Moving from Resentment into Freedom (it’s easier than you may think…)

In working to bring forward more inner light, there was an exercise in The Dark Side of the Light Chasers (Debbie Ford) that instructed the reader to write letters to people in their lives who needed to be forgiven; to be clear, who the reader needed to forgive. I found myself thoroughly procrastinating on and resisting this exercise.

Finally, I started to write out to the first person on my list that I was willing to forgive him. Immediately the memories flooded back along with the emotional anguish and heartache. My next sentence was something akin to “eff that, there is part of me that absolutely doesn’t want to forgive you.” In my mind, I felt like a young child crossing her arms after stomping her feet and chanting, “I don’t wanna.”

This mental tempter tantrum went of for several moments. Then the miracle happened: it was as if the scoreboard was wiped clean; I no longer felt the resistance to forgiveness. It was in acknowledging and allowing myself to NOT want to forgive this man of his trespasses that I was able to forgive him and my emotional burdens were also released.

Later, I started write a forgiveness letter to myself. Almost immediately, I began to feel sad and angry about some work-related and financial aspects in my life. Things for which I have felt that had I “chosen differently” would not be factors holding me back. I then allowed myself to throw another mental temper tantrum about how I didn’t want to let go of my anger and sadness at myself. I wanted to hold onto my pain because it was all I had known. Yet, once again, the miracle of fully allowing my resistance actually freed me. After all, we cannot rebel where there is nothing to resist against….

I share these experiences with you in the hopes that you will see that holding back your “negative” emotions just holds you back from being free of them. A wise woman repeatedly told me “the pain is in the resistance.” These experiences have shown me, on a deeper level, just what she was telling me.

May we each give ourselves permission to acknowledge and allow the emotions that hold us back, so that we may be free of them.

Namaste

I find that shredding paper and making mosaics can be very helpful when I’m feeling stuck. The beauty is more in the creatively destructive process than in the final products.

This is my chained and unforgiving heart

This is my open, crowned and passionate heart

Healing the Sense of Brokenness

When we feel broken or incomplete, we seek external fixes from which to feel whole. Maybe we seek this “fix” from others, through our behaviors (shopping, chemical dependencies and even positive things such as working out) or we may even just outright deny there is even a problem. Maybe we lash out and and get short with the bank teller, our loved ones or another motorist; thus creating more trauma. Until we go within, these external “fixes” are merely band-aids.

When we feel broken, we rarely take the time to look at the beliefs that lead to this feeling, this perception. To heal this feeling is to give the hurt what it needs. Often it is love, sometimes it is recognition, or it may be attention or something even as simple as breathing into it. Each of these is a form of surrender.

It is in seeing our pain for what it needs and giving it just that thing which allows us to heal. Sometimes we may need to reach out and ask for help and support from our Higher Power, or from friends and family. For it is in asking for support that we also surrender. In asking for support we also allow the vulnerability of connection, helping others to identify their own needs and meet them…thus perpetuating the healing.

May we each see our wounds for what they need and then meet those needs, with or without the help others. With each wound that is freed from bondage we, as a collective, are also set free.

Namaste

The Freedom in Breaking Down

Kneeling on the hard concrete patio, there was a chill to the air as dusk began to fall and I quickly scribbled my feelings on dishes using permanent markers. With safety glasses in place, I placed a plate gently inside a small banker’s box. My adrenalin rushed as I tightly gripped the hammer and brought it down, angrily and repeatedly on the fragile dish ware. At first my hits were staccato-like, trying to pulverize the plate into oblivion.

As I moved through the scribbled set of spare plates, at times large chunks of ceramic shrapnel would land on the patio. One large piece jumped up and scraped along my right middle finger where dark red blood soon followed. This did not stop me; using alternate grips with the hammer to avoid more scrapes, as I was beyond the point of stopping to find gloves.

The power I felt was AMAZING. I then began to revel in the amount of destruction I could do with one smooth hit. Soon the weight that I had been carrying around my chest was lifted, the weight on my shoulders soon followed. My prevailing emotions moved from anger and sadness to empowerment.

Originally, I had planned to throw the plates into a dumpster. Yet I wanted to feel the action of the breaking at my own hands. I now see the benefit of really feeling it. Maybe next time I’ll wear gloves… maybe.

There was such a sense of peace after everything was adequately broken. In fact, I was proud of my destruction. There was also beauty in the melodious way the broken pieces chimed as they collided with one another while I cleaned up.

