Forgiveness Is the Doorway to Freedom Through the Song of a Loving Heart

forgiveness makes the heart grow wondrousAlthough much has been written and said about forgiveness, when I think of forgiveness, I think of three fundamental qualities; forgiveness as: 1) an attitude, 2) an acceptance, and 3) an action.  Although it does not really matter what order these come in, we might conceive of them as comprising a triangle.

As an attitude, forgiveness means embracing the moment with softness and kindness, and treating life’s current difficulties with the generosity of an open heart.  Forgiveness as an attitude makes you ready and open to when someone commits “a wrong” against you.  It is the willingness to be present and witness a transgression with innocence and understanding.  It is having sufficient faith in the goodness of all things so that painful words and painful actions are seen for what they truly are: cries of a lonely heart.  It is having the clarity to understand that most all offenses come not from the desire to wound, but rather from woundedness, and that the hurtful words or deeds in the long run always point to imbalances held within.

As you take your first steps with this attitude, you will find forgiveness begins with an acceptance or recognition that what you thought occurred most likely wasn’t about you.  It does not mean that you agree with or condone the words or behavior.  It simply means that you can now recognize that source of where they were coming from and are willing to embrace the reality of what happened.  The author, Byron Katie, would say, “Forgiveness is when you realize that what you thought happened, didn’t”.  In other words, the journey you take with forgiveness can eventually lead you to the deeper understanding that the so-called transgression was more about the other person’s pain than it was about you or something you said or did.

This does not mean your pain was any less real or your immediate reaction to the experience did not feel justified.  It does mean, however, that upon closer examination you may find that the only long-term “negative” consequence to the wrongful act was really what you made it mean in your mind.   As you learn to accept the reality of what happened, you may find that the most potent event that took place was probably in your thinking, not in the reality of the words or actions.  Forgiveness is the doorway of clarity that helps heal the confusion of a troubled mind.

Forgiveness as acceptance requires absolute honesty, respect and personal responsibility.  It summons the greatest courage of the heart to be able to clearly see that what you thought was wrong was probably the result of your own mental interpretation.  Forgiveness is about letting go of the control and fear of what should

have happened, and accepting completely what actually did happen.  It is coming to terms with how, by placing the blame outside of yourself, you lose the opportunity for deeper understanding and self-awareness.  It is living from a place of Love to such a degree that you are willing to climb up the most difficult mountain of all: forgiving yourself.  In order to forgive others you must start with forgiving yourself.

In either case, being hurt or hurting others, learning how to forgive yourself first can open up your thinking to see more clearly how you consciously or subconsciously contributed to the event that eventually caused you pain.  You become willing to take an honest inventory of yourself and the words, attitudes and/or actions that set the course of events in motion.  Regardless of what others say or how you compare this action to others, forgiveness means you are willing to take responsibility for what has happened in your reality.  It means you now have enough courage to release the blame and face the imbalance that lives within you.

As such, this attitude of acceptance always leads it to the words or actions that can then release you and others from a repetitive cycle of victimization.  With the realization that perhaps the greatest long-lasting harm is what you thought or made it mean, you are now ready to proclaim and act in truth.  After the initial reaction and perhaps a response that honors your feelings and need for the safety, through the act of forgiveness you are ready to make amends, so to speak, to yourself, to your God and to all those involved.

Forgiveness seizes the opportunity to take action in accordance with divine will.  It rectifies misunderstanding through the bravery of self-responsibility that then becomes grounded through compassionate action.  It’s says, “I see what you have done to me, brother, and I now set you free.  I see how you have only done it to yourself, and that through this experience you were willing to share with me, I can see what needs to be healed within myself”.

In its completion, forgiveness is an act of gratitude and love.  It is the affirmation that you are all deeply connected to each other and struggle for the same self-love and freedom.  It is a divine deliverance to the place where you come to realize that nothing really can ever hurt or separate you from yourself or your goodness.  Forgiveness sets you and your neighbor free through the recognition that we are all doing the very best we can, no matter what has been said or done in the past.

Finally, forgiveness is the quality that alleviates all suffering: the suffering of woundedness, the suffering of disease and injury, and the suffering of separation or death.  Forgiveness is the soothing balm that heals our deepest wound: the belief that we are separate from God.  It is the ongoing discovery that our actions and the actions of others always point in the direction of reclaiming our wholeness and holiness, no matter what the immediate experience or interpretation of that experience may look like.  Put simply, forgiveness is returning to the awareness and knowledge that we are all basically good and live together as a part of the One God.

