Monthly Archives: February 2013

Revisiting: Abortion Interview

While I’m busy in my own process I thought it a great time revisit an amazing interview between Jesus and Barb (you can view Part 1 below).

This discussion covers the topic of abortion, and its effects on the soul of the aborted child and both of its parents.

However, in case you skipped this one thinking it wasn’t relevant to you, here are some of the other themes discussed by Barb and Jesus during the interview:

  • The Gift and use of Free Will
  • Our role as parents
  • The unloving investments we may have in the role of parenthood and how these damage our kids
  • Miscarriage
  • Adoption
  • Judgement
  • Repentance

As always there are some great points made and this was a particularly natural, relaxed and respectful conversation about a customarily contentious topic.

Wishing you productive processing time friends.

Your sister,
Mary

George’s Testimony {The Great Experiment Series}

Last year, we travelled to Barbados and I had the chance to meet and stay with some of AJ’s old friends, George and Calena.

I loved getting to know them and especially hearing from George about his experiences with Divine Love and Truth. On the last day of our stay I also had the extreme honour of channelling George’s guides to him. There is something so special about feeling a guide’s love for their friend on earth. I never tire of this process.

I also get to feel some of the pristine qualities that draw specific guides to their individual charges on earth i.e. what soul qualities they have in common. So its like catching a slight hint of the person on earth’s true personality and potential, for just a moment. As I said – huge honour.

George is a great story teller. During our stay he told me of his first experience with ‘The Great Experiment’ and it was gripping! He is very expressive, descriptive and full of passion for God.

So when I decided to put together this series it seemed natural to ask him to write the story of his receiving Divine Love for the first time. Of course, some of that expression is lost in the written (rather than spoken) word but I still love his story.

Thank-you George – over to you.

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George & Calena

This is my testimony and findings concerning GODS DIVINE LOVE which is still available to all mankind.

Some years ago, I believe it was in 1999, my wife’s sister, aged 46, passed away suddenly one night. This of course was shocking to all the family to say the least. In the interim a friend through our network, Brenda, gave my wife a brochure entitled: “What happens when you die” She wasn’t up to reading it for some reason so she gave it to me to peruse. I found this brochure extremely intriguing as no one really talks about death. Makes one wonder is this what everyone is so afraid of it?

Anyway I asked my wife to ask Brenda if there was a book I could read about this, she told me there were 4 plus, I told her get me book 1 please. I don’t think I had finished 20 pages of the book (that has over 300) before I quickly asked my wife to get me the rest of the books.

My life came to a complete halt. I locked myself in my room (peace and quiet) and read these 4 books written in the early 1900’s by James E Padgett, a lawyer form Washington D.C., and New testament Revelations 3 times consecutively. Non stop. I couldn’t get enough. I ate and came back up to read, more than 12 hours a day.

As I read in the beginning these folks writing to Padgett and one thing kept repeating itself over and over and over again…

“PRAY IN ALL EARNESTNESS FOR THE FATHERS LOVE TO OPEN AND COME IN YOUR SOUL”

I hung onto those words and still do like my life depends on it. There is no greater truth that mankind can know, while this privilege is still available.

So the first day I prayed and prayed… nothing seemed to happen.. I broke down and prayed some more and…. zip.

nothing happened.

I kept reading and this same message kept repeating itself from so many different spirits..

So the second day…. I prayed some more, but when I awoke the 3rd day I had the realization that I hadn’t prayed as strong as I had the first day.

Well this 3rd day praying, I let it all go the words IN ALL EARNESTNESS, and read the Prayer for the Divine Love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U5WqJifVok

I left it all on the table that day.. I broke right down and prayed.

When I look back on that day I realize why I didn’t feel anything right away. I was crying so intensely, wanting to experience the Love so much, that I was in fact expiating quite a bit of negative emotions. (But that is another story).

So I woke up the 4th day. Oh what a glorious morning it was as I sat in bed and felt this beautiful deep glow around the heart region.

It was so beautiful.

It lasted the entire day. I didn’t know that when I woke on the 5th day, the same strong feeling would not be there. Instead I experienced the SOUL LONGINGS, which simply means your soul longing for more.

This is not just a mere thought or words or expressions, but Real True and hard felt emotions. My life has totally changed since.

This is my testimony.

Wishing your soul desires to all come true.

