How to Deal with Accusation

The workplace can sometimes be a hotbed for accusation, gossip, and rumors to fly.  Here’s a way to engage and respond to accusation.  By the way, the primary title for the Evil One depicted in the Bible is “The Hasatan” which means accuser.  Accusing others is evil.

Source:  http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/217

  • Accept that there is no way you can erase what has happened. Even though the accusations may be unfair and untrue, the situation is real. You need to get out of denial about that in order to deal with it in the here and now.
  • Watch your catastrophic language. If you keep saying this is “horrible” and your life is “ruined,” you add to the stress. Put things in perspective. An innocent child in a burn unit of a hospital is horrible. Perhaps your situation isn’t as tragic. Perhaps your life isn’t ruined, but just damaged. Change your internal dialogue, and you will feel better.
  • Life Law #2: You Create Your Own Experience. The first person you’ve got to repair your reputation with is you. Are you a bad guy? Are you a bad citizen? Do you hurt people? Do you commit crimes? The answer if probably no. Stop feeling guilty and being angry with yourself. Own your mistakes, forgive yourself for them but don’t continue to beat yourself up. Life is not a success-only journey. Learn from your bad decisions and move on.
  • Ask yourself what you would like to see happen in order to clear your name. Is there anything that anyone — the authorities, your co-workers or someone in the community — can do that could ever make the situation better.
  • Begin with your inner circle. Start rebuilding your reputation with your family, close friends and neighbors. You make sure they know the truth. When your inner circle knows who you really are, they will go out into the world with the truth, and it will create a ripple effect. And if you are confronted with these false accusations again, you look the person in the eye, and you tell your side of the story. You don’t need to bring this up the rest of your life, but in your immediate circle and in this immediate time, you want to step up and tell them the truth.
    Understand that people might come forward to admit they were wrong. And they might not. It is up to you to put this behind you. Give yourself what you wish you could receive from others. You need to say to yourself, “I know I didn’t do this. And I will give myself what I wish the community, the authorities, etc., would give me.”
  • Life Law #8: You Teach People How to Treat You. If you walk into the world, and you’re hanging your head, and you kind of don’t want to look anybody in the eye, and you’re shameful, then people will treat you that way. You have to be your own best friend, and you have to decide who you are at the core. Begin the process of closure by not reacting to what you think people are saying about you. If you allow yourself to be intimidated, feel guilty or shrink away because of what people think, you are putting yourself in a prison.
    Don’t try to address every accusation. If you decide to start defending yourself, that will become your full-time job. If you answer every story, every piece of gossip, every allegation in your life, that’s all you will ever do. You will be completely consumed by this, and it will take over your life.
  • Stop reacting to the rumors. You give it legs by reacting to it. Don’t draw attention to yourself defending the rumor. You need to give yourself permission to just live your life. If there are people out there who think something about you that you don’t like, then those won’t be your friends. There will be other people who will like and respect you for who you are, and they will be your friends.
  • Stand up for yourself and say, “I’m taking my power back. I’m not going to give them the power to pick my feelings. They’re wrong, and I can look myself in the mirror knowing the truth.” You have to decide that you believe in who you are, what you stand for, and what you do, and you just need to go forth and do it. You need to walk forward from the situation. Who you are and what you do, that will win out in time.
  • Know that it’s normal to feel a twinge of guilt even if you’re completely innocent. We always hear about guilt by association. But there is also guilt by accusation. People hear something negative and tend to believe it. If you accuse a person unfairly, he/she still has that twinge — just from having the finger pointed at him/her.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of acting out with non-directional frustration. The stress that comes with being wrongly accused can lead a person to act out with those closest to them, like a spouse or child. Remember that the enemy isn’t your loved one; it’s an outside force.

 

Morning Musings

remembering the dead

remembering the dead

There is no remembrance of men and women of old…

You turn people back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

It seems to me that when I talk with people on the cusp of retiring, some are afraid to stop working for fear of not having something to do that is meaningful or purposeful.  Getting old and being old makes some to feel forgotten and obsolete.

It seems to me that people fear not being remembered after they have passed away.  Jesus, as He is about to face death, says to His students, “Remember me”.  This is much of what the Eucharist is about. It’s about remembering Someone who faced the reality of death and was given a new life.  Even Jesus had a need to be remembered.

I told my parents while we were at my Tata and Nana’s burial grounds that I would remember them.  That I wouldn’t forget them.  I cried over the future reality that I won’t have them.  But I promised to remember them.

A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1.  I want to live a storied life that at the end of it, people will remember how much I loved them.

2.  I want to be someone who remembers my close family and friends, even after they’ve passed away.

3.  Remembering that our life is dust and will come to end is a great motivator to live a worthy life now.  There is a wisdom in remembering that our life will end.

Love now.
Have Faith now.
Forgive now.
Do charitable work now.
Pursue a dream now.

