Good Morning Beloved!
A guy goes to confession after not going for many, many years. He walks
into the confessional and he sees on a small table a bottle of fine
single-malt Scotch whiskey. Next to that is a wooden box of fine Cuban cigars with cutters, matches, etc.
On the table are several magazines including Motor Trend and Popular
Mechanics. It is air conditioned, carpeted, and a nice easy chair to boot.
A few seconds later the priest walks in and the man says, “Father, I know
it has been a really LONG time since I’ve been to confession, but I have
to hand it to you, and with all this stuff, I think these improvements are great!”
To which the priest replied, “Sorry, son, but you’re on my side. Get out!”
Keys to the Kingdom – an advanced course in prosperity consciousness building
Are you ready for Key #5? The first 4 have been relatively easy. Well, maybe not the Commitment one…but visioning and clearing out for the new? Piece of cake right?
Visioning may seem easy, until we ask that all important question—What do I REALLY want?
And clearing out may seem a piece of cake, until we hold one or two items or people in our minds and hearts, and ask; Are we REALLY ready to let that go?
I KNOW you ALL are doing well with your Keys…all in good time, RIGHT?
Keep in mind: The reality is that, noticed or not, every conscious act that gives witness to new possibilities and greater awareness contributes to the transformation of the whole.
There is no insignificant thought, word, or action. Each act of courage and strength shifts the energy and increases the potential for others to become aware, too.
No matter what we do, we are always affecting the energy around us, in either a negative or positive way.
Why should we not then become aware of our power and choose consciously rather than unconsciously how we will shape our world?
With that in mind—- We get into the biggie….FORGIVENESS. Yep. The 5th Key, Let GO of the Past might just be the hardest for many of us.
And why is that? You tell me…why do you hold onto hurts, regrets, guilt, and resentments from, most often, years ago?
Dr. Phil would say we are getting something back. Wonder what it could be that would have us hold on to hurt, resentment, regrets, or guilt for years?
When you release something, let it go, give away … you create increased FLOW in your life by doing that! Release the negative energy that’s blocking the flow.
When you forgive you release the energy of the past – you move the old negative energy out of the way and make room for a greater possibility. It’s like cleaning out your closets. You have an “emotional” closet filled with stuff that no longer serves your good.
David Owen Ritz says: “For many people, the past is not completely in the past. Perhaps the actual experiences of earlier months or years have long been left behind. However, the energy of the past is still quite active in our lives as regret, judgment, guilt, and resentment. Just as false beliefs formed in the past create present circumstances and conditions, so does this energy from the past help to shape present experiences.”
Our past will be our future unless we release it!
A Course in Miracles says we need to “Realize that what you thought happened, never really happened.”
Byron Katie, in her “The Works” asks, “Is it true?” Is whatever happened still true today? No…whatever happened, happened in the past. Why bring it up again and again?
We are the only animal that does that, by the way; reliving the past again and again, holding onto hurts. We can learn a lot from nature!
We must realize, and accept that we are not all-knowing. Sorry to break it to you all. But often what we thought happened didn’t really happen. So release it.
Research tells us we are wired for revenge and forgiveness, and we have the capacity to choose either response.
It’s like the Native American story about the two wolves inside us, which one we feed determines which one wins. It’s always about choice….free will.
Researchers are specific about how they define forgiveness when studying its effects on our well-being and happiness. Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky calls forgiveness “a shift in thinking” toward someone who has harmed you. It has nothing to do with reconciliation, forgetting, excusing or justice. When you are ready, forgiveness is a powerful choice you can make that can lead to greater well-being and relationships. This choice carries with it an intention to heal yourself.
- Emilie Cady, Unity author, defines forgiveness in Lessons in Truth this way: “To forgive does not simply mean to arrive at a place of indifference to those who do personal injury to us; it means far more than this. To forgive is to give for—to give some actual, definite good in return for (perceived wrong doing).”
Our inner Buddha/Christ/Goddess/Higher Being wants to be whole. So, eventually, we come to the choice point where something has to give. Either we work on forgiveness or we get the Spiritual 2x 4.
As long as we hold on to “victim thinking,” we are giving away our power to the kinds of people and things that bind us to our painful yesterdays.
Having trouble getting to forgiveness?
Our minds instantly form opinions and characterizations about other people. But our hearts have a different way of knowing. Can we forgive from our hearts even if our minds don’t want us to?
Maria Nemeth believes so. Her book, ‘The Energy of Money’, includes a powerful forgiveness exercise. We move toward forgiveness by being willing. Being willing to be led by our hearts and not the chatter from our minds is a powerful way to release our negative assessments of others. Being willing to give good to others, no matter what, is a powerful practice and a skill that will transform anger into something more productive. Who doesn’t have opinions about the way they were raised? Or how their children act? Or why lovers leave them? Let’s be here now, in this moment, creating a better story for a future filled with hope and promise. Being willing is a start that we all can do.
Lewis Smedes says, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and to realize that prisoner is you.” He also says, “Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of the past into a hope for the future.”
WHAT EXACTLY IS FORGIVENESS? – It’s “Letting Go.” Letting go of that which no longer serves you – that which is no longer useful to where you are today in your life. You choose to put it behind you – release it – let it go so you can move on.
1) Forgiveness is NOT forgetting … Forgetting is the END result of forgiveness and is possible only after we have first let go!
