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Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness’

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The transition from winter to spring is always such a profound experience in nature.  The earth seems still, sometimes frozen, but so much happens underground that is unseen, invisible to us, but there none the less.  Were it not so, spring would not happen.

I feel a bit of my own inner spring, new growth taking place.  I’ve been in the winter of my life around a particular subject, my Mother, who transitioned many, many years ago.  I was sort of stuck in what felt like an eternal winter.  Never coming to a place of completion with her.  Always feeling like I need to forgive, but forgiveness would not come.  

There were a few false starts, thinking I’ve come to a better place with my Mom – my inner spring had sprung.  Metaphorically a lot like what some of you are experiencing across the country – it’s spring, no wait, it’s winter, but no, it’s spring … ah, yes, spring, finally … no, dang it, it’s winter again!!

And so here I am in spring, finding it wasn’t about forgiveness after all.  It was about opening my heart.  Oh, it didn’t come easy but when it came, it did come authentically.  

A little background: I was about to go to an energy workshop.  We were told to bring 2 or 3 objects that we felt held lots of energy.  I brought a picture of me and my Mother.  I am about 11 years old.  I would always have a visceral, recoiling response to the picture of my Mom.  Before I go to the workshop, I show it to three friends.  One dear friend who is highly, highly intuitive, immediately read fear in my Mom’s eyes and overall presence.  

I went to the workshop, and showed it to my mentor, also highly intuitive.  My mentor said her impression was also fear, just all pervasive fear that completely drove her every moment, every behavior, every decision, every action she took.  She continues: this isn’t someone who wanted to dominate or control you, this was all about keeping her own fear at bay.  Now my mentor doesn’t even know control and domination was the overall theme of my childhood.

I went home and processed that – more winter, a lot happening under the surface.  But then the seedling burst through the earth, and it wasn’t the seedling of forgiveness.  It was the seedling of true compassion.  If she’d been a quadriplegic in a wheel chair, would I have needed to forgive her?  Truly that’s who she was, completely paralyzed by fear.  Forgiveness then becomes a moot point.  It never had anything to do with me. Everything I took so personal was her living out of her fear.  There was never anything to take personally; I wasn’t to blame.

And so dear Mom, I can let you go now, and let go the charge I held all these years.  I can love the person you were in your heart of hearts.  I look at that picture of her now truly with eyes of compassion, no more visceral response.  What a gift this has been in my life.  Tears flowing as I write…

And…wait there’s more…I then turned and recognized how fear operated in my own life, different than her, but there just the same.  So my new journey is healing that.  Perhaps I am healing my own ancestral DNA, as my Mom’s family fled from Nazi Germany.  I don’t know what I’m doing, really, I just know this little seedling is no false start – she will continue to grow into the sweetness and beauty of her own Inner Spring.

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I heard this song on the radio today by Switchfoot, I Dare You to Move.  I almost switched off Switchfoot, just a little too much metal for my taste, until I began to let myself be pulled in by the lyrics.  I will append them below and add a few comments.  These are not the lyrics line by line; I’ve deleted a few lines I didn’t resonate with or that were repetitive.  Surprised to see this song is from 2009 and it’s my first time hearing it.

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next?

I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
Like today never happened

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

“Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell” feels so much like my tag line for Simply Blessed:

I have fallen between the cracks and landed in the spaces where love never fails…So many words to all say the same thing, what love is, what God is, what redemption is.  At my best, I look for the commonalities and take a little from everything.

“Welcome to the fallout, welcome to resistance, the tension is here between who you are and who you could be.”  That tension they are talking about is a creative tension that I think is the underpinning of resistance of any kind.  So quick I think I need to shift and awaken from resistance, but what if I asked myself instead – wow, what new platform am I creating here?

Something always emerges out of these cycles of resistance; they are not fruitless paths.  They seem to even come along at a certain point of comfort and predictability.  I think it’s purpose is to propel us further on our paths of self-evolution.  These are opportunities for expansion, so if you happen to be in one of those times in your life, welcome it.  Life wants to take you to a new, heart-stirring vista.  Let it.

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Occasionally I pop in and watch Oprah’s Life Class, which is now on the OWN channel.  Several seeks ago she did one on forgiveness.  I watched it twice and then took copious notes the second time (this is not a verbatim transcription).  I am going to type those out here.

 

Forgiveness is such a big topic; really who among us has no forgiveness work left to do?  So, the material may flow a little, may not be as linear as you may want but I’m sure everyone can cull something useful from it.  I may insert my own comments.