Prayers for the Dead

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.

Amen.

the text mirrors human development

I never quite knew how to word this concept until now.  Forewarning:  provocative statements up ahead…

“This is how God trusts incarnation. God allows us to see God and uses that as his word. It’s through us. Therefore the text itself is three steps forward and two steps back. It gets it, it loses it, it get it it loses it…My Jesus hermeneutic is like this: Jesus never quotes Joshua and Judges. Most of Joshua and Judges are two steps backward books. Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in the Bible, I’m fine with that, there’s a lot in my life that’s two steps backwards. The text mirrors human development and growth and understanding” – Richard Rohr

Here’s the second quote I liked: “When it says Yahweh says… I know they [the writers of the Bible] wouldn’t like this but Yahweh didn’t say that. They said that. Like we do. We project our own consciousness onto God to justify our own evil behavior. We still do that-but that’s a totally different narrative for an evangelical.” – Richard Rohr

I always “knew” this as felt knowledge but couldn’t figure out words for it.

http://tmblr.co/Z8QMAt1Lm0cdE

Husband or Wife? The Partner Whose Happiness Matters More For The Marriage

Okay…I agree with this article IF it means that a happy wife is responsible for her own happiness AND that the husband can ADD to this mutually satisfying enterprise.  In other words, I don’t believe that a husband is SOLELY responsible for the happiness of his wife.  That is her inner work to do, with her husband as a partner in the journey.

I have personally noticed that I am happier when my wife is indulging herself in “personal happiness responsibility”.  It spills over into our marriage and my own life.  If she’s happy and I’m not happy, life is still okay.  I can work through with some support.  I would rather see her happy and fulfilled.  It’s easier for me to cope with life when she is in this state.  I’m sure my happiness might affect/impact her as well….That’s been my personal experience and observation.

source:

When the wife is happy with a long-term partnership, the husband is happier, no matter how he feels about the marriage.

For marital quality, it seems the wife’s happiness matters more than the husband’s.

Reading Time and Parenting

Here’s a link to a post by a fella named Jeff Gunhus.  He talks about his experience with reading and interacting with his kids.  This has been a struggle for me in the past.  I am seeing some light though.  And Jeff’s suggestions have been confirmation that we’re on the right path.  As an example, my son and I read for an hour yesterday.  And we can’t wait to read today.  (By the way, I’m posting on my site in order to leave a digital footprint for my son’s to have some resources as they grow.)

source:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002658351

JEFF’S 10 TIPS FOR REACHING YOUR RELUCTANT READER

  • Set up time to read with them. There’s always time. Sometimes you just have to carve it out of something else.
  • Have them read out loud. You’ll know better where they are getting hung up. Kids often avoid reading because they think they’re not good at it. Find out.
  • Read with a pencil. Underline words your reader has a tough time pronouncing or can’t define. Transfer to a separate page later.
  • Make them feel safe. Set the ground rules. Let them know that you didn’t know a lot of words when you were young. Confide that there are still words that you don’t know. There’s no judgment in the reading club.
  • Use books that are fun, easy reads at first. An author who ends each chapter with a white-knuckled cliffhanger helps.
  • Only let them read that book in your sessions. Make it special and use the cliffhanger to get them excited for the next session. Encourage a separate book to read outside the reading sessions if they are getting the bug.
  • Relate to the book. Figure out how your reader’s life relates to the characters. This helps critical thinking and makes it fun.
  • Write your own stories. They don’t have to be novels. But put your reader into the story, even if it’s just their name. Have fun with it.
  • Be consistent. Once you set this appointment, nothing can touch it. Nothing.
  • Have fun! This isn’t school, it’s supposed to be fun. You might be surprised. I didn’t expect to like the Harry Potter books but I loved them. Outside of writing Jack Templar, I had my own burst of reading. It was great fun and the more the boys saw me with a book in my hand, the more likely they were to do the same. The quiet mornings with my boys became some of my favorite times with them. I hope you can experience the same.

First Day of School: Prayers and Hopes

Many are starting school today (this week, this month).  We dropped our boys off and just like that, they’re off to learning and growing.  Here are some things I am praying and hoping for; not just for my kids but for all who are starting the school year.

*For Parenting Wisdom:  I am grateful for our teachers.  But I also know that our children’s education is our responsibility as parents and that it’s tough work.  So the prayer is one of humility, asking God to fill us with the wisdom needed to teach our children to be responsible, hard-working, playful, and thoughtful of others.

*teachers and staff members:  teachers pour themselves out so much every day.  Praying they would have the support needed to be the type of teachers that inspire and equip our children.  Praying that parents would get to know their teachers and see what their needs might be.

*a hope for building community:  it’s a hope of mine to build more long lasting relationships and community with parents.  In community we can give and receive support, help meet needs together, and impact the lives of our students and school.

