Miracles News

January-March, 2019

Seeing Beyond Appearanes in the Pause

by Rev. Mary Gerard Lenihan, O.M.C.

How often do you judge someone by their appearance? Something happened today that truly woke me up to how much I size people up or down depending on their appearance. I had no doubt I do this, but today I realized how unhelpful this is because it prevents me from seeing others for who they truly are beyond appearances. Our natural human tendency is to judge one another. We do so first as a survival instinct, then as part of a decision of whether to connect with someone based on if one is attracted to or repelled by someone’s appearance. All this is happening quite beneath the surface of our conscious awareness.

When is the last time you had a realization that a perception you were carrying around was unhelpful, incorrect or just plain narrow-minded?

Today, I had a sudden change of mind; I must have Practiced the Pause — all The 4 Decisions – within an instant! Just goes to show how quickly we can have a change of mind; in an instant we can move from an unhelpful state to a helpful state.

Here is what happened. I was getting out of my car and saw a man walking towards my car and he appeared to be disheveled, had a blank stare facial expression and was poking along. I immediately sized him down, even experienced a moment of fear and started walking in the other direction. I didn’t really see him. That is, I didn’t really see his actual physical appearance and I didn’t really see him beyond his physical appearance. I was blinded by my judgment of what I perceived was his appearance.

In a flash I must have had a whole string of negative judgments pile up in my mind, but then I instantaneously, without effort, must have practiced The 4 Decisions > Pause, Step Back, Step Aside and Let Inspiration Guide.

I got an inner nudge from what I call my Helpful Self, who is my True Self, to turn around and look at that man again.

I followed the guidance of my True Self, turned around and he was not at all the man I thought I saw! Firstly, he was not disheveled, rather he was dressed in a basic shirt and pants and was wearing this orange vest because he worked in the grocery store and was in the parking lot gathering grocery carts!!!

In a flash I saw how if he was the same man wearing a suit and tie, I wouldn’t have sized him down, rather I most likely would have sized him up. Yet, he would have been the same man no matter how he was dressed. He would have been the same man no matter what his way of walking.

So, suddenly I saw what I had not seen. Had I seen this man through the eyes of my Helpful Self, I would have seen a different man – I would have seen his Helpful Self, his True Self. Sound too far-fetched?

Well, I am going to take it further. How many times a day do we not see someone? The other day I was giving Pause cards and cash to a homeless young girl on the street corner. I looked at her — her face, in her eyes, and though I am not a mother, I felt as if she could have been my daughter. I unexpectedly said to her when extending my hand, “Take care sweetheart.” Through our Helpful Self we recognize our connection to one another. Who do you see? 

The Pause and the Swamp Monster

Have you ever wondered what your life would have been like had things gone differently?

I dare say almost everyone has pondered such a thought. Some of us have more than pondered; we may have thought, “If only my mother …” “If only my father …” “If I would have just done this instead of that …” A thousand “ifs,” a thousand wasted moments!

Are you willing to consider that everything that occurred in your past can be put to good use for your life right now? I am, though I admit it has taken me decades to move from the pain of certain life circumstances to seeing that what seemed to be a bad break or misfortune in my past, can be a wealth of help to myself and others right now. How so?

PAUSE. It’s an adventure to apply The Pause Practice during activities of daily living because it can generate insightful wisdom that can change one’s mind from dispirited to inspired – ALL IN ONE PAUSE.

While Moving in The Pause, an exercise practice, I suddenly experience a complete change of mind as related to the experiences of my past.

My Helpful Self — remember this is one’s True Self — encourages me to make a list all my life experiences that I am seeing as unfortunate, bad luck, poor choices, ill-fated decisions, what myself or someone else could have done differently etc. My Helpful Self directs me to look at the wealth of experiences, relationships, communications, feelings, thoughts, decisions, choices and actions I have had in my life. I may perceive them as negative, unhelpful, or a “What was I thinking?” moment.

In the pause my True Self shows me that because of ALL my life experiences, I am now better equipped to help others WHEN, and this is an essential WHEN, I am willing to move on from wishing things had been different, holding grudges, comparing my life to others, blaming someone, complaining and/or entertaining doubt.

In this ONE PAUSE CHANGE OF MIND, I see myself a swamp monster, crawling out of the swamp of days gone by, the hand of my Helpful Self taking my hand and pulling me out.

Now, I am free to truly help someone else out of their swamp! But if I wade in the past taking on a role of SWAMP MONSTER, well then, I’ll be needing new swamp boots to keep this charade up! They are expensive, costing us unjoyful years.

In a simple pause, you can see yourself differently, without the weight of the past which can cause fear of the future. Anyone can let their Helpful Self change their perceptions about their past and allow new perceptions. Anyone can become a new person by letting the Inspiration of one’s Helpful Self use what seem like detrimental experiences in their past, as sources of wisdom instead of marks of unworthiness. Your Helpful Self is the strength that will help pull other swamp monsters out of their past swamps! When one is willing to crawl out!

Rev. Mary Gerard Lenihan is a Pathways of Light minister living in St. Louis, Missouri. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Website: http://www.PauseForInspiration.org  The Pause is expanding — There are now these 4 Decisions pocket-sized cards: Kids Can Pause, Parents Can Pause, Teachers Can Pause. There also is a new book, “Kids can Pause for Help …and Parents too!  Get to Know Your Helpful Self.”

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