November 13, 2011 In Uncategorized
Gratitude and Forgiveness
Affirmation: I Embrace the gratitude and wisdom of ALL my life experiences and let go of any emotional baggage.
Have you ever experienced a barrage of psychic messages coming at you day after day? Perhaps you have but you didn’t label it like that. It’s the kind of experience when one concept presents itself and then day after day, the same concept comes up. It can appear in the form of a person sharing their knowledge or experience. It can appear in written word. It can appear in the media in something you just happen to see. Perhaps your minister or whoever is your spiritual guide speaks of it. You get the picture.
I have had the blessing of being bombarded with the topic of gratitude and forgiveness. It first arrived in the form of a new friend. She met me at a dinner and reached out to get to know me better. That in itself was delightful and affirming. But, much to my surprise, she brought all sorts of gifts with her. Her main focus for her new found joy was “gratitude.” She spoke about the impact it had on her life. She then took just a few minutes to share her “gratitude mediation” with me. How wonderful to have someone visiting who would willingly share her new found passion in such a powerful way.
Of course, I began searching myself and my life for a sense of gratitude. I consider myself a very positive person, so I didn’t think it would be very challenging. I had even found reasons to be grateful for breast cancer. And, I am sure if you speak with many other cancer survivors they will tell you they have accomplished that also. And then, the message morphed.
I was not only to be grateful, I was also to be forgiving, forgiving of all those events and people who I perceived as injuring me and of course, the most difficult of all to forgive, myself.
The message came at me full speed. There was nowhere to hide. It came from everyone I spoke to, it came from the readings at church, it came from any event I attended. It was in my daily mediation readings; forgive and be grateful. “Be grateful for every single thing and person that has been in your life no matter how difficult it or they may have been. Find a way to see the blessings.” The message was that the only way to be fully alive, to fully embrace my life was to let go of all resentments.
Oh, this wasn’t the first time I had heard that but perhaps now I was ready. Wayne Dyer in his Ten Steps to Happiness says “There are no justified resentments.” And, I actually have printed his ten steps up and have them in a frame on my bathroom counter but this is even more powerful. Not only am I now being told not to justify the resentment, I am being told to completely release the resentment.
Well, I thought, I don’t really have a lot of resentment towards many people. I like most people. Then, I went to a Heart’s Journey retreat. It was part II on forgiveness. As far as I was concerned I only had one or two people I needed to forgive. Well, I didn’t really need to forgive them. I wasn’t really angry. I recognized my part in whatever unpleasantness had happened.
And then, Joan Junginger led us in a forgiveness mediation and people I loved and people I hadn’t thought about in years appeared. I was shocked. Was I really holding all this resentment within me? I guess I was. What was that about? Ego! Who was that serving? No one! How was that blessing my life? It wasn’t! Actually, it was the opposite. It was detracting from my sense of peace and joy. I fully understood what I had been doing to myself. I had victimized myself. These people were going along just fine. They didn’t have a clue I was even thinking about them and they really didn’t care. And, I let it go. I released it.
I woke the next day feeling lighter, feeling healed, feeling wiser. I decided it was the gift of a lifetime. I wish I could have absorbed it earlier in life but at least I finally got it. It makes me smile to realize I will now have the power to go through the rest of my life with my energy focused on love and gratitude and not on resentment and bitterness. I know this is not a one step process. It will be mediation, a constant reason for prayer. It’s something I will need to keep in my consciousness on a moment to moment basis. But, I want to live a fuller, richer, more Christ centered life. And, I know, as with all things, it begins with how I perceive my life, how I perceive myself. And, that is my greatest power; to determine how I want to perceive and so, from this day forward: I Embrace the gratitude and wisdom of ALL my life experiences and let go of any emotional baggage. How would you phrase this? Do you believe it will improve the quality of your life and all those whose lives you touch? What would be your first step towards healing? Truly, the first step is to recognize any resentment, especially those towards yourself. Release them, release yourself.