Monday, October 11, 2010

Love, Compassion & Forgiveness vs. Anger, Judgment & Revenge

Invocation of Forgiveness
Today, I call on the powers of forgiveness,
the hope that heals and wipes away resentment,
I am ready to forgive and heal old wounds.
I forgive you for the past, making way for friendship &
to forgive all who have hurt me in the past, deliberately
or by accident. I am ready to forgive myself for errors
made and things I have done in the past that I regret.

Healing replaces resentment, peace replaces anger
as forgiveness grows inside me, my heart lightens.
filling me with a sense of wellbeing and acceptance,
I embrace forgiveness, the great healer of hearts.

Go and wash off all hatred from your chest
Seven times with water.
Then you can become our companion
Drinking from the wine of love.
-- -- Rumi

“Forgiveness means letting go of the past.” Gerald Jampolsky

"The incoherence that results from holding on to resentments and unforgiving attitudes keeps you from being aligned with your true self. It can block you from your next level of quality life experience. Metaphorically, it's the curtain standing between the room you're living in now and a new room, much larger and full of beautiful objects. The act of forgiveness removes the curtain. Clearing up your old accounts can free up so much energy that you jump right into a whole new house. Forgiving releases you from the punishment of a self-made prison where you are both the inmate and the jailer." ~ Doc Childre and Howard Martin, The HeartMath Solution

"Many people are afraid to forgive because they feel they must remember the wrong or they will not learn from it. The opposite is true. Through forgiveness, the wrong is released from its emotional stranglehold on us so that we can learn from it. Through the power and intelligence of the heart, the release of forgiveness brings expanded intelligence to work with the situation more effectively." ~ David McArthur and Bruce McArthur, The Intelligent Heart

“Forgive or relive.” ~ Unknown

“Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.” ~ Saint Augustine

As I looked at the messages from all the great sages, from every book, every articles, every prayer and even my own head came the sweeping message: "You MUST forgive, or else....fill in the blank." And it wasn't going to be a good thing that you would fill in the blank with. This struck me as somewhat counterproductive to the process of forgiveness. And in the several hours of searching I found very little without really, really digging around  that breathed any sort of wisdom into the HOW YOU FORGIVE part. And so I layed on my bed and reflected in meditation and asked to be shown more wisdom about the how. Because I do not like to continually bash myself or others into forgiving something they are not yet ready to forgive. I trust in the supreme wisdom of the human being. And I understand that we must work with our whole selves and not just tell one part to "suck it up" or "stuff it"...and furthermore if we do we will continue to hear from that part until it is acknowledged!
So to that end I was rewarded with, perhaps, not the whole picture, but what I felt to be a pretty big piece of the puzzle: We often are not able to forgive, because we do not feel safe. And we do not feel safe because we do not yet feel like we can protect ourself. And We do not feel that we can protect ourself, because we need to better develop our sense of self and our personal boundaries. Once we begin to feel strong enough within ourself, the process of forgiveness will come naturally. It first begins with compassion to the self...the whole self...the little child within...or even the bully within.
The problem of getting stuck in unforgiveness occurrs when we do very little work on ourselves to encourage the development of our sense of self and our personal boundaries. Eureka! I was clearly shown the path to wholeness, without using force on ourselves and working with ourselves. Forgiveness can be fostered, not forced.




"Setting boundaries is about learning to take care of ourselves, no matter what happens, where we go, or who we're with.
Boundaries emerge from deep decisions about what we believe we deserve and don't deserve.
Boundaries emerge from belief that what we want and need, like and dislike, is important.
Boundaries emerge from a deeper sense of our personal rights, especially the right we have to take care of ourselves and to be ourselves.
Boundaries emerge as we learn to value, trust, and listen to ourselves.
The goal of having and setting boundaries isn't to build thick walls around ourselves. The purpose is to gain enough security and sense of self to get close to others without the threat of losing ourselves, smothering them, trespassing, or being invaded. Boundaries are the key to loving relationships.
When we have a sense of self, we'll be able to experience closeness and intimacy. We'll be able to love and to be loved.
Intimacy, play, and creativity require loss of control. Only when we have boundaries and know we can trust ourselves to enforce them and take care of ourselves, will we be able to let go enough to SOAR. These same activities help develop a sense of self, for it is through LOVE, PLAY, and CREATIVITY that we begin to understand who we are and become reassured we can trust ourselves. Having boundaries means having a self strong, NURTURED, HEALTHY and CONFIDENT enough to LET GO--and come back again INTACT."
From the book: "Beyond Codependency" by Melody Beattie

Every doubt, fear and judgement against the self is an act of inner violence. Too much of this and it will outpicture. Replace these thoughts with compassion to self. It is in this way that we cultivate the grace of compassion within our being and in our lives. ~ She Who Weaves the Web

‎"As I lived up to the highest light I had, higher and higher light came to me." ~ Peace Pilgrim

The electromagnetic field of the heart deeply affects the well-being (or not) of the body and the environment. Feelings of appreciation and positive emotion affect the resonance of the heart and in turn affects the electromagnetic field of the body to create better health and more happiness.

