Thursday, January 30, 2014

Things I learned along the way, about forgiveness.

January 30, 2014

Daughters of my heart, and others,

Many years ago, on my way to work one morning, I was silently repeating the prayer, "Our Father, Who art in heaven," etc.  I suddenly and fully understood the phrase, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  What an eye-opening moment that was for me!  Each time we think or say that prayer, we are asking God to forgive us to the same extent that we forgive others.  The same extent: not more,  not totally, but to the same extent we are willing to forgive others.  Most of us who pray this prayer memorized it in childhood and have been repeating it by rote ever since, not necessarily thinking the words, just saying them.

Forgiveness is essential to health.  Without forgiveness, there is no peace.  Forgiveness does not mean that we condone what was said or done by us or others, or that we should blindly allow the same circumstances to repeat themselves.  Forgiveness is knowing that what happened was the end result of all that went before and it could not have happened in any other way.  With our thoughts, words and actions, we set events in motion that will play out in accordance with those same thoughts, words, and actions.  It is the same for everyone and, at any given moment in time, we are who we are and can only behave in that manner.  Again, this does not mean that we condone the behavior, only that we understand it.  Now, if it applies to us, we have the opportunity to change by the choices we make.  It if applies to others  who have or continue to hurt us, we have the choice to distance ourselves from the relationship or dissolve it.  We are all children of God and, therefore, worthy of love and respect.  When/if others do not recognize that, it may be time to move on.  Sometimes I think the purpose of boorish, ill-mannered, ill-behaved and abusive people is to show the rest of us, in explicit detail, how not to be.  We all house the Spirit of God.  Some reflect Him more than others.

Forgiveness is essential to our spiritual health.  Since we cannot separate our spiritual self from our physical self or emotional self, forgiveness is essential to our total self.  What affects one part of us affects every part of us.

Perhaps the most difficult person to forgive is self.  We think we should have known better, made wiser choices.  The reality is we were acting with what we knew and understood at that time.  That was the grade we were in at the School of Life, and there was a lesson we were meant to learn.  When we understand that, we learn and move on.  Love, bless, and forgive yourself for the past.  What you know now, in the present, opens the door to what is to come.  The choice is yours.  We have free will.  Destiny is choice.

Forgiveness is necessary for health because whatever happened involved the emotions.  Angry, hurtful, vindictive emotions trigger unhealthy chemicals to be released from the brain, circulating through the blood stream to every part of us, stressing the mind and body, and disrupting our connection to the calm center of peace within us.  We retain the imprint of the angry words, the lie, the stealth, the condescending attitude until we learn to forgive and release.  Every time we think about it, talk about it, stew over it, our body relives it and every cell is affected.

When we understand the process, we can take steps to avoid the persons/circumstances.  Sometimes situations can be resolved with the cooperation of all involved.  Sometimes not.  And, if that is the case, don't take on the impossible task of trying to teach someone who chooses not to learn at this time.  Sometimes, for our own health and peace of mind, we need to walk away.

 A simple exercise for forgiveness of self and others is to stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes, and repeat each of the following affirmations three times:  I love myself, unconditionally.  I forgive myself, unconditionally.  I love others, unconditionally.  I forgive others, unconditionally.  Do this each morning when
you first get up and each evening before you go to bed.  If, at first, you find it difficult to think love and forgiveness for self or others, think of the indwelling Spirit within yourself and others.  Everyone houses the Spirit of God, the Breath of Life.  There is no life without Him.

Again, don't confuse forgiving with condoning.  They are very different things.  Trust that God's law will prevail.  We will each of us be made to see the error of our ways, in minute detail, in God's time.  That is God's business, not ours.

Daughters of my heart and others, take care of yourselves.  Treat yourselves gently and with respect.  Love yourselves.  Forgive yourselves.  Forgiveness frees us from the past and heals us.  Live in present time, making each day better than the day before, ensuring for yourselves  exactly the future you want.  Walk in dignity and grace.  Remember that you are important to God, the Universe, and all those who love you, including me.

