Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Galen Pearl

Bless and Release

Sometimes we have a challenging encounter with someone. Sometimes we have an ongoing challenging relationship with someone. It’s hard to be at peace or to keep an open heart when someone hurts us, irritates us, enrages us, or frightens us. It’s easy to justify our judgment, our feelings, our reactions. After all, this other person said or did (fill in the blank).
We want the other person to see things our way, to admit that they are wrong, and thus of course, to acknowledge that we are right. We want them to behave differently, to be different, to be better, to be the way we want them to be – and thus to alleviate our own discomfort and distress. 
We want them to see us the way we want to be seen, and to love us the way we want to be loved. And we blame them when they don’t. 
Sound familiar? It does to me. I don’t have to look very far to find someone who occupies my thoughts as I try to go to sleep, thoughts that spin off stories of past wrongs and rehearsals of future engagement. It’s exhausting. And distracting. It clouds my view, and pulls me out of balanced alignment. It disturbs my peace.
I just read something that helps me break through my own stuckness. The Way of Mastery reminds us that we cannot control what someone else thinks or says or does. We know that and yet….
Instead, we are encouraged to bless the other person and “release them to have the perceptions that they would choose.” It’s like the catch and release method of fishing. We “catch” the person on the hook of our judgment, and then “release” them with a blessing. Or we could flip that around because we are really catching ourselves on the hook of our judgment and releasing ourselves through offering a blessing!
And if we need some guidance about how to offer that blessing, The Way of Mastery suggests, “I love you always, in the ways that you will allow, and to the depth that you will accept.” 
This blessing has given me some relief in a relationship that I have found difficult over many years. It breaks the mental thought cycle of frustration and hurt feelings, and creates space to breathe. I feel liberated from my own habitual discontent and futile efforts to make things different, which of course means making the other person different. Instead it makes me different. It restores peace, if not between us, at least within my own spirit.
Until I’m caught again. Bless and release. As many times as it takes.

8 thoughts on “Bless and Release”

  1. You've certainly given the concept of catch and release an entirely new meaning here, Galen. And though we can love without reservation, that love we show can only be accepted if the one on the receiving end is willing to accept it. Our country is so divided, and I see nothing in this new administration that wishes to change the status quo. I will still pray for my enemies, and pray that God redeems this nation to His glory.
    Blessings to you!

  2. I've been paying more attention to the language I use, Martha. For example, as soon as I label someone an enemy I have created separation and opposition. It is harder for me to find common ground or to have an open heart when I judge someone in this way. I wonder how much of our division is created or increased by the language we use. Just something to think about, especially when combined with political commentary. I try to stay away from politics on this site, but your comment is a good example of how we can, without meaning to, entrench the division you refer to when we label those with different political opinions as enemies and identify our own political views as aligned with God, while other views are not. Again, something to consider.

  3. Wow, I did love your thought son this one. I have needed to do a lot of deep breathing due to being very upset with an adult child. My husband reminded me they have their agency to choose and I have mine to choose how I react to it. I really liked your thoughts on Bless and release.
    Blessings and hugs for you!

  4. I hear you LeAnn. Once, when I was upset in a similar situation, I received this advice. "You know not their paths. It is not yours to know. Yours is to have faith. Only that." But not so easy sometimes, is it?!

  5. This is an interesting take on the possibility of letting go of challenging encounters with others who do not see the world as I do. Actually, I try to avoid being in close and prolonged contact with them, since I know it doesn't lead to either of us being happier or changed in any way. The only perspective I can change is my own, I know that. This book sounds like a good way to begin to interact with those who see the world "oppositely" from my view.

  6. Like you, DJan, I don't seek out the company of those I find challenging to be around. Keeping my heart open to others does not mean giving up good and healthy boundaries, especially if someone is abusive in any way. What I've found since discovering this concept of bless and release, is that it helps me release the thoughts spinning in my hamster wheel of judgment, anger, hurt feelings, frustration, and pain. It's a way of maintaining my inner alignment, of taking responsibility for changing our own perspective, as you pointed out. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Yes, that is hard. Like the saying goes, if you think you're enlightened, just go spend a few days with your family. Lots of opportunities to practice, CW!

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