Looking back, I see how I was able to break some of the habits of my thinking patterns just by breaking plates. That night, I broke up with some of my anger. Afterwards, I felt enlivened and relieved of many blockages. Over a week later, I still do. Since then, I’ve learned a few things, too.

Several people have shared with me the Greek tradition of breaking plates as a form of celebration. One Greek friend even gave me pointers on buying the plates from the Dollar Store instead of the thrift store for ease of breakability. She also spoke to the exhilaration felt with breaking plates while shouting “Opa!”

I have also read of how some Buddhist monks break green glass in pillowcases to help relieve the feelings of anger. What’s interesting about this is that my next calling is to nicely decorate a plate before I smash it, which seems akin to the sand mandalas created and then destroyed by Tibetan Monks.

Since following my calling to break stuff, I now realize how ceremonial and freeing this very act can be. If you plan to follow, please do so safely.

Namaste

Forgiveness

When we hold onto anger against someone else we only hurt ourselves. The anger seeps into our daily interactions and causes more wounds. Often the hardest person to forgive is ourselves as we hold ourselves in contempt for wrongs done by ourselves and others. Forgiveness opens our hearts and frees us from the binds of anger. Forgiveness does not mean we condone. Instead, forgiveness is freedom. Even if for a moment, allowing ourselves to feel the grace of forgiveness gives us another degree of freedom.

(C) Tiffany Cara 2017

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Images: Google

The humility of forgiveness 

 

In my heart space within meditation,
all I could see was her face
suddenly appearing just in front of mine
without warning; a surprise.

My loving & innocent inner child was the first to respond
hugging her and loving her maternal energy.
Soon the wounded side of me woke up,
attempted to buck, but the innocent lamb had already won.

In just a few moments, memories flashed through my mind’s drive.
The steamy hot shower after she found me
his sins upon my skin. She tried to wash away the shame
it was me who wanted to go down the drain.

The adult me felt the pain of her suffering:
the uncertainty, the fears, her tears.
Through my own suffering of such things
I could now understand her pain.

This did not change who was chosen as
the sacrificial lamb in this scenario.
The blood of my innocence still shed to this
day in the tears rolling down my cheeks in many ways.

She feared then many of the things I fear today.
In that moment of recognition I was able to forgive her.
I then brought him in, his face less clear as if
through a blurry lens. I forgave him too.

On a roll, I brought in others who have in similar
situations tried to take of my blood. My innocence. My trust,
a pound of my flesh for their lust.
The names too long to list…

After each in line was given some time
in the warmth of my forgiveness.
I asked the void, “Now who else?”
The last to be forgiven?

Myself.

Namaste & Metta. Please, let’s make this world a better place! Learn to forgive others & yourself

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Treasures from the Abyss

Last night at this hour, I was near the bottom of my murky descent.
It seems that I had a lot to clear while the weather was so turbulent.

Diving deeply, breathing labored.
Eyes swollen, crying ugly.

As I slept, I gained some ascent.
By morning, still some sadness overhanging.

Deep in meditation, I received guidance.
“Love the parts, completely, that irritate you.”

After grounding myself, and connecting with the Heavens,
I dropped down into my heart’s caverns.

I felt the love of my children, my babies,
I allowed it to expand outwardly.

Imaging the love engulfing, consuming,
completely filling the parts that were irritating.

My ascent was almost nearing the ending.
But some sadness still lingered.

While at work, a patient, the most irritating probably ever,
sat before me, seething, searing and glaring at me.

I began to wrap love ’round parts that wanted to spit mean words.
Reluctantly at first, I wrapped that love around her.

Her countenance did change, it did improve.
But only enough for me to finish my groove.

She was still rather unpleasant to the front office.
The buried treasure I unearthed kept me from some of her vengeance.

~~~

Another gem: for each ounce of sadness I surrendered into
yesterday and today, I have gained back in happiness.
The biggest challenge is letting go of the resistance; the part
that doesn’t want to feel. “You’ve got to feel it to heal it!”

~~~

A gem that was shared with me after my meditation tonight,
“You gotta love the suck!,” my interpretation: getting through
the suck helps us to pull up from the muck.
If you can’t love it, at least allow it to be what it is: sucky.

Namaste
__/|\__ Metta
2016.02.25

Image: Google

 

A Path to Forgiveness

ID-100305001Broken.
Battered.
Confused.
My lips still feel bruised.

Discouraged.
Undone.
Vulnerable.
I quiver in anger, disgust.

Bony finger thrust at you.
Heart mired in distrust.
Hot Coals against you, leaving
my hands blistered, burning.