Your brother and friend in the Fathers Divine Love,

George

Truth, Hope & Change {The Great Experiment Series}

Firstly, thank-you to all of you who responded to my last post, requesting some feedback on whether my idea of posting simple “Jesus Quotes” regularly appealed to you. I had no idea there were so many of you out there reading! (just kidding)

Needless to say, I now plan to make “Jesus Quotes” a regular feature. Thanks to all of you for joining in and letting me know how you feel.

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I’ve chosen this ‘Great Experiment Series’ because it’s an area that I’m personally giving focus to at present. The simple process of open-hearted longing and relating to God is at the core of everything we teach. Yet it’s something I feel needs much, much more of my personal attention.

As crucial as I know it to be, at times, to simply sit and engage with myself, in order to even begin to open up to God, can be quite a challenge. As the series goes on I plan to share more about the blocks to opening our hearts in sincere prayer that many of us encounter.

I’ve also chosen a number of Padgett Messages to inspire me in my quest. You can find the full list here. These messages relate the experiences of real people engaging the experiment of longing for God’s Love, and clearly highlight the benefits of doing so. For any of us feeling completely blocked towards God, and disheartened in our prayer life, these stories tell us exactly how and where to start.

The first message in our series was received by James Padgett, from his father John Padgett, on the 31st of December, 1914.

Below you will find:

– Some of my brief and recent written reflections on this message

– A video of Jesus and I discussing the message in its entirety

– A full transcript of the actual message

I think it’s apt that for our first message we find Mackey and Taggart in a stuck and disheartened place – a lot of us start right where they are at. Their expression in this message highlights some of the big hurdles and blocks that have prevented their growth so far, such as disillusionment with God due to teachings they learnt on earth (how many of us are still carrying these kinds of injuries in our soul, even though our intellect is now telling us different?), and their fears of hoping and trying for something that they aren’t sure will ever happen.

And yet by the end of the message we see that they are assisted, through Padgett’s sincere concern and his appeal to their logic, to develop some humility. They undertake to understand and attempt the experiment.

I was impressed by Padgett’s example in this and following messages and was very struck by the references that all of the spirits made as to the power of his individual prayers for them.

Some Specific Reflections:

As I reread this message in preparation for this post, a few things really stood out to me.

I was reminded of the power of Truth. As we see demonstrated in this and many other messages to Padgett, simply hearing a truth, or having contact with a person who demonstrates love and truth can be a crucial turning point in a person’s journey. Speaking and acting in support of truth can reach people even in the depths of their despair and hopelessness. It can begin to generate hope, curiosity, and a desire for positive change. And these qualities are all helpful in building faith.

Indeed we see that Padgett’s demonstration of love for his friends, his personal faith and prayers for them, and his delivery of Truth (even in spite of the protestations and arguments of his friends) – that these gifts planted seeds of hope and the possibility for change in the men in spirit.

In this message Mackay’s condition was described:

“he is not very hopeful of ever becoming very happy, as he sees nothing around him but darkness and depravity, and evil spirits who delight in trying to make everyone around them feel that there is no hope for any spirit; but that their lives must be spent in a condition of suffering and unhappiness,”

So not only was a lack of truth harming Mackay’s progress, but spirits were able to manipulate his ignorance and his despair for their own unloving ends. This can happen so easily to us on earth as well.

When we choose to ignore Truth and the evidence of God’s Love for us, we never challenge our hopelessness, or identify it as just a feeling (rather than Truth). This opens us to large amounts of spirit influence from spirits who are invested in us remaining the same, so that they may feed their addictions through us.

When we are without hope, and do not grieve it, dark spirits can tell us that the situation will never change, and that we are deserving of our state.

But we have the choice to challenge negative messages with Truths that we have already been made aware of. We have so many tools available to us that can remind us, and keep us taking steps towards love of ourselves and honour of God’s Truth.

When we focus on Truth, and are humble to our hopelessness (rather than becoming rigid, angry with others or punishing of ourselves – techniques which actually just distracts us from our fear and sadness), we open the door to change, and guidance from higher spirits. Faith grows. Mackay’s example demonstrates this process.

The second element to inspire me in this message was Padgett’s reassurance to Taggart regarding the true nature of loving prayer and its power for our planet:

“He says that he never thought of it in that way, but, if as you say the prayer should be that this love which you say would make men love not only God but one another, and make every man strive to make happy every other man, then if that prayer should be answered, the war would soon stop, and the nations as nations and as individuals would undoubtedly be happy and peace would reign over all the land.”

This vision of peace for the world is a dream of my own. And it inspires me to know that as we pray in sincerity to God for His Love, and receive it, the natural love we have for brothers and sisters is also refined.