 

 

Forgiveness really means letting go of the past, of our perception that we need to hold a grievance for the rest of our lives.  If we hold onto our grievances we will never really be happy.  It’s really a willingness to see the person in the light of love rather than in the action that happened.  It means letting go of the past that we thought we wanted.  We can’t really change that past so it means releasing the negative perception of it and coming back to the present.

 

Me talking here: I think when they speak of holding the other in the “light of love” it’s seeing them as who they really were and are meant to be.  Not the sideways kick you got in the gut from them, but the person who plopped down to earth with all good intentions, full of delight and curiosity and a reverence for even the smallest things.  A child could spend a moment with a marble and convince you they’ve found God in it.  Seeing that person in the light of love.  Sometimes it even helps to have a young picture of them, actual or in your mind.  When you gaze on that face you see nothing but beauty, good intention, love and connectedness.  As in the lyrics to a song: see me beautiful, it’s all I really am, and all I want to be.

 

Now Oprah speaking:

 

Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be different.  I think for many of you, you think forgiveness means accepting what has happened to you. Well, it is accepting that it HAS happened to you, not accepting that it was OK for it to happen.  It is accepting that it has happened to you and now what do I do about it?  Again, forgiving is giving up the hope, not holding on, hoping, wishing, that it could have been any other way than it actually was, giving up the hope that the past be any different.  And when I got that, I think it took me to the next level of being a better person because I don’t hold grudges for anything or any situation.  It’s letting go so that the past does not hold you prisoner, does not hold you hostage.

 

And here’s Terri McMillian (famous writer/Oprah guest)

Here’s Terri M. now – saying she lost 100 pounds emotionally when she decided to give up suing her ex.  She said – when I called my ex and told him he was free, I was free at that moment.  Anger and bitterness is an emotional termite.  You can’t let anything in.  I had to let all of this go in order to be happy.  At the end of the show Oprah describes what Terri M. told her on the phone.  She was sitting in the car and she had been feeling this angst, this rage, this anger and there was a moment where she let the car window down and she could actually feel the presence of the anger as an energy field leaving her body and leaving the car.  Terri said the truth is, that was God at work.

 

 

Oprah describing a funny moment: she used to hold grudges.  She sees someone she was holding a grudge against going into Tiffany’s on Michigan Avenue AND laughing and she’s like, I can’t believe she’s all happy, not even is she laughing, but she’s going into the Tiffany store while laughing.  That was a huge aha, enlightening moment for me, I’ve used it to apply to everything else in my life, not to hold onto grudges, not to hold onto what somebody did tell you, not to hold onto what your Momma should have done, not to hold onto to what you shoulda, coulda, woulda been but to live in the present moment.  Letting go of what has happened to you and BEING ABLE TO LIVE RIGHT NOW WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING TO YOU MAKE A DECISION FOR RIGHT NOW AND MOVE FORWARD IS HOW YOU ACCESS THE POWER THAT WE ALL HAVE WITHIN US.

 

Letting go of anger, releasing anger allows beauty to come back into your life.

 

Next a woman who didn’t speak to her (habitually angry) father for 8 years who she described as toxic and bringing no good to her life.  She says forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.  After 8 years, she gave up that little pocket of hate and she was complete.  Forgiveness was a gift to herself, as well as her children. Oprah responded: the truth is you don’t forgive for the other person.  That’s what holds so many people in the space of unforgiveness because you think I have got to now do this for you.  You forgive for yourself.

 

Forgiving is letting go of the hope that it could have been any different.

Accepting it for what it was

And be willing to move forward with your own life, and that’s the only life you have control over.

 

And that is the great lesson of letting go of the past

Letting go of the anger so you can be free

Letting go of the anger so you can get the mud out of your wings

Letting go of the anger so that you can accept the power that is within you

And allow that power to move you forward

 

Me again…I love that description of letting go so you can get the mud out of your wings.  Whatever we hold onto is like an energetic sludge weighing us down.  Just the mere idea of letting it go makes me feel lighter.

 

Forgiveness is really up for me this year.  I begin with self-forgiveness.  In another modality I study Feng Shui astrology aka 9 star ki astrology, I am in the energy of yang wood for the year.  Wood has much strength, as well, it has a backside and that is its challenges.  Self-judgment is one of my challenges. I like to spend each year now of my life returning to my roots a little less encumbered, releasing anything that slows me down.

 

 

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