                                                                                             Love, always


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(Zizi is a diminutive form of Zia, which is Aunt in Italian).
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think would be interested.

Copyright 2014

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Things I learned along the way.

January 21, 20l4

Daughters of my heart...and others,

In the coming months, I hope to share with you some of the lessons I have learned in this experience called Life.  You may not agree with my thoughts and beliefs, and that's fine.  We are not clones of one another, nor are we meant to be.  Trust your own instincts.  Follow your own heart.  Be still, and listen to the one true voice within.

It is important to understand that whatever you do comes back to you.  Whatever you do, you do to yourself, first and foremost, and then, like a ripple effect, it affects all those whose lives you touch.  You cannot do good to others without doing good to yourself.  You cannot do harm to others without doing harm to yourself.  The law of cause and effect...Universal law...karma...God's law, do exist.  Call it what you will, it operates the same for everyone.  Please don't fool yourself into thinking you can get away with anything.
To paraphrase the poet, "Tho' the mills of the Gods grind slowly, yet they grind exceedingly fine."* The law operates 24/7, no exceptions, no excuses, no escape.

When you have feelings of goodwill, love, and affection, those feelings cause positive, healthy chemicals to be released from the brain and to circulate throughout your body.  In the same way, angry thoughts, words and actions cause to be released, harmful, negative chemicals to course throughout the body.  Whatever we think, speak, and do is recorded within us, in our memories, our postures, our mannerisms, our voices, and our expressions, visible to all.  Impossible to hide who and what we are from those who have learned to see.

Try not to be careless in your language and manners.  Language and manners civilize us.  Our own language and manners broadcast to others how we expect to be treated, and whether we will tolerate crude language and disrespect.  We alone choose whether to use healing, positive, beautiful words or destructive, negative, vulgar words.  Language reveals who we are in a flash.

Manners reveal how we feel about others and, also, how we feel about ourselves.  Manners is the art of being kind.  Language and manners have the power to heal or destroy.

In this age of instant communication, where it seems to be acceptable for everyone to tell everything, all manner of words are flung about carelessly.  It seems to have been forgotten that all words, like all actions, have consequences.   Words are important.  Words have power.  Words help shape who you are and who you will become.

A few more words about words:

           Words, once said, can never be unsaid, and no amount of 'sorry' can change that.

           Words are like ripples on a stream flowing into the Universe.  We will never know
           to what extent those who hear or read them will be affected.

           Words live for centuries in myth and folklore, passed down orally from generation
           to generation.

           Printed words survive for thousands of years, read by countless eyes.  Printed words
           spread their positive or negative influences into countless lives.  Carefully choose the
           words you commit to paper.  Equally carefully, choose what you read.

           Words live in our minds and hearts, either adding to or diminishing our self-esteem,
           self-respect, sense of well-being, and quality of life.

           Words spoken in the present become a part of both our future and our past.

           Some words are best left unwritten and unsaid.  Not everything needs to be known
           by everyone.

           Words can build bridges of understanding.  Words can soothe a troubled heart.

           Words can shatter the fragile self-esteem of a child.

           Words can elevate minds to their highest potential.  Words can drag us down to
           places best not imagined.

           Words can destroy dreams.  Gossip can kill a marriage.

           Teasing is cruel.......not funny, cruel.

We are responsible for our words and will be held accountable for them.  Our words reveal without a shadow of a doubt, who we are in our minds, hearts, and souls.  Words have power.  Take care how you use them.

Daughters of my heart, always remember to take care of yourselves.  No one else can.  Treat yourselves gently and with respect.  Walk in dignity and grace.  Remember you are important to God, the Universe,
and all those who love you, including me.

                                                                                                         Love, always


Copyright 2014

*Excerpt from "The Mills of the Gods," author unknown.

Comments can be emailed to:
(Zizi is a diminutive form of Zia, Aunt in Italian).
The next letter will be posted within a week to ten days.