Forgiven & Free

“The work of a mature person is to carry grief in one hand, and gratitude in the other, and to be stretched by them.” ~ Tim McKee

There is something powerful about the space that lies between our two full hands. Between our grief and our gratitude lies our hearts—and this is where we do our hardest work. This space of tension has the power to transform you, if you can let it. ~ Stephanie Moors

This week’s intention is FORGIVENESS. Forgiveness is full of heart opening, honesty, humility and vulnerability. I have found that those who forgive freely are those who have been forgiven much. Experiencing true forgiveness, whether deserved or not, opens the heart to hope and freedom.

“Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” ~ Brene’ Brown

Do you struggle with anger? Well really, who doesn’t? What’s interesting is anger is a secondary emotion, just the tip of the iceberg of all our original sources of unresolved pain: hurt, humiliation, betrayal, abandonment, abuse, and rejection.

Identify who has made you angry or resentful.
Identify what was taken from you.
Decide to forgive that person.

When do you think you’ll be ready?
The longer you carry the anger, the greater the risks,
and you may lose sight of the original source.

Who can you forgive today? 
It may be even forgiving yourself.

Be honest with yourself…what are you feeling deep down inside? Under the anger. Under the rage. Under the numb “I don’t care, it doesn’t matter.” Are you really feeling scared? Hurt? Abandoned? Go more deeply into yourself and your emotions than you have ever gone before. Be more honest with yourself than you have ever been before. The way to the heart is tender, soft, gentle, and honest. The way to the heart is to be vulnerable. You don’t have to be so brave. You don’t have to be so strong. You don’t always have to walk away with your head held high saying, “I can handle this, I’ve been through worse before.” Become angry if you must. Feel your rage if it’s there. Go numb once in a while, if you must. Then take a chance, and go a little deeper. Go way down deep inside. See what’s there. Take a look. Risk being vulnerable. ~ Melody Beattie

Forgiveness Meditation ❤️

Reflect for a moment on that quality we call forgiveness. Bring into your mind, actually into your heart, the image of someone for whom you have some resentment.
Take a moment to feel that person right there at the center of your chest in the heart center. And in your heart say to that person: “I forgive you for anything you may have done in the past, either intentionally or unintentionally, through your thoughts, words, or actions that caused me pain. I forgive you.”
Slowly allow that person to settle into your heart.
Don’t judge yourself for how difficult it is.
No force, just opening slowly to them at your own pace. Say to them: “I forgive you. I forgive you for the pain you caused me in the past, intentionally or unintentionally by your thoughts, your deeds, your words. I forgive you.”
Gently, gently open to them. If it hurts, let it hurt. Gradually open to that person. That resentment, that incredible anger, even if it burns, ever so gently though. Forgiveness.
“I forgive you.”
Let your heart open to them.
It is so painful to hold someone out of your heart.
“I forgive you.”
Let your heart open just a bit more to them. Just a moment of opening, of forgiveness, letting go of resentment.
Allow them to be forgiven.

Now, opening more to forgiveness, bring into your heart the image of someone from whom you wish to ask forgiveness.
Speak to them in your heart. “I ask your forgiveness for anything I may have done in the past that caused you pain, either by my thoughts or my actions or my words. Even for those things I didn’t intend to cause you pain, I ask your forgiveness.”
“For all those words that were said out of forgetfulness or fear. Out of my closed-ness, out of my confusion. I ask your forgiveness.”
Don’t allow any resentment to hold yourself closed, to block your reception of that forgiveness. Let your heart soften to it. Allow yourself to be forgiven.
Let yourself be freed.
Let that unworthiness come up, that anger at yourself-let it all fall away. Let it all go.
Open to the possibility of forgiveness.
“I ask your forgiveness for whatever I may have done in the past that caused you pain. By the way I acted or spoke or thought, I ask your forgiveness.”
It is so painful to hold yourself out of your own heart.
Bring yourself into your heart. Say “I forgive you,” to yourself. Don’t reject yourself.
Using your own first name, in your heart say, “I forgive you.” Open to that. Let it be. Make room in your heart for yourself.
“I forgive you.”
All those resentments, let them fall away.
Open to the self-forgiveness. Let yourself have some space.
Let go of that bitterness, that hardness, that judgement of your self.
Say, “I forgive you.” to you.
Let some glimmering of loving-kindness be directed toward yourself. Allow your heart to open to you. Let that light, that care for yourself, grow.
Self-forgiveness.
Watch how thoughts of unworthiness and fears of being self-indulgent try to block the possibility of once and for all letting go of that hardening.
See the freedom in self-forgiveness. How can you hold on to that pain even a moment longer?
Feel that place of love and enter into it.
Allow yourself the compassion and care of self-forgiveness. Let yourself float gently in the open heart of understanding, of forgiveness, and peace.
Feel how hard it is for us to love ourselves. Feel the pain in the hearts of all those caught in confusion. Forgive them. Forgive yourself. Let go gently of the pain that hides the immensity of your love.
Let yourself love and be loved.

Adapted from A Forgiveness Meditation ©1991 Stephen Levine


Peace Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.


There is freedom in forgiveness. 

I forgive you, and I forgive myself, and I am free. ❤️

Community (Kula) 🌎

As Mother Teresa stated, “The problem with the world is that we draw the circle of our family too small.” Our intention this week is to invite more interconnectedness and community (“kula” in Sanskrit) into our lives — expanding our circle — while staying rooted, grounded, and balanced. Yoga Sutra lll.24 (maitryadisu balani) describes that the cultivation of friendliness creates inner strength. Experiencing healthy compassion and lovingkindness toward ourselves and others strengthens our interconnectedness and sense of overall well-being.

Where and with whom in your life can you experience more interconnectedness, community (kula), friendliness, lovingkindness, and compassion?

Let’s learn some lessons about community and interconnectedness from nature. Visualize a flock of geese flying overhead in a “V” formation.

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the difficult tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep going!
Lesson: We need to make sure our “honking” is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement, which is to listen to one’s own heart or core values, and to listen to the core values of others, is the quality of “honking” we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation of geese and try to catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Who is in your “V” formation?

(The original version of Lessons from Geese was written by Dr. Robert McNeish in 1972.)

Visualize the neighborhood in which you live. Do you know the names of five of your neighbors? Do you know much about them? Let’s aim to go from stranger status to acquaintances to building relationships — community — kula — connection — all with friendliness, compassion, and lovingkindness. “You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:39 TPT

How do we build community and interconnectedness? 🌎
✭ Look for opportunities, be intentional — go the extra mile and take a risk!
✭ Eliminate personal “time suckers”— prioritize your time to create more availability in your day.
✭ Be willing to be interrupted, oftentimes these are Divine appointments and you and others will be blessed!
✭ Stay in a “V” formation — don’t fly solo!

Rise Up song lyrics by Andra Day

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains

And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to it’s feet
And move mountains
Bring it to it’s feet
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, oh oh
We’ll rise

I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousand times again
And we’ll rise up
High like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousand times again
For you oh oh oh oh oh

“It’s funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope.” ~ Steve Maraboli