I was cleaning and re-organizing my book cases and I happened to find a book that was given to me a few years back. “You have to read this book, it will open your eyes.” The woman who gave me the book exclaimed. I looked at the cover. The name, “Shantaram“, written by Gregory David Roberts, had an almost magical ring to it. Though I haven’t read it yet, when I read the first paragraph, these words got my attention:
“It took me a long time to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me or free to forgive them. ….and the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.”
What I was drawn to was the thought that what ever happens in our lives we do have the choice to stay or flee, to keep that trapped anger in the body, creating in-balances to the point where we will start to physically feel distress or pain. We can also choose to look at our perceived offenders and learn to “for-give” the act so we can be released from the emotional prison that keeps us from embracing the joy, the pleasure and magic that is our life. We have all had painful experiences. The first love that leaves our heart shattered and slivered in so many segments we don’t know how to make it whole again. Maybe you came from a dysfunctional family and the parents who were supposed to be your protectors, were actually the people you needed protection from. Maybe you had a friend that made a mistake that for you was a deal breaker in your friendship.
How can this happen? Can life really be this cruel?
Here comes the choice part again. We can choose to look beyond the pain to see the gift. Everything that has happened in my life has asked these questions “are the circumstances or harsh words the truth of who you are?” What did you learn from this interaction with this person? If someone says to you “you are the dummest person on the planet, is that your truth? what do you really feel in your heart to be your truth?” “What part did you play?” Because I have lived the philosophy of the Science of Mind, I know that what my deepest thoughts about my life, my work, my wholeness, and my joy will manifest in my life. If I want to know what my truth is about any of these things, I just have to see what shows up. If I am having experiences that I don’t like, I can do a check in with myself and see what I am thinking or feeling.
Our thoughts turn to feelings, our feelings turn to emotions and our emotions turn into vibrations that the universe responds to and aligns us with these thought/vibration and before I know it is like “Murphy’s Law” with the worse case of PMS. It is not a pretty sight! What can I do when this happens, how do I get off the roller coaster that never stops (I hate the hair pin turns or the deep drops)? I take a few deep breaths and then use a techniques I learned from Michael J Lossier, ask myself “What do I want?” As soon as I do that , the charge starts to dissipate and I can start putting my focus on neutral things or putting on music that is emotionally charged for me to change my emotions. I am on a different track, so to speak.
For minor inconveniences, this is perfect. But what if I need to let go of the intense anger when I feel someone has treated me unfairly or, a word that was used in the TV program Ally Mc Beal, disparaged me? That can take longer, especially if the wound is still fresh. I acknowledge what I am feeling and sit with it. If I tried to block it or bury it, the energy is burrowing into my body. I know when I am holding on to stuff when I start getting neck pains, back aches, an acidity tummy. I take deep breaths. When I feel a little better but know it is still there, I will hit pillows, do the silent scream. This helps with the anger part.
Painting, "Cat Buddah", watercolor and ink, 2008 (C)
When I feel the emotional charge start to wane. I do an excercise I learned in my Science of Mind Foundations class. I write a forgiveness letter using a 5 step form. It helps me to see the persons part in it, how it made me feel, what my part in it, What I would have liked, by the time I get to the last part, I can actually see the big picture and let it go. It is extremely empowering and I get my spark back and let the feeling of powerlessness go.
Then I can do an affirmative prayer to feel what I want to feel and experience. I can choose to hold on to the debilitating role of anger, resentment, powerlessness, (you fill in the blank), or let it go and place the experience or person in a different light. As the author writes :”
“The choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.”