*a hope for children to discover their talents and abilities:  the educational basics are great, we need them.  I also pray that students would discover their talents and abilities, and that we’d learn to value all the different types of ways students think and experience life.

*for those who don’t have educational opportunities:  I also can’t help but think of children (in the U.S. and abroad) who don’t have the opportunities to get the education they deserve because the country might be stricken by war, political upheaval, or poverty.

“Father, we ask to be parents that model Your love and grace to our kids.  We pray for our teachers and school communities–that they would become transformative communities of learning and compassion.  Amen”

The 12 Steps: A Tutor for Spiritual Transformation

The 12 Steps (a revised version posted below for Christian Spiritual Transformation) has been something I’ve been interested in for the last 5 years or so.  Dallas Willard and Richard Rohr (along with others) have used this machination as a means to surrender our lives to King Jesus and be transformed by the power of the Spirit.  My hope and prayer is for constant transformation in my life.  I am addicted to many things, none the least which include popularity and being right.

Source:  http://www.wheretoreach.us/12-steps/

  1. We admit we are limited and mortal; that we need help.
  2. Come to believe that Jesus is the cornerstone of God’s plan of bringing fruitful and lasting life—starting right now—to anyone who will come.
  3. Make a decision to trust everything to the loving direction and power of Jesus, God’s Christ.
  4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of the ways we are selfish or harmful to others or ourselves, as well as the ways we’ve seen God do better, or offer to do better, through us.
  5. Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the full content of our inventory.   
  6. Become entirely ready to act in the opposite spirit of our wrongs, and be transformed in Christ’s likeness.
  7. Humbly seek to empty ourselves of our selfish agendas as Christ did, and ask God to fill us with his Spirit.
  8. Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and become willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continue to take personal inventory and, when we are wrong, promptly admit it.
  11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the Father through his Son and Spirit, praying as Jesus teaches us to pray, and as the Spirit helps us in our weakness. 
  12. Having found real life and love and hope in Jesus, we try to give grace to all, ready to give an answer for our hope, and try to practice his ways in all our affairs.

 

Book Recommendation: “Untamed Jesus” by Gerhard Lohfink

I try to read others that are much wiser and smarter than I am.  This book falls under that premise and will be read shortly after I finish my seminary course this fall.  Based on Stanley Hauweraus’ review, there are 4 things that caught my attention:

1.  “Nazi rule in Germany was not some freak event but an indication that a deep moral failing was at the very heart of German life.”

2.  “This suppression of Paul’s message in the ninth through 11th chapters of Romans is what made the unsurpassed horror of Auschwitz possible. Christians’ suppression of Israel and the Jews has also meant that Christians misunderstand the character of the church.”

3.  “Jesus could not have founded a church because there had long been a church—namely God’s people, Israel.”

4.  “Jesus-taming strategies are designed to reduce Jesus to a gifted charismatic who at best can be identified as a gregarious social worker. Jesus is tamed by such descriptions because they conceal his claim to being the truth of God.”

http://www.christiancentury.org/reviews/2014-07/untamed-jesus

http://amzn.com/0814682642

Richard Rohr: The Dance of Intimacy

I’m learning more and more that intimacy is about knowing my identity found only in God (who is Love).  I must hear the words of belonging, belovedness, and blessedness from Love (God) so that I can have a self to offer in intimacy.  Sometimes intimacy is not happening because the other is not dancing.  They don’t have a healthy sense of identity as found in God.  So it causes them not to have a self to offer in order to dance.  Too often, we blame the other for our shortcomings or lack of self-worth.  Yet, we must return to the voice of Love to claim our self-worth in God.  The following is adapted from Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations:


 

A relationship demands two. So the first step in the dance of intimacy is an appropriate sense of self. We all know stories about teenagers or even older people who give themselves away to another person in the hope of finding themselves. It never works, of course, but it’s not their fault. They must not have gotten those mirror neurons from the gaze of love to know who they were. So they think this handsome man or this beautiful woman is going to take care of me and is going to give me my identity.

In the story of Moses and the burning bush, there is first of all an allurement, a seduction and attraction, a fascinating experience (the bush that is burning but not consumed). Moses is attracted to it. Then Yahweh says, “Take off your shoes. Come no nearer.” God is not calling Moses to enmeshment or loss of his own self. Yahweh is telling Moses, “I know who I am, and you are about to enter into an experience of the sacred with me, but stand your ground. Come no nearer.” God honors the other as distinct. So love is not absorption, love is not a martyr complex where you let other people use you. When you know your inherent divine identity, you are truly ready to participate in the sacred dance of intimacy. And in the dance of love there must be at least two.

Adapted from Intimacy: The Divine Ambush , disc 2 and 4
(CD, MP3 download)

Gateway to Silence:
The gaze of God receives me exactly as I am.