So to conclude my reflections, even this simple message gifted to us from John, Mackay and Taggart, serves as an excellent tool through which to challenge our hopelessness with truth, and inspire us towards change.

It demonstrates the power of love, of sincere prayer and of the service we can give to each other, by reminding our sisters and brothers of the great truths we know, and the great hope for humanity that can be gained through each of us developing a personal relationship with God.

What stood out to you in this message?

Our Video Discussion:

The Message Transcript:

December 31, 1914

A Message from John H. Padgett to his son James Padgett

Mr. Padgett’s father tells of soulmate records.

I am here, your father:

I am very happy and am glad that you seem to be also.

Yes, because of your experience the other night in loving Helen and her loving you. You certainly were filled with love and you must be perfectly happy, to have had such a demonstration of love and the realization of the actual sensitive presence of your wife. for I tell you that she was with you and was so filled with her love for you, that we all wondered at her love. She is a spirit that seems to have no limit to her love for you, not many spirits seem to have such abundance of love as she has for you. So you must consider yourself a very blessed man to have such a wife and a soulmate.

Yes, as I told you many years ago, there is of record in the heavens a book of lives, as I might call it, which contains the names of those who are decreed by God to be one through all eternity: and when I want to know who is the soulmate of one who desires to know his or her soulmate, I consult that book, and there I find who the soulmate is. I am not permitted to give the name of the soulmate if he or she is on the earth life, for it might create discord or unhappiness to the living, but if the soulmate is not married then there is no restriction upon me, but if the soulmate is married then I must not tell the name, such is the law of God in this particular.

The reason is that I have that duty assigned to me, and as Helen has told you I have taught her to perform this duty and she is now engaged in it, and is most successful in the performance of her mission. She seems to have a wonderful ability, or you might call it, intuition for locating the soulmates in the spirit world as she never fails when she undertakes to find one. She also finds great happiness in doing this work and in seeing the happiness that comes to them who ask her to perform this task. I do not engage in it with so much enthusiasm as she does, but I do the best that I can, and I am rewarded also by seeing the happiness of those soulmates when they are brought together.

No, not if they are not assigned to do this work. It is one of the provisions of the spiritual world that each person has some work of a certain kind, or several kinds to do, and in that way are helped by the higher powers, or, as we believe, the love of God to perform. A spirit who is assigned to do a particular work, such as helping the spirit when it first enters the spirit world, will not attempt to engage in other work of a wholly different kind.

Yes, as to attempting to awaken a spirit to a conception of the love of God that is waiting for it, all spirits may do this, and when a spirit succeeds in causing a darkened or blinded spirit to feel or realize that God’s love is waiting for it, then the spirit who has caused that awakening is most happy.

Of course, it is only the spirit who has had that awakening himself, who can cause or lead another spirit to that desire for spiritual enlightenment, that will finally cause it to get this love to his full and complete happiness. I am not yet in a condition to be fully able to do this with much success, but your grandmother and mother are very powerful in this particular, and they are the cause of many spirits becoming reconciled to God and His salvation.

So you see, the one great thing to obtain, either while on earth, or after you come here, is this great awakening and love of God in your own heart. It is of all things necessary, the greatest. I know to a considerable degree what it means and the happiness that comes from it; but I am not satisfied and am striving to obtain more of this love, and to rise higher in the Kingdom of God. So you must try also, for you need not wait until you come over.

She has it to a degree that almost enables her to go with your mother, and I think that in a very short time she will leave us and rise to the higher sphere, and we will miss her very much.

Yes, he (Mr. Riddle) is becoming more in condition to receive this love and believe in what your mother tells him. She is the one that is trying to show him the way, more than anyone else. He seems to have great confidence in her and in her love.

He is also progressing very fast, and I expect that he will soon be with me in this sphere. So you see we all are doing well in the way of progressing and your prayers help us very much.

I have seen him (Taggart) very recently and he is in the same condition as when I wrote you first about him. He does not seem to realize that he needs any assistance to help him to become happier or to progress to a better condition and it is difficult to convince him. I tried several times, but he said that I was mistaken in what I told him, and that he knew that he was just where it was intended that he should be, so I have not tried lately.

No, I do not, but I can find him (Mackey) if you desire that I shall, He might want to say something to you, but only through me, as you must not get into rapport with these strangers to our band, for it will do harm, and we must not run the risk.

We are here. Mr. Mackey and Mr. Taggart. They say that they are very glad that you have given them the opportunity to say a word.

