There are many opportunities in life for change. You may choose to make the change
(e.g. weight loss, relocating, employment etc.). You may not have choice in other life
changes (e.g. death of a loved one, loss of employment, divorce etc.). When it is a
change without choice or negotiation, at some point you do have to choose to move
forward, which may initiate even more change. Whether it is personal development,
resolving differences, or healing our own wounds, it takes G.U.T.S. to heal and move
G.U.T.S. stands for: Grace, Understanding, Truthfulness, and Self-Confidence
Grace – being trusted and respected; a polite respect
Grace can be a movement or a prayer. When people say someone is “in a state of grace”
or they are “full of grace” I believe the definition above applies. Being trusted and
respected by others is an admirable goal; one that I personally strive to achieve and
maintain. However, we also need to trust and respect ourselves. We may not handle
every situation in the best possible way. We may not live up to the expectation of
others. We may even be disappointed in our own efforts, or lack of. It doesn’t mean
that we should become bitter and cynical and give up on ourselves or anyone else.
Instead, seek forgiveness for yourself and others, trusting that generally people are
doing the best they can do at the time. Begin trusting and respecting “you” today –
others will follow.
Understanding – the way you look at a situation; awareness of other people’s
One of my favourite prayers is St. Francis of Assisi. The verse, “O Divine Master, grant
that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to
understand; to be loved as to love,” offers tremendous support when resolving
differences with others. If we seek to understand where the other person is coming
from or how they feel, rather than ensuring they understand our position first, we may
gain a different perspective on the situation and find it easier to resolve. This, of
course, is a “two-way street” – the other party needs to seek to understand first, rather
than to be understood.
Truthfulness – accurate; true to life
Being truthful with oneself isn’t easy; however, to bring about lasting change in one’s
life, you have to be completely honest with yourself. What do you need to do to move
forward? What have you done, or are you doing that is holding you back or sabotaging
your efforts? What limiting belief are you using for an excuse to not go after what you
really want? How have you contributed to the situation at hand? Are you stone-walling
a resolution to differences with others? Look in the mirror… be honest, forgive
yourself and move on!
Self-Confidence – trust in your own abilities and judgement
When we suffer a tragedy in life (i.e. death of a loved one), or something difficult takes place (i.e. loss of job or divorce), it’s not uncommon to lose confidence. The world as you knew it shifted and the foundation you built may not feel so solid anymore. It takes strength and courage to rebuild a life, but it is worth doing. We all came here for a purpose and we all have the right to live fully and in joy. It doesn’t mean, however, that we can expect to go throughout life without feeling pain, sadness or sorrow. Do whatever it takes to rebuild your confidence. Begin today to trust your abilities and judgement. Take small steps if you need to, but keep working at it and soon you will feel and look confident. Others will see the confidence in you and will support your efforts to move forward in life. Repeat this often: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”(William Ernest Henley)
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
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