Continuing on in our weekly series of talks about the 8 Points of Light, so far we’ve touched upon Compassion, Dignity, Respect , Peace, Love and Mercy.
I have visualized the idea as a multi-colored flower, with eight petals. One for each point of light we have available to use and can be radiating within our environments. As we advance we’ll touch upon an individual petal and explore it’s beauty and significance.
Now let’s explore forgiveness on this edition of “Becoming Today”.
Last week we shared how mercy and compassion are often braided together. Mercy is a gift given to one who is suffering by someone whose actions are motivated by compassion.
Many times acts of mercy are not huge moments. They are not flamboyant gestures, rather, they are simple acts of kindness intended to treat another or yourself gently, from a loving place.
At times mercy can be allowing for someone who has offended you to make their amends.. That is the mercy of forgiveness.
At other times mercy can be taking action by gently correcting another, while remaining humble and not vindictive. That is the mercy of grace.
There are probably as many different examples of mercy as there are humans.
We are all unique, no two exactly identical. Mercifully accept this and you are developing, learning, growing and most of all “Becoming”.
Mercy is also a key component of our next point of light, as we reveal number seven along our shared path here on “Becoming Today” it time to discuss Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is something that for many people is easier said than done. For me it was especially hard to learn how to forgive myself.
To fully forgive involves allowing ourselves to let go, To actively and consciously release the need to hold on to past baggage, old quarrels, unfinished business or the need to get even.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go.This is a vital part of “Becoming”. Not only forgiving others for perceived wrongs, and asking for forgiveness from those you may have hurt but also forgiving yourself.
It is then, and only then, that you can let go of anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and then you can get busy moving on.
To let go of past hurts, you need to make the conscious decision to take control of the situation. However, this can take time and practice. Be kind to yourself as you practice self care and love.
Then you can say good-bye to anger, guilt, shame, or any other feeling limiting your growth. Let it go. Face forward, look upward and you get busy moving on.
In doing so it becomes much easier to practice gratitude.
See the good in everything and everyone. Cherish beauty, kindness, love, and joy. I believe everyday should be Thanksgiving. I am constantly giving gratitude for all things including the lessons we sometimes don’t want or think we need.
Being grateful puts us in a better state. One of bliss, joy and abundance. When you decide to adopt and commit to an attitude of gratitude, God listens and rewards you. Then you are free to be, in an atmosphere of abundance rather than lack and fear. Being grateful is a conscious and easily sustainable habit. Make it one of yours.
In terms of self-forgiveness we must not get stuck in the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” mentality.
Hanging onto what should have happened, what could have happened, or what you wished would have happened, give yourself motivation to get over it. Release it and heal. Or keep a grip on it and be paralyzed; immobilized by feelings of pain and bad memories.
Realize your reactions resonate. As one of my favorite quotes from Chuck Swindoll reminds us, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”
So begin by accepting the fact that you are a co-Creator. You are more than capable of choosing the right actions when pushed, promised or promoted.
Also required to forgive yourself is to accept personal responsibility. In order to fully accept your reality, you must take ownership of any role you may have played, good or bad, in leading you to where you are. When you do, then you can work on decisions for the next steps.
Accept your mistakes. You can’t fix anything until you acknowledge you have a problem. Own all of it. Not just the challenges but also your strengths and success. Taking ownership of all your outcomes can teach you to do better, and that overcoming leads to a learning moment. Nobody’s perfect. We all act in error, we all have screwed up and yes we will do it again, no matter how hard we try.
The key is not to allow the mistake to rule over us. I learned to understand that as soon as I have made a misstep God forgives me immediately. So I still have to at times struggle with why don’t I release it then too? I’ll admit I do still question why I let some things negatively resonate in myself for decades.
Fear is also a factor in our decisions to forgive or not. What are we afraid of if we wipe the slate clean? Accept power over your fears. This too shall pass. Don’t worry, be happy. Do not embolden your attackers or critics, simply do what you know to be right.
Let your inner light be your guide. Connect with the Spirit through quiet reflection, meditation or prayer. Seek the wisdom of your heart-center when you are faced with important choices and decisions. Be your highest self. Remember who you are intended to be.
Let go of habits, routines and people that no longer serve you. Release guilt and anxiety. Surround yourself with those who love you, believe in you, and only want the best for you.
Speak your truth. Find your voice. Use your words. Express yourself. Do not limit yourself. The truth will set you free.
Learn to trust your intuition. When you follow your heart, your spirit and the mind will follow. I knew for decades, those hunches were right. Plus when I did listen I was either very successful or well protected, whatever the need of the moment was. At the same time though, society would try to mock “women’s intuition”. Well you know what? “They” only attack what they fear. Do not let their fears shape your outcome.
In forgiving we must recognize connections. There is an invisible web of connection between people, events and even the places in your life. This is how God nudges and guides you towards your destiny.I know and have given testimony many times, in many ways as to how I have been led throughout my life. I only ask that it continues and truly it is.
In order to nurture and further develop those connections we must embrace an attitude of being forgiving. Begin doing so by accepting yourself. Embrace the ability to unconditionally love all aspects of who you are. Both the positive and negative. Do not become overly critical. It all starts with the proper attitude.
Be kind to yourself. We are all our own worst critics. Now is the best time to show yourself some kindness and compassion. Treat yourself like you would someone else. Nurture, be loving, and kind. The more you are able to let self-care become an automatic habitual response into your daily life, the more you are empowering yourself.
Then let your emotions flow freely. Do not keep things bottled up. Burying your feelings not only causes the pain to remain, oftentimes it can increase and have negative physical effects on our bodies (and minds) as well. You are not the only one who has ever been afraid to face a negative or painful emotion, just realize you need to do it. Face your fears, breathe and let them pass through you. Do not allow them to define you.
Jesus instructed that we should forgive 70 x 7. In the Gospel of Matthew He responds to a question from Peter, who asked how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him. Peter asks if forgiving seven times is appropriate, and Jesus responds “not seven times, but seventy times seven”.
Obviously it’s not an exact mathematical equation. We’re not saying you must forgive someone 490 or as some translations do the math as 77 instances (but in my understanding times is to multiply by… but anyway). The lesson is to forgive them for their trespasses as you would want them to forgive you for your less than Becoming instances.
Like our other points of light, forgiveness is something that we must be willing to give freely. It seems like we just started this discussion and yet we have now worked ourselves seven-eighths of the way around the circle.
Next week, here on “Becoming Today” we’ll shine the light on our eighth aspect of …
You’ll have to join us then to find out. Tomorrow though don’t miss Free Form Friday!
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