This is going to sound crazy, but I believe that a happy ending comes only after forgiveness.
There is no fairy tale ending without the hard work of forgiveness.
You can trust me on this: I know from experience.
But what if there’s no one to forgive?
Oh, but there is. There may not be another person. But the most important person we need to forgive is ourselves.
Because way deep down lurks all the things we hold against ourselves. The ways we think we’ve fallen short.
But, as my spirit guide told me not too long ago in a Reiki session: You’re in training!
We’re ALL in training here at Soul School. Everything we do is a lesson and every response we make can either demonstrate what we’ve learned or how much further we have to go.
We are all works in progress. Not a single one of us is perfect. But we act like we think we SHOULD be perfect.
Let us all forgive ourselves now for our human frailties. And pledge to do better in those places we fall short.
God knows, I can do better!
And s/he does know, that’s for sure!
Let’s all forgive ourselves for not knowing what we didn’t know until we learned it.
And then, after we’ve learned it, find our happy ending.
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My social media feed is filled with intolerance. People who can’t forgive. People who speak the language of forgiveness and love and then, somehow, lose their way in its practice.
Hey, I get it. Forgiveness is HARD. When we think we’ve been done wrong our first response is to strike back.And if we’ve been done wrong many times we strike back even harder.
“It’s too late for forgiveness,” I read someone post recently.
Well, no. It’s NEVER too late for forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not something we do for someone else. We do it for OURSELVES.
Why would we drink the toxic brew of resentment and hatred, of revenge and striking back? Why would we let that sludge course through our vein?
Hey, look. I’ve had my own challenges with forgiveness. The churning upset. Feeling that I’d been done wrong.
Because I knew I didn’t want to hold on to grudges, I worked away at forgiveness for years. YEARS.
No joke. I wasn’t sure that I even understand what it meant to actually forgive.
And then one day, I got there. One day the grudge had no power over me. Those who hurt me lost their power to wound.
All I had left? Compassion and love.
Yes, I know: sometimes that isn’t as ego-satisfying as revenge. But it’s soul-satisfying. Have no doubt.
The soul benefit of being able to forgive was confirmed recently in a session with an excellent medium. During the session my mother on the other side brought up perhaps the thorniest issue in my life and then told me this:
“The personal work you have done on forgiveness is paying off, Carol. There is healing going on both here and on the earthly plane as a result of it. Just because you haven’t seen evidence of it yet, don’t think it isn’t happening and it’s a direct result of the work you are doing on yourself.”
I was stunned: the medium knew nothing of this situation so it had to be that my mother was watching and so were my other spirit guides. And while I didn’t need there to be change here for me to feel good about the work I’ve done on forgiveness, it felt great to know that positive effects were being seen here. Even if I can’t see them. Yet.
So when you feel the urge to strike back, it’s your ego speaking. Your soul wants you to take a bigger view. To forgive and send love to those who hurt you.
Because it’s clear to me now that forgiveness pays off. Even here.
There’s a reason Hawaiians are some of the longest lived Americans and I’m pretty sure one of them is an ancient Hawaiian forgiveness practice called Ho’oponopono
It means: I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Literally, it means to make amends, to put things right. And it’s usually used as a mantra.
What some people find is that, even if they think they don’t have anything to be sorry for, use of the mantra brings up stuff. Old stuff. New stuff. Deep stuff. And the mantra helps soothe that stuff, settles the disharmony in the mind.
Of course, if we begin to dig, we do find stuff we can put right. Each of us. But this goes even deeper:
This beautiful practice recognizes the connection of all life and that by healing ourselves we begin to heal the world, too.
If we want to change what’s going on in the world (and God knows, we do), we must begin with what’s going on inside us. The practice of Ho’oponopono is one way to do that.
It’s not like we are personally responsible for all the wrongs in the world. But we ARE responsible for ourselves and setting ourselves right can begin to set the world right. What if we all did that? What kind of change would we see in the world?
Not too long ago I read that the focus in Hawaii these days is on using the practice of Ho’oponopono to help with reconciliation with family, both living and dead. But its tradition is far broader.
But I think it’s a practice whose time has come. Use of Ho’oponopono can help settle the mind and soul in this crazy time, a time when we feel assaulted both literally and physically. It’s a way of bringing peace and stillness to our lives.
I first came across the concept when a shaman friend brought it to my attention. I didn’t do anything with it, then, but it obviously resonated deeply because although I didn’t call it by its name, it was one of the things I thought about doing when faced with a challenging family situation.
I’m going to begin using it as a daily mantra and see what happens.
Maybe you want to do the same?