© 2003 Jeremy Youst

http://powerofbreath.com/articles/forgiveness-is-the-doorway-to-freedom-through-the-song-of-a-loving-heart/

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3 Ways to Turn Around a Bad Morning

We all have bad mornings from time to time, but here are 3 easy ways anyone can turn it around (and they work any time of day!):
1.  Stop, Drop, Roll —  Our experiences are dictated by our perspective. While we can’t always control what happens to us, we can certainly control our reaction to it: When we’re caught up in a frenetic and/or negative reaction to some event, we can always Stop, Drop, Roll:
Stop — Stop the reaction. No one is responsible for our reaction but us, and so no one can stop it but us. We can simply choose to create that shift at any time.
Drop — Take 10 deep breaths, and drop down into your body. Breathing is the physical act of release and renewal. With every conscious breath, we get out of the noise and drama in our heads and drop into our hearts, where love conquers all, and we know we are limitless beings.
Roll — Roll your attention away from the irritant.  What we resist persists, so as we turn our attention to what we do want, we are making a conscious acknowledgment that something better is available to us. Being open to that possibility is what starts the shift.
2.  Broaden Your Perspective. Ask yourself, “Does this really matter?” If your answer is yes, then ask yourself, “Is there one peaceful and healthy reason why I should hold onto this thought?”  The rules, roles, and expectations we place on ourselves and others are the number one causes of needless stress, anxiety, disappointment, and anger. Let it go and choose to be happy over being right… or righteous.
3.  Count Your Blessings.  Nothing creates a shift in perspective like gratitude.  When something unwanted happens, find something about that very situation you’re grateful for and acknowledge it. Then find another… and another. For instance, “My car won’t start, and it appears I may be late, but I’m so grateful that I have this job, and I’m grateful that I can call a mechanic and have it taken care of in a few days, and I’m so grateful that I have this car, and I’m so grateful that I have a coworker who lives nearby that I can get a ride with, and I’m grateful that there is public transportation if I need it!”  When we stop and appreciate something, we are catapulting our perspective and our vibration out of the negativity and drama and into the land of potential where “All Is Well.”
By Gretchen Kennedy, RScP

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently

From The Purpose Fairy <http://www.purposefairy.com/4899/15-powerful-things-happy-people-do-differently/>

What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it may be very obvious, happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right? Well, that is correct, but we want to know what are the things that these people do differently and that is why, I have put together a list of things that HAPPY people do differently than UNHAPPY people.

1. LOVE vs. FEAR. Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, FEAR less and LOVE a lot more.They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

2. ACCEPTANCE vs. RESISTANCE.  Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence. When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it, knowing that this will make the situation even worse, but rather, they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? and they go from there, focusing on the positive rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full no matter what happens to them.

3. FORGIVENESS vs. UNFORGIVENESS. Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to FORGIVE and FORGET, understanding that FORGIVENESS is  a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”Buddha

4. TRUST vs. DOUBT. They trust themselves and they trust the people around them. No matter if they talk to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a multi billion company, somehow they always seem make the person they are interacting with feel like there is something unique and special about them.

They understand that beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies, and because of that, they make sure to treat everybody with love, dignity and respect, making no distinctions between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race. These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Mark Twain

5. MEANING vs. AMBITION.  They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because they get a sense of purpose by doing so. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” like Wayne Dyer puts it, and they care more about living a life full of meaning rather than, what in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.

The irony here is that most of the time they get both, success and meaning, just because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.

6. PRAISING vs. CRITICIZING. Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size”. They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, but rather, every time the behavior is present, even if it’s not that often, they know that by praising the person and the behavior, they will actually reinforce the positive behavior.

When a parent wants to make sure that his 7 years old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, he will make sure not to focus on the many times the child won’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but rather, every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent will praise him and his behavior and that is exactly how he will reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end geting the wanted results.

7. CHALLENGES vs. PROBLEMS. Happy people will see PROBLEMS as CHALLENGES, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lies many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.

8. SELFLESSNESS vs. SELFISHNESS. They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment and happiness in the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.

”Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.”Buddha

9. ABUNDANCE vs. LACK/POVERTY. They have an abundant mindset living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.

10. DREAMING BIG vs. BEING REALISTIC. These people don’t really care about being realistic. Theylove and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.

“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” Goethe

11. KINDNESS vs. CRUELTY. They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self love, self forgiveness and self acceptance.

12. GRATITUDE vs. INGRATITUDE. No no matter where they look, no matter where they are or with who, they have this capacity of seeing beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities, where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and theyexpress their gratitude for them all.

13. PRESENCE/ ENGAGEMENT vs. DISENGAGEMENT. They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still having big dreams about the future.

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek your self in it and mistake it for who you are.” Eckhart Tolle

14. POSITIVITY vs. NEGATIVITY. No matter what happens to them, they always seem to keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.

15. TAKING RESPONSIBILITY vs. BLAMING. They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside forces for whatever it is that happens to you, you are in fact giving all your power away, and they choose to keep the power for themselves and taking responsibility for everything that happens to them.

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

By Purpose FairyImage

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?”Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 
Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
 Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Shared from PurposeFairy: http://www.purposefairy.com/3308/15-things-you-should-give-up-in-order-to-be-happy/

Expansion Begins With The Question, “Why?”

Humanity IS the Question, “Why…,” and asking “Why?” is the key to our conscious evolution. 

Expansion begins with the leap of the question, “Why?” We couldn’t even fathom to ask it if we didn’t have the desire to rise above our current level of awareness. The answer can never extinguish the question because the answer contains new facets–or is wholly new–at each level of consciousness.

When we ask, “Why?” we come to understand our purpose, our importance, our nothingness, our Beauty, our Divine Nature… our Oneness with All That Is. When we ask “Why?” Love, Creativity, Passion, and Joy reign supreme. Drama is transformed into Compassion, Patience, Well-Being, and Abundance. When we ask, “Why?” everyone we meet radiates the Light of the Creator.

Seek “Why” and ye shall find that ye are limitless.

Gretchen Kennedy is a Religious Science Practitioner in Wilmington, DE

Deep Space... we are deeper than our wildest dreams.

The Authentic Life

What does it mean to live authentically?

My mother would say it means to say what you mean and mean what you say, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.

She had it right.

But, living an authentic life is also about being true to ourselves in how we share ourselves in the world. And, I’m not just talking about sharing our opinions. If we never share our talents, reveal our creations—that painting, that poem, that song, that idea for a new business—are we being authentic? When we hide behind the paycheck of an unfulfilling job rather than start that business we’ve been planning and concocting for years, are we living an authentic life? When we dream of giving, of helping, of donating, of praising, of serving, and we withhold, are we being authentic?

Whatever your reasons have been, I invite you to stop believing them.

Living an authentic life requires vulnerability, to admit that wrong, to ask for what we need, to be the first to say, “I’m sorry,” to be the first to say, “I love you.”

Paul Coehlo says, “The magic moment is that in which a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ may change the all of your existence.”

When we live an authentic life, we appreciate those magic moments more… because we’re consciously creating them. We understand when we’re standing on the precipice because we chose to climb up here. Indeed, we created the precipice.

Of course, living an authentic life requires courage… a great deal of courage. After all, sometimes the scariest thing in the world is to stand up for what we believe in when everyone else is sitting down. Imagine yourself for a minute standing up there… alone.

What had you stand up? What causes you to remain standing? Is it the ego’s need to be right?  Or something more? Something greater?  Think about it… what has you stay standing has far more stamina than the ego. The ego would have sat down long ago.

At some point, we come to realize that living an authentic life is nothing less than an act of Love… perhaps the greatest act of Love there is.

Love, and Love alone, can stand up there forever. Love knows that authenticity brings greater intimacy, greater meaning, and greater rewards, even if no one else gets up there with you.

What does it mean to live authentically?

To live an authentic life means to be Love in every moment because there is no acceptable alternative.

After all, if we’re not authentic, what are we?

© 2012, Gretchen DeWees Kennedy

When All Else Fades

Integrity is everything. Without it, what do we have, who are we being, what are we attracting to us? Integrity is really all we have in this world. It is our word. It is our name. Indeed, it is our very presence. Our integrity both precedes us into a room and lingers long after we’re gone, sweet or stink. Our integrity is all we’re left with after all else fades.