STEP  10

STEPS Foundation Programme

CONSTANCY


Constancy is derived from an inner sense of purpose, something which guides our lives, giving us direction.  This may be a Project, a Person or a Belief system.  Something greater than ourselves.



HOPE,  FAITH  AND BELIEF

are human conditions which may be applied to any aspect of life.


                                     HOPE is desire accompanied by expectation.

                                     FAITH is a belief  that does not rest on logical proof.

                                     TRUST is reliance on the integrity and character of another.



When applied to spiritual matters all of the above are
deepened to become fixed in an unshakeable conviction.


Faith then becomes the bedrock of life.

The  Dalai  Lama’s  Hero

Faith is built slowly over time


It becomes stronger with testing


When Faith is shattered and Trust is gone


All that is left is Hope


When Hope dies we are lost


We become spiritually bereft


This is ‘the dark night of the soul’

In personal terms our lives are built on Hope, Faith and Trust in each other.  When relationships falter trust is broken, faith wavers and hope may be lost.  Our strength lies in our ability to remain constant to our inner belief; to rebuild and to go on.



Faith is restored through Forgiveness.


If we are unable to forgive we remain wounded.

FORGIVENESS


Ceasing to feel angry or resentful towards someone who has wronged us;
ceasing to punish;  pardoning another.


Forgiveness does not imply that we condone what's been done to us or even the end of estrangement and the reestablishment of friendly relations.


Reconciliation is the fulfillment of forgiveness; a two way process and not possible without remorse through a recognition of the wrong committed.


Their lack of remorse does not prevent us forgiving the one who has wronged us; we all hold the power to forgive and they have no power to prevent it.


When we refuse to forgive we hold onto the pain of the past; the emotion is corrosive, we harm ourselves mentally and emotionally and in the end physically.  This is the deepest pain of the soul.



FORGIVENESS  REQUIRES  COMPASSION


‘A deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by a strong desire to relieve it.’  Compassion grows from tolerance and is the ultimate test of the soul.

MEMORABLE  QUOTES:



“In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher.”
Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama




“The man who opts for revenge should dig two graves.”

Chinese proverb




“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal

with the intent of throwing it at someone else;

- you are the one who gets burned.”

Buddha




“Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship

between individuals or within and between nations.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu




“When asked by an offender for forgiveness, one should forgive

with a sincere mind and a willing spirit.”

The Torah




“You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.”
The Buddha




“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”

The Lords Prayer




“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?  Up to seven times?’

Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.’”

Matthew 1

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A remarkable example of forgiveness.  During the conflict in Northern Ireland Richard Moore - the man the Dalai Lama calls ‘my hero' – was shot in the head at the age of ten; losing one eye he was blinded in the other.  Despite the tragedy Richard  held no bitterness and established Children in Crossfire, an international organization dedicated to promoting the rights of some of the worlds most vulnerable children.  In 2006 he met and befriended the British soldier who had shot him on May 4th 1972.  They forged an extraordinary bond of friendship through forgiveness and later travelled together to India to meet the Dalai Lama who became the patron of Children in Cross Fire.


Richard held no bitterness or anger against Charles commenting - "I have learned to see life in a different way.  You can take away my sight, but you can not take away my vision which is to help impoverished children all over the world" - to describe his remarkable acceptance of what, for most, would be an overwhelming trauma.  Children in Crossfire now works in Africa Asia and South America; what began as a tragedy, ended as a triumph of the human spirit in overcoming adversity.

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