There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. - Bryant H. McGill
Love is one of my personal themes for 2011 and seems to be a global theme as well!
One of the things I have noticed is that when I have an intention to focus on something, the Universe answers my prayers by giving me numerous opportunities to play with whatever I want to work on. Often, those opportunities come one after another or simultaneously, like the volume just got cranked up and everywhere I turn I bump into “my stuff.”
Last weekend was a great example. I’ve been working with self-love and compassion – for myself, within my relationships, and with the Divine. Last Friday I felt an intuitive nudge to invite my subscribers to receive a special gift. Inclusive of this offer was a condition that felt important to me. I wanted to get the email out before I left to visit a dear friend overnight.
So I wrote the email invitation, sent it out to my list and felt pretty good about I offered. Before leaving for my trip, I checked my emails, excited to see who was interested in saying yes to receive my gift. I had a number of quick replies emails including one from my dear friend Anita who wondered why I had included a condition with my offer.
My initial reaction was anger and defensiveness. I send a quick email reply that was a bit edgy and left the house. Once on the road, my emotions and thoughts went wild. I was all over the place shifting from anger, feeling I had done something wrong, to righteous indignation, the desire to be right without defending myself….
On the flip side I was exploring the message and blessing from the experience, recognizing the underlying beliefs that were at play, appreciating Anita for being in service to my healing and growth, releasing my inner turmoil to God, then yanking all the drama back…cycling round and round.
I was both the observer witnessing the craziness I was creating while being hooked into the story at the same time. By the time I reached my friend’s house 90 minutes later I was feeling exhausted.
The following night, Anita called me to chat. There was no mention of the emails and I could feel a wall between us that is rarely there. We have a very genuine and authentic friendship with a commitment to clear things up right away and I could feel myself partially withdrawn.
I needed to tell her the affect her email had on me and my head was talking me out of it. “Why don’t you just let it go Lorraine? Is it really that important or are you turning this into a big drama for control and validation?”
The truth was that the more I tried to discount sharing what had happened, the more disconnected I felt from myself and with Anita.
I had to tell her….
So, I briefly talked about how pissed off I had felt, the awareness that was revealed from the drama I created, and thanked her for being of service to me. As she listened, she chuckled in appreciation and compassion for my drama creation.
As we continued to chat, I still felt disconnected from her, like something was out of sync. I became aware of feeling guilt and shame. I realized I needed to ask for her forgiveness. Forgiveness for directing all that anger towards her, forgiveness for the judgments I had felt, and the story I created in my mind to feel better about myself at her expense.
So I asked. “Will you forgive me?”
Will you forgive yourself?
Everything shifted into peace. I felt clean, connected with myself, my Divinity, and with Anita. I could feel my soul smile…..
Three loving actions made that possible.
1. Telling the truth. Expressing what had happened in a loving and healthy way allowed me to release what I was still holding onto that had created an unconscious rift in our friendship.
So often people censor their voice by minimizing and discounting what might need to be expressed especially in support of healing and resolving a conflict. Withholding thoughts and feelings creates a barrier in relationships and breaks trust. Without an exit valve for our emotions and thoughts to be released, the pain we carry will impact on our emotional, psychological, mental, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Learning how to lovingly express in a healthy way, without defending, explaining, or personalizing enhances intimacy and trust in relationships and deepens self-love.
2. Asking for forgiveness. Allowing my vulnerability and humanity to be revealed created the pathway for healing. Each of us at one time or another has strayed from our path, ignored our heart, betrayed another, been unloving, acted unwisely, given in to an addiction, desire, or temptation we might regret. There is a need for forgiveness when there is blame that often results in a misunderstanding or taking things personally.
3. Forgiving myself for being less than love. 99.99% (I think it’s really 100%) the person we are the most upset with is US. The truth is we mess up. We overreact, get angry, and make mistakes. Who we have become is the culmination of our life experiences and cultural conditioning. Every person and situation has provided opportunities for us to learn, grow, heal, and evolve. Nothing has been wasted….ever. I have found that as my heart breaks open, embracing my humanity with humility and compassion has deepened my ability to love.
One of my favorite CD’s is Marianne Williamson’s, “Meditations For A Miraculous Life” . In the evening prayer meditation she talks about being gratefull for the lessons received during the course of the day that invited compassion and love. In this time of self-reflection she reminds us to ask for forgiveness for the ways we withheld love and that tomorrow we may do better at BEING LOVE.
Forgiveness is an act of love and compassion. It is through our humanness that our greatness emerges.
In times of extreme pain, if we are willing to soften our hearts, let some of our protective guard down, and be willing to be vulnerable, many miracles can happen. I believe all prayers are always answered although they don’t always match the picture of what we expect.
Looking at yourself:
- Would you be willing and open to forgive yourself for any judgments you might be holding?
- If you were more compassionate and forgiving, how might your attitude change towards yourself? Others? Your life?
- What might you do differently? How would you feel and think differently?
Grief and sadness lies beneath anger. As long as we remain judgmental and unforgiving, we are unable to release the pain and come to a place of resolution and inner peace. When we can view each experience as a healing and growth opportunity that brings us closer to our Divinity, we can release the pain through forgiveness and open our hearts to feel gratitude and joy.
Joy connects us to love, which is our true nature and the essence of God.
Approaching life with wonder, like we did as innocent children, invites us to see and attract options and possibilities that can resolve challenges and bring Grace. In wonder we delight in the blessings, gifts, and wonderfull surprises The Divine has for us.
The next time someone does something that upsets you or you do something that you regret and judge, ask yourself:
What would love see?
What would love hear?
What would love do?
What would love say?
And then allow love to guide you in responding with a compassionate and forgiving heart.
Imagine walking through eyes looking through the eyes of love every day.
Imagine if we all did that.
Imagine the world we would create…..
Why not start today. It begins with just one….
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