He (Mackey) says that he is much happier than when he first came over. as he has commenced to see the things that are necessary to make him happier. He says, that he wants you to tell him of your experience with some of the other spirits, with whom you have come in contact; as he says, he has recently learned from earth sources that you have had considerable experience with spirits who have been in a condition of unrest and spiritual blindness, and have helped them some.

He says that he is in the earth plane, and that when he came over it was a very dark and dreadful road that he traveled, that he was all blind and left alone after he first entered the spirit world, and that only recently has he commenced to see a ray of light, that his condition now is not one in which he receives much happiness, and he is not very hopeful of ever becoming very happy, as he sees nothing around him but darkness and depravity, and evil spirits who delight in trying to make everyone around them feel that there is no hope for any spirit; but that their lives must be spent in a condition of suffering and unhappiness, in other words, that they are in hell and have no hope of getting away from it.

He says that he has gotten some little light from a spirit who has been telling him, that there is hope and a better place if he will only believe it to be so, and let his soul open up to the better influences; but that he cannot believe that there is any God or any Saviour or any better place for him. He says that if there is a better place or any reason to believe that there is a God or Saviour he wants to know it, and if you can help him any, to please do so.

He says that he has not seen Mr. Riddle and did not know that he is in the Spirit World. He says that he will try to find him, and may be he can get some help.

He says that I am much more beautiful than Mr. Taggart, and more happy looking. He further says, that I am not so very different, as he sees it, to cause him to ask that question, but as you request it, he will do so. He has asked me and I told him that my appearance and happiness was caused by my having gotten the love of God in my soul, and the realization that God is my Father, and loves me so very much that he wants me to be his child and become one in thought with Him.

He says that that may be true, but he does not understand it, and that if it is the cause, he would like to know the Way, for he certainly wants to be rid of the awful darkness and despair that is with him almost continuously. Because, as he says, that you are his friend and that he will try to do as you suggested; but he says that he cannot yet believe that there is a God who can help him to get out of his awful condition. He says that he will try to pray and try to believe and that if there is anything in what you say, and you really believe what you say, that you must pray for him also.

He says that for the sake of what you say, that if any of these spirits that you speak of, should come to him, he will listen to them, even though he may not believe – that he cannot promise to believe.

He says that he will come to you tonight and try to pray as you say, but he doubts that it will do any good, but he does not think that it can do any harm. He is willing to pray and will try to believe, you must not feel bad, if when he does so, he tells you that he don’t believe in prayer or God.

He says that he is not willing to run the risk of having his conscience lash him or of his suffering any more than he is now. He does not believe that he can do so and live.

He says, that what you say sounds as if there might be some truth in it, and he will think about it, that is, if his happiness or future state depends upon his will, he will very soon determine that question, for if what you say is true, then he will be a big fool to remain where he is, when by the mere exercise of his will he can get into places of happiness and light. So he says, he will think of what you say.

He says that what you say may be all true, but the difficulty is that he can’t understand, and, therefore, can’t believe.

He says that he can say what you have just said and mean it, and he is ready to do so now. “If there be a God, and if that God has a love for me, and is ready to fill my soul with that love and make me happy and full of light, and whether I receive that love or not depends upon my will, then if this is all true, I will that God give me this love with all my strength and desire.”

He says that he is feeling some strong sensation now, and that he will repeat this and pray to God and ask for faith; and will continue to repeat it, as you have taught him, and he hopes that he may receive this love and light. He says that you have shown him that there may be some such thing as this love of God, and that he is willing to pray, and if his receiving it depends upon his will, he is willing it with all his heart. He says that as you seem to have such faith in this love and in prayer, that you do not forget to pray for him.

Yes, Mr. Taggart has heard it all and he says, that you certainly did put it up to Mackey to try the experiment, but that he is very doubtful if you will see any good results flow from it. He says that he will wait and see what effect it has on Mackey, and then he may be willing to consider the matter. He does not believe that prayer is anything more than a mere wish that emanates in and goes no higher than mind; and that, consequently, there is no God to answer, for if there was the prayers of all the people of the warring nations, would bring about such conflicting answers that confusion would be worse confused.

He says that he never thought of it in that way, but, if as you say the prayer should be that this love which you say would make men love not only God but one another, and make every man strive to make happy every other man, then if that prayer should be answered, the war would soon stop, and the nations as nations and as individuals would undoubtedly be happy and peace would reign over all the land. And if this is the love that you are trying to tell us about, then I am not so certain that it is worth striving for.

