Sometimes there is concern expressed that we might actually mislead or make matters worse by looking for the gifts in every situation, especially when we're seeking the positives in painful relationships with those who may NOT have our best interest in mind. The concern is that seeking to find gratitude for such situations in our lives might mislead us into rationalizing and/or denying injustice and abuse when what we need to be doing is protecting ourselves.
Indeed there is a fine line for many in making the distinction between rationalizing as a way of denying danger as opposed to finding the gift in painful situations … so I appreciate the word of caution.
And I want to clarify for those of you who may have wondered similarly by first asking a couple of questions for you to consider?
Is it true that we cannot find or focus on the gifts we received in a painful situation without denying the possibility of it being a dangerous one for us?
Is it true that it is safe only to appreciate the relationships in our life with those whose intentions we trust are honorable?
A brief, but relevant, aside:
Do you know the story about the scorpion and the frog?
It is this:
The scorpion was drowning and begged the frog, who is not threatened by water, to give him a ride to dry land… but the frog refused, saying,”You will sting me if I help you!” “Oh no,” said the scorpion, “I would never hurt you, why, I would be so grateful to you for saving my life that we'd be best friends forever!”
Finally against the frogs better judgment, he consented to give the scorpion a ride on his back to dry land. Well, sure enough, as the scorpion slid off the frog's back onto dry land, he gave him the frog a killing sting.
The frog, in the throes of dying, cried out, “WHY did you sting me after I helped you? I risked my life for you and this is the thanks I get?!”
To which the scorpion replied, “It's simple … I did what I did because I am a scorpion, and that's what scorpions do!”
Now, regarding the story's relevance to the questions asked above:
The story reminds us that all of us, people and scorpions alike, do what we do because we believe what WE think. How “safe” or “dangerous” we are to ourselves and others is determined by our own belief system – it's our beliefs that determine our nature.
That means if someone believes they must hurt others to be safe or to prosper, they will treat them in hurtful, destructive ways .. i.e. they will be hurtful and abusive to those around them.
Does this mean we must withhold our love from them?
Might it be possible to understand that a person's misbehavior is not AT or TO us, but that they treat us the way they do simply because they believe their own distorted thoughts? How would knowing that affect the way I see them? Feel towards them? Treat them?
I have experienced that we can remain loving and kind to them without putting ourselves in danger to do it. Sort of like if Mr Frog had said, “I understand you are a scorpion and I know that means you will have to do what scorpions do, and I do not need to judge you for that, but, nor am I willing to endanger myself by giving you a ride on my back … not because I don't respect or care about you, but simply because my job is to love and take care of me.”
We can take care of ourselves, say no when we need to take care of ourselves, and STILL not need to attack or blame or feel victimized by the “scorpions” in our life – who, after all, are just being true to their own nature based on what they believe they must be and do to survive, just like the rest of us are doing too.
Here's what Reality teaches us:
There is not a single person in our life that is not there by design. There are no coincidences. And since Reality is ALWAYS working with us, for us, we can totally rely on knowing that the people in our life (both positive and negative) are there to bring us gifts – of insight, awareness, comparison, or in endless ways that are too many to count… It is up to us to reap the harvest – but if we are busy judging, blaming, defending ourselves from them, as if we made some kind of terrible mistake to have landed them in our life, we will not be able to harvest these gifts and growing opportunities.
It boils down to this:
We are energetic beings. What that means is that we automatically attract to us the people and situations that are a frequency match to our own belief-created frequency. If we have painful beliefs that say we are worthless, for instance, or that says people can't be trusted not to hurt us, then we will transmit an emotional frequency that will unfailingly attract to us the kind of person who will demonstrate or play out for us those unhappy beliefs. In other words, they will treat us in ways that prove us right!
When we begin to understand that there is no coincidence about who is in our life, when we come to see that the people and situations we have in our life are here as mirrors that reflect our own limiting, self-destructive thoughts and beliefs, then we can choose not to resist them, and we can instead start using our encounters with them as opportunities to clear and refine our own belief system.
THIS is when we come to appreciate the many ways they serve us, regardless of how they treat us! It does not mean we have to tolerate, minimize, deny, or justify abuse … it just means we do not have to turn them into enemies.
Accepting their gifts has nothing to do with denying their unkind nature, nor do we need to allow them to hurt us – it is our job to protect us, not theirs. After all, why would we, in being kind and loving to ourselves, allow anyone, including ourselves, to hurt us?
Accepting the gifts that come from dysfunctional relationship is to understand that we attract these people into our life, not because we are stupid, weak, or sick, but because, seeing our own unkind beliefs play out in a physical relationship with another is the way the world works with us to help us elevate our own consciousness.