Being Right Or Being Happy…Our Choice Do you believe that in every experience there is a gift, even if we have to use a magnifying glass to find it? The Chinese have an interesting word for crisis that means both danger and opportunity. It is one of those ambiguous words that positions you at the point of choice.
You can choose to respond to the situation from the perspective of fear and danger, or from the perspective that the challenge is an opportunity for you to respond in a way that will grow you into a greater awareness of who you truly are, and of who you are meant to be. In part one of this blog I shared some of the events leading up to my experience of emotional pain, my sense of betraying my dad, and the harsh unrelenting, unforgiving posture I had taken toward my mother. My understanding of forgiveness continues to expand as I evolve on my spiritual path, so that I now realize, ultimately there is nothing to forgive.
However, more than four decades ago my understanding of the forgiveness paradigm was that in letting go of judgment and condemnation of the other person or circumstance, you are then able to receive forgiveness, which is true as far as it goes. Nevertheless, I did not find it easy to let go of my story. After alI, wasn’t I “right” and “justified”? Maybe. But in holding on to my anguished feelings of self-righteousness, I felt lost, and desperate to find my way back home to myself and to the awareness within of the Presence of God. I couldn’t find a way to do both. So, in a state of despair, I embraced the scripture, “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,” and became willing to at least try letting go and letting God, in order to hopefully once again experience inner peace and freedom.
Love is The Path
While I hadn’t acted on the lustful desires that had been consuming my being, my belief that even looking on another with desire as sinful–especially in the context of marriage–contributed to a heightened consciousness of shame, guilt, alienation and depression. As we know, it’s the nature of the ego to divide, to compare, and to promote a false sense of separation from others, from ourselves, and from God. Entertaining for any length of time, feelings that circumstances, places and people have power over us, creates an experience of “disconnect” from what we know to be spiritual truth, that forgiveness is the far-reaching thread that binds together both love and relationships.
As spiritual beings having a human experience, we know that we are created out of love to express love. And as Martin Luther King writes, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” Since unforgiveness is like a cancer eating on your spirit and soul, you might wonder why at times, we find it so difficult to forgive. For myself and in counseling others, I have discovered that when it seems impossible to forgive, the first brave and bold step to letting go, is to ask the universe for help to become willing.
Steps to Forgiveness
Surrender to willingness. The willingness to let divine love be expressed in us brings with it a torrent of grace, opening doors of possibility and support never before perceived or even imagined as possible. As I expressed in part one blog, sharing my shame and humiliation with my pastor’s wife and then my husband was the grace that gave me the strength and courage to take the next step.
Set an intention. Having no clue or conscious remembrance of what love for my mother felt like, my intention and affirmation was, “I am open, receptive, and responsive to the activity of the Spirit of Truth in me, revealing what I need to know and do.” I continually asked myself, “If I loved my mother, what would I do in this or that circumstance?”
To be continued….
In Part 3 and the conclusion to this particular experience, I will share the rest of the steps and the gifts and lessons learned. Meanwhile, please know that although more than 40 years have passed since this period of time that I am writing about, forgiveness is not necessarily a one time event. Even as I am writing, I am continuing to experience expanded understanding and aha’s. Thank you for sharing your views on forgiveness. This blog site is intended as a forum for going beyond right and wrong, black-and-white, into an energetic field of safety, love, compassion, acceptance and understanding. Your comments are inspiring and welcomed.
Do you believe that the universe is friendly and conspires for your highest good? Do you view challenges/crisis as opportunities to learn lessons designed to promote spiritual growth? What is your perspective on challenges in your life, danger or opportunity? I would love to hear how you discovered going through a challenge, turned into an opportunity for learning and spiritual growth.
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LOL = Lots Of Love,