The Power Of Forgiveness

12 03 2010

Do you ever notice a dog, how it’ll bark the whole day when you’re gone, get all worked up and as soon as you walk in the door all it gives you is love? There are no hard feelings, no, “where have you been?”, “How come you locked me up the whole day?” A dog does not hold any grudges. Little children neither. If you look at a toddler you’ll notice how she will kick her arms and legs, scream at the top of her lungs and then when she’s done with that go right back to loving you.

I think back to when my children were young. All they had was love for me. As time went on they learned how to hold grudges. In fact I noticed how my middle one literally would look toward her older sister to see how she should react to what I was telling her. At those times I wished some magical being would swoop my teenage daughter out of the house so my younger girl can make her own decisions.

In my life I have had to learn the art and act of forgiveness countless times. At first I held on to my victim role thinking that by making the other person wrong, holding that grudge firm would actually help me. What I didn’t realize at that time was simply all that was doing was hindering me from being happy. There are many things that people do to us that can seem unforgivable. But it’s only in letting it go and finding love in our hearts again that we can truly heal and be free of that dense energy. To find peace in our hearts and live a life of true happiness, it’s only in forgiveness and compassion that we can find that deep inner peace we all strive for.

Osho says on forgiveness that, “It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.”

A true understanding of forgiveness is to realize that there are no bad people. Everyone is divine. There are actions that are bad or the opposite of what we would recognize as divine. Perhaps the “soul”, notice my writing on that word, the “soul” purpose to experience that was simply to experience forgiveness. If we understood that there are no accidents then everything that comes our way we would bless, even those actions we deemed horrific.

A master is one that takes every situation and looks for the opportunity, the blessings and love.

As a child I had experienced tremendous physical abuse from my father. The abuse got so great at times I actually thought I would die. I grew up having horrible thoughts of hate and revenge.  As I evolved and began to awaken to a new consciousness I realized that part of my healing was to completely forgive my father. I sat back and realized that he played his part perfectly. He acted as the sadistic,crazy man he is in order to push me to the understanding of what love, surrender, peace and forgiveness is. He got me to experience on the deepest level true love, a place so blissful that only the act of the total opposite could’ve produced it. In order to really experience something we need to understand and experience the opposite.

Many years after the abuse I sat down and decided to write a letter to him. The beginning of the letter dealt with all of the actions he had done to me. There was blame, anger and tremendous pain in the letter. As I continued to write, I began writing words of forgiveness and love. Tears came streaming down my eyes. The letter ended with pure love. There was no anger left. I looked at what I wrote and was overwhelmed with emotion. It was a mixture of love and grief. I realized that I was allowing myself to heal. I had finally let go of all the pent up anger I had toward my father.

I never sent the letter to him. The main purpose of the letter was for me to release the negative and bring forth the positive. That letter proved to be one of the most healing moments of my life.

I did the same exercise to several people who I had felt wronged me. You can be completely justified in how you feel but the only one you are hurting by holding onto your anger is yourself.

If there is someone in your life you would like to forgive, let go or heal from I recommend you try this exercise. Be ready to experience different levels of many emotions. You might be surprised as to how deep some of them are. That’s a really good thing. Don’t be frightened with emotions. Emotions are good. Let them out. Don’t allow anyone to stop your flow of emotions. It’s how you will heal.

Begin with writing down what the “wronged action” is. It can be several or just one. Write down your feelings. When you are done with that begin to find forgiveness in your heart. Try not to stop writing. Allow the flow to continue. Just keep writing, even if it’s jibberish.  Once you have written the forgiveness, see if you can extend love to that person. It might not happen right away. Keep trying. The act of love, no matter how hard you need to try is authentic and very powerful. Once you’ve done that sit in quiet. Allow any emotion that is coming up to flow. Watch and feel as your heavy rock unloads from your spine. Watch the light penetrate to your center and allow the bliss to flow into all your cells.


9 03 2010

Zen: “People are like tea bags. We can only tell how strong they are when we put them in hot water.”