You are a very ingenious reasoner, and I commence to see that there may be some logic in what you say, but how am I to attempt to do that in which I have no faith? I know that I ordinarily, when on earth required everything to be proved, and unless things were proved I was not willing to accept conclusions, and I have not changed in that particular since I have come to the spirit world and I find it hard to change; but, as you say, I should be reasonable enough to let my mind be open to a conviction, if such conviction can possibly be brought about by any means, whether they arise from the knowledge that I gained when on earth, or whether they arise from things connected with this spiritual world of which I have very little knowledge.

So after all I guess Mackey is not such a big fool to try the experiment; and having confidence in you as a friend that has at heart my welfare, I will do the same as Mackey has promised to do. So you can pray for me too, and I will pray also – but of course I will not be able to have any belief that my prayers will be answered. So you see I am not only hard headed, but hard hearted also.

Yes I am, if it depends on my will I am more than willing, not only that, but if there be a God and the love that you speak of, I will forever thank that God for taking me away from this condition of blindness and unhappiness.

Yes, I am willing to pray to God to help me to believe, and if that will bring relief, then there will be no difficulty, for I will make such a prayer with all my heart.

You are the most persistent man that I have ever met in these spiritual matters and if what you say happens, I will certainly thank you with all my heart and soul, for I can conceive of nothing more desirable than to have the great blessings and possessions that you tell me about. So I will keep faith with you as I said when nest you give me the opportunity to write, I will frankly tell you what the result of my experiment is.

Yes, and I appreciate what you have done and I say to you that this violation of your law, which the band you speak of has prescribed, has caused me to think more deeply of your interest in me and what you said, than I can express.

So good bye for the present, the next time I come I will try to observe your law, and write through your father, if he will permit me to.

Yes, you certainly did give the gentleman a struggle to get away from what you said to them, and I believe that you have impressed them to such a degree that they will be lead to learn the truth. You are tired and must stop.

Your father,

JOHN H. PADGETT

Love Words {Jesus Quotes}

I live with a guy who says great stuff… like all the time…

But then you probably already know that? I’d say I’m preaching to the converted.

Anyway, he saves me from deep pot-holes of doubt and self-deception often… again you’re not really surprised are you?

He inspires me daily. He lifts me up with his faith, and his down-to-earth expression of the most glorious Truths there are.

Quite honestly, I question how we all don’t just sit down and listen.. really listen.. to him more.

I see people get thrown off  by his laid back nature, or the lack of polish or fancy prose in his delivery. He’s fun, he doesn’t put on airs and graces, and he doesn’t demand anything from his listener.. but boy does he say great things.

He also lets us all have our doubts and objections, and our general thrashing it out internally while he speaks. He feels it all, and knows that in our preoccupation with maintaining emotional equilibrium, we often miss half the wisdom in his sentence.

That’s why I write stuff down. Because I sense there’s gold in them there words, and sometimes I need to catch my breath, and revisit, to fully soak them in.

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I think he looks so adorable in this shot – but I’m not sure he likes it.

Even at home, I scribble incredible things he says in the margin of my journals.

While I make the dinner, or he does the laundry, he tells me soul truths, God Truths. They flow easily and unassumingly from him – products, not of doctrine or dogma, but of lived experience.

I swear, on my darkest days, he literally saves my soul. He guides me to the light, he makes poetry out of this existence (and if he read this now he’d probably tell me I’m being too fancy and pomp.. to him he’s just a guy who loves God).

One thing he’s taught me is this (my somewhat awkward paraphrase here):

God’s Truth doesn’t need embellishment or fanfare or dressing-up – its power speaks for itself. When we try to make it fancier, or more palatable to others, we, in arrogance, believe we know better than God about how to reach a person, about how to deliver a gift.

In effect we are saying that the Truth, as simply as it exists, needs modifying, for human consumption.

We are denying that the fabric of God’s Universe is built in Truth, and, as His Children, our souls are designed to respond to pure, unadulterated Truth. If we believe that God’s Truth is said thing, why would we feel it could be shared in a way that seems ‘softer’, ‘prettier’ or ‘kinder’?

Isn’t God the most Caring, Loving character there is?

So wouldn’t sharing His Truth, just as it exists about any given matter, be the most caring and loving thing to do?

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I try to remember when I write, that simple and direct is kind and loving (I’m a bit prone to flowery prose and apt to try to over-explain to get people ‘on side’).

Jesus taught me that if I say it how it is with love, and without pressure for people to agree, or any desire for them to change, then I give a gift.