Grief floods my eyes.
Sadness erupts,
forever behind the molten anger,
running like lava down my face.

Searing.
Seething.
Smothering
smoke fills my vision.

Crashing like waves,
anger and sadness
come in sets.
Chipping away at my shore.

Growing tired,
weary of this graphic novel.
I create something different.
Seeking now a different angle.

Turning my cheek.
I see your fear.
I see your vulnerability.
I see your anger.

Absolved not,
yet better understood.
Rising up now,
out of the ashes.

Forgiveness is the
only grace on this path.
Weight lifts.
Heart returns to growth.

In faith, trust forms anew.
In trust, I begin to see again.
With vision, I begin to love anew.
In my heart, I begin to forgive you.

A new dawn rises.
Sunbeams piercing the darkness.
Light unveils my role in this.
Living again from the heart,
I begin to forgive myself my part.

Namaste.

Photo by lkunl at Freedigitalphotos.net

Keys to Happiness

ID-10044464The more compassion and love we have for ourselves, the greater the capacity we have to give compassion and love to others. By accepting ourselves, we open the floodgates to greater happiness.

Self-Love is the least selfish thing we can do. For when we free ourselves, we free others from our judgment. We also set free from judgment those who remind us of our own short-comings. In so doing, we gift to others the permission to love themselves,  and thus the keys to their own contentment.

Forgive yourself. If you could have done better, you would have. Perhaps you were unable to do better because you lacked the resources at that time.  Hindsight is 20/20…

Allow Grace into your heart. This will help you to avoid repeating the same errors in judgment. Grace also means you recognize your own humanity. (To err is human,  afterall).

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. -Mahatma Gandhi

It’s easy to love the parts of us that shine.  The challenge can be in loving all of our parts,  as together,  each part makes us whole.

So forgiveness and grace release judgment, allowing us to open our hearts to ourselves. Loving oneself, completely, brings happiness.

Namaste.

Photo by nuchylee at Freedigitalphotos.net

Freeing Yourself

It can be a challenge to give ourselves the very thing that can free us. The key to our salvation many times is to look at ourselves in the mirror and to see ourselves as human. Many of us hold ourselves to a very high standard, one which cannot be readily achieved. Many of us as children were held to a high standard by adults in our lives, standards that were often either age-inappropriate or ones that the adults who were imposing them upon us could not themselves achieve.

When we have missed our mark, when we did not clear the bar, we were often assaulted with guilt that we learned to then turn upon ourselves, creating layers of shame. Unfettered, we continue to carry these burdens upon our backs. Looking down at our feet as we walk through life narrows our vision and keeps us from seeing ourselves as we truly are: infinite.

To gain perspective and to release ourselves of these burdens, we must begin to loosen the straps and unpack the rucksacks. Sorting out the truths from the untruths, we can begin to lift our heads up high and to live our lives in this moment; without living in the pain of the past or in fear of the future.

It takes trust in ourselves to be able to see from the perspective of an adult the things that we have seen from the perspective of a wounded child. By learning to forgive ourselves of our own trespasses, we learn to forgive others, too.

Clearing out is a process, much like cleaning out a room or closet that has stored unwanted objects that have collected over our lifetimes.  Once the decision is made to start clearing away the dust, the clutter, the cobwebs, and all of the unwanted and unneeded stuff, you begin your journey of self-discovery. That which no longer serves you, once cleared away, reveals to you the lovely gifts you have within you to share with the world.

This journey can begin with these three simple and effective words that can often be difficult to utter, “I forgive myself.”

Just know that the sooner you start, the sooner you begin to stop accumulating self-hatred. The sooner you begin to see yourself with compassion. The sooner you begin to love yourself.

How long have you suffered from the guilt and shame laid upon your face like a heavy, wet blanket by yourself and others? How long do you plan to carry around these burdens? When you make a mistake, how many times does your family remind you of something “wrong” you did as a child, a teenager, a young adult or decades ago? How many times do you tell yourself that you were bad, or you made a stupid choice?

We all walk around with sacks on our backs that are filled with unprocessed guilt, shame and unforgiveness from yester-years. Let’s learn to unburden ourselves of that which no longer serves us.

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Unforgiveness, splinter in your breastbone, lives there lodged like a small tree. Withers in winter, blooms in spring. Its fruit is sweet on first bite, then turns into the taste of your own flesh.

― Katerina Stoykova Klemer, The Porcupine of Mind

Namaste.

Photo Courtesy of anankkml at Freedigitalphotos.net

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