Mindfulness Part 1: It isn’t just for self-reflection, It’s also about how you treat others.
Hello, its been awhile my friends, but I felt I’d come out of blog retirement because something’s really been eating at me lately and I can’t seem to shake it, no matter what new person I meet or what new friend I make.
I’m just so curious and sad I even have to ask, but…
What ever happened to mindfulness?
I’m not talking about the isles of Guru books on self-reflection, introspection, soul-searching and figuring out our Id and Ego. I’m thinking outside of oneself- and how our actions and personal interaction seem to be fading more and more into the way of not following through, little thought of others and not giving respect until its proven to be not warranted- and human dignity is even at an apathetic lull.
When it comes to others, I keep hearing people say “Actions are louder than words.” while a short time later, they don’t follow through with what they’ve said their actions AND promises are going to be. And to make it worse, they’re not being mindful of how it effects other people who were placing their hope, or counting on them.
Its faulty thinking when you hold the belief, or the thought of that you don’t need to follow through because you really don’t mean what you said, and on the other hand, expecting things out of others.
This self-absorption a wee bit hypocritical especially when those same people are expecting to be treated differently than how they’ve been treating others.
Another issues is when people promise things without the intent of following through, be it a conscious choice to dismiss a person saying “Yes” now, and thinking they can put off whatever it is at a later date, that they promised to do- Or- it can also be a subconscious “No” with “Yes” coming out of their mouth, and then finding reason to delay because its something they aren’t feeling at the moment.
Delays are just another way of not being mindful of another persons thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams and in some cases needs.
The bible is pretty specific on false promises, broken promises and intended delays in keeping promises, and where these come from. Matthew pretty much goes directly to the source. Matthew 5:37 the bible states, “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
A broken promise or false hope given to someone is basically when you break it down, a lie. If we look at it through the lens of that verse, who is the father of lies? It has many names- but it comes down to the Adversary aka Satan, Devil, Lucifer, Beelzebub, so on and so forth.
When you break a promise, you are lying, intended or not, and that’s where Satan can creep in and start his destructive work in both your life and the life of the other person you’ve given your word to.
In Ecclesiastes 5:2, the bible warns us to not speak without thinking about others and yourself. “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” And it goes on to say, [Ecclesiastes 5:5] “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.”
I’ll give a quick example of a friend of mine. He’s estranged from most of his family, they are a toxic family for generations due to mental abuse that has been passed on. He’s done his best to break this chain of toxicity and has had to remove himself from a majority of his family.
He has one family member he cares for, and that persons daughters. When he’s around they are loving and caring people. I’m not judging their hearts, I’m just stating what I see in this situation as a 3rd party.
There have been many occasions this family member has mentioned to my friend, about getting together, going places, going on day trips to the mountains, getting together for coffee- things such as that.
Its finally coming to his awareness that in the past 4 years he’s been estranged from the majority of his family, even though this relative offers to do things, he’s been the one doing a majority of the reaching out, and putting the effort to drive 25+ miles to visit this relative, and even helping the relative around the home.
On many occasions, this friend of mine has called me to talk about his disappointment and sadness, when this last family member he’s in contact with- he sees on social media, off on day trips and out doing things- this person has mentioned doing with him, and going to places, this person has mentioned going… but they are there with someone else, and he wasn’t invited.
And I’m not talking generalizations, I’m talking about specific things like, “Lets go to this place and we can do a day hike this summer.” And if he’s not the person to reach out to this relative, this person doesn’t call, text or message- to invite him.
What makes it worse is, my friend sees pictures of this relative on social media- with other friends, in the same exact places the relative hyped up them going together.
Pretty sad, pretty bad and pretty damaging to ones heart.
When you make a promises, especially when you know someone’s been hurt and is hurting, and they see you not following through with them -or- they see you doing something with someone else, that’s a kick to the gut, to the person who’s put their hopes and happiness in you, for something they’re looking forward to and relying on, you promised.
You haven’t just hurt someone else, you’ve hurt yourself.
When you make a promise, you are putting your reputation, trust, accountability and Integrity on the line.
If you break that promise, you’re destroying trust, not building it. But hey, that’s just one example. I’ve got dozens more from friends and my own life as well, when I’ve been let down by people.
If there is consistency in your words, but lack of consistency in action- its damaging to people. Sometimes those promises are paramount to the people who you’re breaking those promises with.
I’ve also been the person who has let down people, but I do my best to hold myself accountable, apologize and be mindful of others, because I know how bad I feel when someone isn’t mindful about me.
Let me ask….
How do you feel when someone breaks a promise to you, time and time again? How difficult is it for someone who is hurt, and keeps getting hurt to build up trust for people in general, not just for you?
Here is the thing, the bible is pretty specific on accountability of people keeping their words, and actions based on their word. Not only that, your credibility and reputation here on Earth, with friends, family and other believers, is also important, but most importantly, God remembers your words to others- and also reminds us not to break them- as God Himself, does not break his promises.
In Numbers 23:19 the bible states, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
And are we not called to live up to our best daily, in the image of God by doing our humanly best to be pleasing to God, and also following Christ who through his life, we see his compassion and love as an example on how to treat others?
I’m going to let you think about these questions for a while, and I’m going to come back with Mindfulness Part 2 in a few weeks.
I’d love to read your thoughts and comments in the meanwhile.
God Bless, and I hope this finds anyone who needs this with conviction, not guilt, and correction from God.
In God’s Love,