Now - not only does our heart energy affect your own body functioning - it also affects the entire planet and even our cosmos - We are not separate from this planet in ways that are finally being proven by science. Now anyone of any belief can understand how this is so. Hallelujah! I want to roll in the earthen soil and give praise for this magnificent creation. We are the ones we have been waiting for. Blessed be.

So how do we make the conditions ripe for forgiveness? We take really, really good care of ourself. We allow our soul to be heard and ultimately to be expressed. We have compassion for ourselves and we develop our sense of self as fully as we can, with healthy boundaries. When we are generous with our own spirit, when we are filled with love and compassion for ourself, then we are calling this to us and it will manifest. When we have it to give, we can then and only then give it.

I think when we go around the forgiveness wheel time and again what has happened is that we have stopped filling our own cup. We feel small and weak again, and we start to remember old grievances. As we attempt to climb our way up the emotional scale we come back to the place of blame. We must not judge ourselves for this and worry that we haven't really forgiven or that we will never be able to forgive. But what we must do is continue to climb that scale. What we must do is remember to take any signs of unforgiveness or blame as a call to self love and self care. Step it up a notch - do something extra nice for yourself, be silent and reverent and gentle with yourself for a day. You will see a shift. I promise, if you do this. Fill your own cup with love, by first loving and caring for yourself in the same ways you would care for others...then you will be overflowing.

I can tell you from my own experience - self care has to be scheduled in just like going to work. If you don't make it a routine, life and everyone else's needs will come and erode it away. People might not thank you for taking care of yourself, but they sure would be mad if you leave them, or get sick and die, etc. When we protect and take good care of ourself, we are really protecting and taking care of those who love us. We do not only belong to ourselves. We belong to the world.

I recently read a blog article that takes the power of forgiveness to yet another level. For I feel that as we increase our consciousness, we do become more and more compassionate and able to break with denial. The more we break with denial, the more we see the traumas and the atrocities on the path of our human evolution, which are potentially much more challenging to forgive than anything we personally experience. So in a sense our personal relationships and their challenges, betrayals and traumas are teaching us how to be compassionate to humanity and the human experience as a whole. We will not let ourselves off the hook and allow ourselves to walk into the new earth filled with joy and abundance as long as we have not mastered the art of compassion.

The story below is by Dawn Dancing Otter, who uses the powerful practice of Ho' oponopono to go to the place of ultimate compassion.

Soul Alchemy: my recent response to ‘hate mail’

Everywhere I go, in every moment, the ongoing mantra in my mind is the 4 graces of Ho’oponopono – I am sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, Thank you.

What I have come to realize is that my life is transforming miraculously as a result. Whatever situation, whomever/whatever is in my field of observation, whatever thought or sensation which is in my present awareness, I am constantly reconciling, acknowledging, forgiving, and integrating.

The miracle, to me, is, that each moment I live is a lesson, a gift, an opportunity to love myself even more; to reconcile with the parts of myself that have been forgotten, disassociated, unloved….my shadows.

Recently, I received an email from a blessed man in Poughkeepsie NY. The gist of the email was this man’s need to communicate his fears, disillusionment, and anger over my Shamanic workshops, and that I ought to realize that whatever I am offering to the world is a lie, deceitful, and intentionally misleading; further, that I am a thief. He insisted that I become a skeptic of this way of life, as he is.

When I received this email, I took a deep breath in and let it wash over me. I felt the hot anger, I felt the ‘knives’ of pain touching all the places that responded to the words ‘thief’ ‘false’ ‘liar’ ‘deceiver’. I kept breathing into those places and let the pain build. I then recited the 4 graces until the sensation shifted.

Then I responded, telling this wonderful man that yes, I have been a thief in my life (I have at various times stolen/shoplifted when I was living in scarcity), and yes, I have lied in my life (too many times to count), yes, I can see many times in my past when I have intentionally deceived others,yes, in the past I have been false.
It didn’t (and doesn’t) matter to me that this man knew nothing of my work, my history, or of me personally. It didn’t matter to me that the contexts were entirely different. This beautiful human being was asking me to be present to the part of myself that I have kept hidden and in the shadows. I gratefully obliged.

I also realized that in his pain of having experienced deceit in his life, having experienced theft, that he was simply asking SOMEONE to take responsibility for it. Again, I obliged, with the intention that, as human beings, we are all One. Why shouldn’t I take responsibility. I have no idea what I have done in this life or any other which may have supported or caused this injury in him. At that moment, it didn’t matter to me. I simply took responsibility, and with the 4 graces, I acknowledged the injury and asked forgiveness. I then let it go to the Universe.
The ecstasy that filled me was so overwhelming, I cried. I felt this huge release…this part of me that had been acknowledged, forgiven, and loved was definitely ready to be integrated, and it had provided me with so much learning.

When he wrote back, in an entirely unexpected outcome, he had softened considerably…though his opinion of my work had not changed -which is as it should be, it is not my intention to impress my Shamanic life choices upon him for validation/invalidation. It felt to me very much that we were able to connect together as human beings. This was such a joyful moment, because to invite us both into a human embrace to experience oneness was my intention.

I am so grateful to this man. He was moved to show me this shadow of myself, and he took the time to do so. Wherever you are, G. C. from Poughkeepsie; thank you.
Big Love,
Dawn Dancing Otter