the best thing be done for them and all concerned, and I release them into the light.
I see them as happy, smiling and at peace, and I smile an inner knowing that no matter what happens, all will be OK. I did the best I can.