Why is it that it takes an enormous challenge for us to wake up and make a shift in our lives? We all know stories of people in dramatic situations overcoming great obstacles and coming out strong. We also know that some people in the same situation fall tremendously and sometimes even ruin their lives. We look at the same situation and see two different outcomes.
We can look at two sisters who have gone through a gruesome rape, a nightmare for any girl. One sisters tells everyone her bitter story, hates men and becomes angrier as the years go on. She’s difficult to be around because even her posture says, “pity me, I’m a victim.”

The other sister becomes an educator and inspirational teacher, starts a campaign to help rape victims and starts a self defense school for women. It’s the same story but two completely different outcomes.
My grandparents were in the holocaust. They both went through one of the worst experiences in human history.

My grandmother never talked about her experience. She was very nervous all the time and everything seemed to set her off. My grandfather shared stories for hours. He talked about his old life in Europe and the miracles that happened to him during the worst nightmare of his life. He always sang and played with us, sharing his love for life. He made me see the positive side of situations all the time.

Victims will always do one or all of three things. The first one is they will never take responsibility for the events in their lives. They will find someone or something to blame for what they are going through. The second thing victims will do is justify why they are or are not doing something. They will make sound excuses for every event in their lives. The third thing victims do is complain about everything. They look at the bad in the situation instead of the blessings.

My mother had a stroke when I was seven years old. She was in the hospital for almost two years. About six months after her stroke was the first time I was able to see her. When I walked into the room I was staring at a complete stranger. I was looking at a shrunken, broken and what looked like old body. My mother was completely wired up, paralyzed almost entirely except for six percent function of her right side. I was terrified to even approach her but was pushed gently toward her by my aunt. I remember thinking at that point that I’m an orphan. At first I felt betrayed, angry, alone, abandoned and scared as to who was going to take care of me. From the moment I walked into that room my thoughts were, “I’m an orphan.” I kept wondering and trying to figure out how I will survive this ordeal. I asked myself “who will take care of me? Who will take care of my mother?” The answer was clear. Nobody would take care of me and I would take care of my mother. Our roles were forever reversed. Instead of her being my caregiver, I was her’s. My childhood seemed to be ripped away from me in a moment in time.

For many years I walked around feeling cheated. On the outside I told everyone what an amazing mother I had, but that was because I was more interested in the opinion of what others would think of me if I’d say anything different.

But after many years of feeling cheated, betrayed and abandoned I started to see the beauty and greatness of my mother. I was also grateful to have had this awesome opportunity as a child to learn such incredible skills and to understand what it means to give.

I also began to really look at my mother. I saw a woman who from the age of thirteen had some kind of severe health problem. She had rhomatic fever when she was thirteen years old and that caused weak valves in her heart. She had an aneurism in her brain that burst at age eighteen, a stroke at age thirty four and congenital heart failure at age fifty one, ultimately leading to her death three months later. I don’t think I ever heard her complain even once. She was the “It” person that people flocked to, to hear her laugh, her wisdom or get a wif of her calmness. My mother became my biggest inspiration and role model and remains so to this day. I learnt to see the blessings in every situation. I cherished the beauty in this incredible person who I was lucky enough to call my mother and I also learnt to see the blessings in my own situation.

A few years ago I ended up with type 1Diabetes. I at first felt unconsolable. It was as if my life was over. I felt punished for something I didn’t do and tried everything I could to get rid of what I thought of as a horrible monster in my body.
Because of this challenge I’ve been forced to face, I was introduced to yoga, teachers like Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson and Ekhart Tolle to name a few. My heart opened and my growth expanded. How can I feel upset to these great gifts. I now get to share and be a bridge for what has helped me evolved into the warrior I am today. I transformed myself from a victim to a warrior. If I did it, so can you.
Take the challenges you are going through and one by one list the events that have transpired since the struggle began. Can you find the blessing? If you can’t look harder. Don’t focus on the struggle. Focus on the blessings.

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9 03 2010

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