2) Forgiveness is NOT denying what happened – or your feelings about it … Have the feelings – but don’t get stuck there! Remember – no camping in the valley!
3) Forgiveness is NOT excusing the other person or his or her actions … Inappropriate and hurtful behavior – is always inappropriate and hurtful behavior. . .Forgiveness is saying, “I choose to leave this behind and move on!”
4) Forgiveness is NOT reconciliation … It might be the result of forgiveness, but it is not necessary for forgiveness!
FORGIVENESS IS –
1) Unconditional … It needs to be freely given as a “gift” – not an “exchange.”
2) Something You Do for Yourself … You forgive because YOU don’t want to carry that energy around with you anymore; you don’t want to re-live the pain; or have that energy affect your life today and shape your tomorrow.
WHAT DO WE NEED TO FORGIVE? – Look everywhere, but here are the five places we most commonly hold energy around according to David. . .Examine the energy you hold around:
1) Your parents and your childhood … Do you hold resentment – wishing things could have been different? Are you holding pain that hasn’t been healed? Do you really want that creating today’s experience – and tomorrow’s?
2) Your family and/or children … Do you judge or have trouble accepting things about them? Have you forgiven mistakes made in the past? Ask: “Would my relationship be different with them today if I let that energy go?”
3) Your mate or your ex-spouse … Do you have unresolved hurt or resentment or judgments that you’re holding on to? Do you really want that energy in your life today?
4) Your own past behavior and choices … Do you have guilt over mistakes you made? We did the best we could at the time. Stop judging yourself!
5) Your job and your life circumstances … Do you wish your life had been different?
Let that go and maybe you’d be more empowered to create the kind of life you DO want!
David Owen Ritz says: “The person who most needs your forgiveness is YOU! You must love yourself and forgive yourself in order to step into that place of “Living in the Flow.”
It is difficult to forgive others when we are filled with self-condemnation and guilt.
To forgive our past is to view our lives from a different perspective, from the perspective of love. When we look at ourselves through the eyes of love, we see that every experience, every person has been a part of our souls’ unfoldment.
The way we reacted to life yesterday is perhaps not the way we would choose to act today. However, each new day, each new moment is an opportunity to choose again.
If we had a friend who had made some mistakes in the past but was today living a good life, would we constantly be reminding that friend of his or her past behavior? Of course we wouldn’t, so why do we do this to ourselves? Guilt binds, confines, and keeps us from a creative future.
Forgiveness is a process – It takes time – David has it in four distinct stages:
1) DISCOVERY … Before you can forgive anything you must become AWARE of what happened – and the pain it caused you.
2) DECISION … Forgiveness begins when you choose, “I no longer want this in my life!
It’s time to let it go; to put it behind me; to forgive; and move on with my life.” When you make that choice, the work of forgiveness starts.
3) CHANGING YOUR MIND … The work of forgiveness is in “changing” how you “think” about the matter and the people involved. . .This is about seeing it differently, from a higher perspective. Then we can see the hidden truth of the matter.
4) MOVING ON … In every hurt there’s a hidden gift of growth – of greater Possibility. Every painful and seeming limiting circumstance in life is really an opportunity for greater awareness, a growth opportunity. And when we see it – we can MOVE ON!
Invite your inner self to show you the energy of the past that’s still with you. When you’re AWARE of it – write it down, you are WILLING to forgive. Let the act of writing it down be that 2nd step – the CHOICE to let it go, the willingness – to let LOVE FLOW. Then begin to reframe it – CHANGE YOUR MIND about it: “I AM ready to Let Go of the past. . .I AM ready to Forgive. . .I AM ready to Free myself. . .I AM READY TO LOVE and to MOVE ON!” Thank you Divine Spirit!
It is only through forgiveness that we can find freedom and wholeness.
When Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven” (Mt. 18:21-22 RSV).
Forgive yourself as often as you would others.
And here is another thought – How much better to bless things and people as the situations occur, rather than wait to act as a last resort. This is why Jesus advised us to quickly agree with our adversary. This is often misunderstood as a sign of weakness. But you see, to agree as Jesus used the term does not mean to give in even if it goes against your best interest or highest ideals. In Jesus’ usage the word adversary refers not to a person but to your adverse thought about a person. Thus, to “agree with” means to “settle with,” to deal creatively with the situation—to bless it and let it go…
He says that if you come to the altar to pray and you remember that you have something against your sister or brother, you should first go and make up with your them and then come with your gift. In other words, if you are blocking the flow by your resentment or bitterness, not even God can break through with the good you desire.
In “The Lord’s Prayer” Jesus says, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Mt. 6:12). This does not imply bargaining with God. God makes no deals. It means that we must give way to receive. We must let go of indignation and offense if we want to loosen the restrictions in our lives. Something’s got to give. There is a great probability that in the case of physical or mental or financial problems in our life, there is some kind of rancor or bitterness or memory of wrong in our consciousness. Something’s got to give.
There’s that spiritual 2×4 again!
Imelda Shanklin, one of Unity’s great teachers, gives an important prayer test. She says, in effect, “Father forgive me for expecting in the human that which is found only in the divine.”
Our Divine self is perfect…our human self is working on it. Perhaps forgiveness is something we can put forth to work on for the Lenten Season? Ash Wednesday is this week.