I was speaking to someone recently in recovery about an issue I was struggling with, and she asked me of I ran my situation through The Four Absolutes. I had to think about what all four of those were, and then remembered they were honesty, unselfishness, purity and love. As I thought about what was sitting heavy on my heart I ran it through those four tests; was it true or false, how will it affect the other person, is it right or is it wrong, and is it ugly or is it beautiful? These four questions really stripped down the issue and got it to it’s core, many times we can muddle up the issue by adding feelings, expectations and past events to it and it becomes difficult to see what the next right thing is, or if what we’re feeling is valid or tainted from other things around us or our past. These four absolutes put things in perspective pretty quickly.
When I was living in the dark I never asked myself questions about how I felt. I thought how I felt was always justified and I never asked myself why I felt the way I did, I just felt it and then acted on it. But feelings aren’t facts, and when we’re not looking into what the source of our feelings are, and what may also be affecting those feelings, we can act on misdirected feelings, causing us to run off into dead-end directions that only lead to more frustration and isolation. Most of the time we don’t think about why we feel what we feel we just feel it and react to it, but sending those feelings through the filter of The Four Absolutes gives us perspective, and may stop us from moving in a direction that is not right or respectful to those around us, or, ourselves for that matter. Asking ourselves if something is true already stops us from heading off in the wrong direction, and then following that up with the consideration of how it will affect the other person prevents us from selfish motives, or lashing out before some thought, which leads us to is it right or wrong, we usually have a better perspective on this one if we’ve run our issue through the first two, and then is it ugly or beautiful, which is love, is it loving, this one usually stops many mistakes in their tracks. The trick is to not react before thinking it through, and these four absolutes give you a guideline and give you time to pause before racing off to prove your point.
Praciticing these principals is always a great way to question how we feel, but especially during this time when many people are feeling challenged in different areas it’s important to be compassionate, not only to others but to ourselves, and can slow down on the hair-triggered reactions that we may feel like taking and think them through. It is easy to add to the reactionary actions around us, but that only hurts us and the community as a whole. It’s important to look at the facts, from multiple sources, and think things through before jumping in with both feet. And, it’s important to think about how our actions and reactions will affect the issue as a whole. There is no better time to walk with grace and compassion, and sure, be passionate, but don’t let that passion get away from you to a point of feeling out of control, make sure to ask yourself, when you feel that passion rise, the four questions, is it true, is it right, is it selfish, is it loving? Then, move forward with care. SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you question your feelings are just jump right into a reaction? When you jump right in? Have you ever jumped in without questioning why you feel the way you do only to realize you may have jumped in too fast or have been misguided later? Explain. What could you have done differently? How can you prevent that from happening today? What usually tips you off and gets you running? So, knowing that, what kind of safety nets can you put up to slow you down in the future? It’s important to always look at things for what they are, not what they feel like, as our own perspective and expectations can distort our view. Take some time today to exhale and examine your feelings.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you