Rolling in Another’s Skates


Learning to love myself means learning to love others. I’ve discovered they are both sides of the same coin. To quiet the self-berating voice in my mind, I had to stop finding fault in people. In the bible it says, “Judge not, that you may not be judged.” Growing up, I was taught that verse meant if I were critical of another than I would be judged by God (and thrown into the fires of hell). Today, I believe Christ meant that if we judged others harshly, we will do the same to ourselves. His teachings weren’t about doom and gloom but meant to help free His followers to live in joy.

It’s hard to hold someone’s behavior against them when you realize we all struggle, many of us carrying the baggage of less-than-perfect childhoods and life experiences. That’s not to say that hurtful actions directed at you won’t sting. They do, and the feelings about them shouldn’t be denied. Understanding that we are all born innocent and only do what we’ve learned, makes it easier to trade our resentments in for compassion. I believe that beneath the most obnoxious personality lies a beautiful soul that I am a part of. Truly, we are all one. That is why it’s impossible to pick apart another without doing the same to yourself.

Family systems and societal beliefs have a way of programming us to be fearful. We all want relief from our pain and many lash out at others to unburden themselves. That’s why on a higher level, any kind of attack can be looked at as a call for love. Having empathy for what it would be like to roll in another’s skates, in no way means that you should put yourself in a position to be hurt by wounded people. A good analogy for this lies in an incident that happened to my friend, Gigi, while she was living in Montana. One day out her back door, she spied two adorable bear cubs climbing a tree. Moments later, their mother appeared to help them down. Although Gigi is a wildlife photographer, she didn’t take her camera outside and to try capture the scene. Understanding the protective nature of a mama bear, she knew she could be mauled if she went near them. That bear family was best enjoyed from the safety of her kitchen. In the same way, we have the choice to keep our distance from less than safe people. Like wild animals, some folks are best appreciated from afar.

gigi-embrechts-90 copy

A photo of the cubs Gigi was able to snap through her kitchen window.

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Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.

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Sunrise Faith

Sue ShanahanWhenever I have to begin a new illustration, I’m always afraid to start.  I hem and I haw and I haw and I hem. Why? Because there is no earthly reason that I’m capable of bringing forth that kind of beauty.  In my mind, the images are always vague.  I want them to be in perfect focus before I get going.  But it doesn’t work that way. Until I learned the meaning of the phrase Sunrise Faith, I could stay paralyzed for weeks.  It never occurred to me that the same power that calls the sun to rise, lives in me too.  The magic begins when I put my pencil to paper.  That act of trust opens the floodgate for Spirit to flow through and express itself.  As it turns out, I don’t need to know exactly what the end result of my painting will look like. God will fill in the details.

Sunrise Faith is a concept for anyone who has something they want to accomplish.  Divinity plants the seeds of our aspirations in our hearts and grace brings them to fruition.  From creating a masterpiece, to finding the perfect job or house, it’s a benevolent, loving wave we ride.  If you’re trying to figure out exactly where the current is taking you, you’re  resisting the flow.  And that is exactly when we begin to sink.  All we need to get started is to simply begin.  We will be given the next step to take as the process unfolds.

Twenty years ago a dream was planted in my heart.  I wanted to create a picture book.  Over time, it was put on the back burner as “real life” took over. Finally, finally my longing is being realized.  My story Glory in the Morning is finished and is now in the hands of app company extraordinare, Auryn.  They are in the process of transforming my work into a picture book app for tablets and e-readers.  But my dream won’t be in full bloom until there also is a traditional picture book in children’s hands.  I’m not sure how that is going to come about, but I wait in joyful anticipation for it to be revealed.

Being confident that God, who began a good work in you, will carry it to completion.  -Philippians 1:6

What dreams are you and Source bringing to fruition?

Spread the word!  Be one of the first 5 people to leave a reply and I will send you a signed print of Sunrise Faith.  Follow my blog.  Each new post will include the chance to win a free print.

Sue Shanahan

In photoshop I made a book cover for Glory in the Morning and placed it on a picture book. I believe visualization is the beginning of realizing a dream.

Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved.