Becoming more spiritually advanced does not mean becoming more spiritually complicated. It means we become simpler, as we learn to universally apply some very basic principles to all our circumstances: l) Only love is real; 2) What is not love is a call for love, and 3)Forgiveness heals all things. "How can I serve here?" replaces "What can I get here?," and "How can I open my heart more?" replaces "How can I get that person to do what I want?"
- Marianne Williamson
The days you remember the most are usually the days that changed you, and impacted your life the most. Recently I've noticed a trend with some of my clients - all from different backgrounds and walks of life, probably triggered by the upcoming holiday season. I've noticed a lot of people telling me the same story, with different details of course. Stories of deeply held grudges, hurts and resentments still replaying in the mind from the past, almost daily. Stories of dread, anxiety or downright denial having to do with the holidays. Stories of how this person and that person did this thing and that thing and how, because of that, happiness and true fulfillment just can't be found. Let's face it - Families are complex units. So are relationships. We are deeply connected to these people on intimate and very multi-faceted levels. It's inevitable that these connections will bring up things to help us evolve and teach us some of the most valuable lessons in life. It's also inevitable that some of these "lessons" will hurt and be really uncomfortable. If it was easy - would we really learn anything? Would it really impact us enough to illicit change?
In life, in our thinking, in our emotions, sometimes we require maintenance. Important maintenance just like we maintain our vehicles, our bodies, our homes. Maintenance that helps us heal ourselves so that we contribute to instead of contaminate situations that have, in the past, hurt, discouraged or disappointed us. One thing is certain to me...Forgiveness has profound healing potential. Holding on to anger, or stories of betrayal, or the desire for revenge does nothing more than keep you locked in a loop. A loop that you will find drains and depletes you and only keeps you from living, fully, in the present moment.
What does that even mean?? "Living in the Present Moment"?? And why should you strive for that? Because when you are stuck in a loop, one that's replaying over and over based on your hurt from the past, everything is clouded by that story. This moment, right now, contains the option of breathing deeply, relaxing fully, and smiling to yourself as you honor all the abundance and blessings in your life. Do you have a roof over your head? At least one person who loves you, no matter what? Do you have something to eat? When you look around your environment can you see at least one thing of beauty? Is there a song you love, a song that warms your heart and floods your mind with amazing memories/feelings/thoughts? Do you have dreams, wishes, hopes for your future? Then you, my friend, have a life rich with abundance and many blessings.
Some of the best gifts we can give people are the ones that can't be wrapped, or even seen. But thoughts are things. And spending time seeing your same-ness and similarity with those who have hurt you, allowing yourself to drop all the stories and open yourself to something new, something fresh and healthy and better for your future, is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself (and the world). You may not be able to rationalize or analyze the benefit in this kind of practice. But if you try it - I'm certain you'll find yourself softening. I'm certain you'll realize that letting yourself be free of the stories that perpetuate the illusion of separateness, victimization, and the whole drama of he said/she said - is really the best holiday gift ever.
Here's a little something that might help get you started...
Learn to relax, go inward, stop the cycle of re-activity....
Get one of your own.