I give the gift of truth, and I also give the listener the gift of allowing them whatever feelings they have in response. It doesn’t mean that I’ll stand there and absorb abuse from the listener, but neither would I try to stop them from feeling any emotion that might be triggered through our exchange.

God Himself knows, that sometimes its taken me.. eh hem… a long time… to make peace with some of His Truths, and for some He’s still waiting on a call back from me. I haven’t quite given Him the nod on everything He’s trying to teach me – much as logic would compel me otherwise, I’ve got un-felt emotions that make me resist.

So letting others take their time to work through whatever emotions the Truth triggers in them, well that’s love. We’ve all got error that’s going to shake loose at some stage or another. Sometimes a big Truth (or a little one) delivered by you, by me, or by Jesus, might be the very thing that starts that soul-quake in another.

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So, reeling myself back in from that tangent, lets get back to the actual ‘Jesus Quotes’ part of this post.

The other night, we were talking, and Jesus casually mentioned a few things to me.

(Did I mention that this man takes my breath away?)

I thought that they were worth a share.

“Love is knowing that you can leave at any time – but wanting to stay anyway.”
Jesus, February 2013

“If you don’t want to have anything to do with love – then the “love” that you’ve had wasn’t any good. (i.e. it wasn’t love in the first place)”
Jesus, February 2013.

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A brief postscript:

I’m not sure if my idea to regularly share my ‘Jesus Quotes’ will work here. Are you now reading them now, saying, “Yes so? I knew that?”

At the time he says these things – they are very significant to me. My soul is open and they become a very loving, yet shocking, suckerpunch to my reality.

My intellect (the one usually in control) would smugly say, (despite extreme evidence to the contrary), ‘sure I know that!’

But in the precise moment, these truths strike my soul and suddenly I’m dissolving.

what, really? Love isn’t about obligation? duty? sacrifice? All that ‘love’ that made me feel guilty, and came conditionally – that wasn’t love?”

Sure I might say I get it with my head – but do I live that, connect to that, really know that?

No.

(And if you are someone who read the quotes above and said ‘so what, not so profound’ – does your life really offer you evidence that your know and live these things?)

Quite simply, when my man says stuff sometimes, its like my heart hears it for the first time.

I cry.

I write it down because I want to revisit these Truths time and again. I know that if they entered my soul (not just my tenacious intellect) that they would change my life forever.

What do you think – does it work to tell you too? Or should I just keep scribbling this stuff in my margins, saving it up for some other purpose?

Forgiveness, Me & The Midnight Hours

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

Mahatma Gandhi

You should know this – I love the principles of forgiveness. I believe in them.

In fact I believe, that the use of our will in the experience of true repentance and true forgiveness, forms the very basis of our relationship with God.

Soul-based forgiveness and repentance create the conditions under which the holy spirit may connect to us in a spirit of truth – and in those moments God may Love Us.

In addition to that, the forgiveness I have received and given in this life, are among most precious gifts and moments I can recall.

Yet here I am at 2am, filling a page with notes on forgiveness. I’m writing to you, but mainly for me, because my heart needs to hear me state the truth of such good and Godly things.

To be quite honest, forgiving the pain in my past, well, I’m not finding it altogether easy.

Forgiveness requires humility. And not just your off-hand ‘oh, yes, I can acknowledge that that event hurt’, brush away a few sly tears,  kind of recognition of pain. Its got to be sincere. Its got to involve a wide open heart, and a willingness to scan the deep recesses of one’s soul.

All in a day’s work for people like you and me, right? Well, maybe not quite.

Truthfully, I’m a bit knotted up in the tummy over the next phase in this journey, yet I’m determined to do it right this time.

My quest to get real on this topic is revealing to me that, despite my tendency get all misty eyed and passionate over the concepts of forgiveness, there are many (many, many) ways that, instead of embracing a process of forgiveness, I have in fact avoided myself and the truth. And I’ve incurred quite a bit of damage to others in the process.

I’m not falling into a deep pot-hole of self-hate about it, but here, tonight, I’m calling myself to account.

What code do I truly want to live by: One that honours fear, and cursorily acknowledges truth? Or a practice that honours truth, and simply allows my fears to be released in this process?

When I honour fear, I live by fear’s dictate. I might pay lip service to God’s Wonderful Truths, but when push comes to shove, fear gets the final say.

When I honour Truth, I let fear be present and felt, but I live by God’s Laws.

If I truly want to forgive, I’m going to honour through word, feeling and deed, that this process of forgiveness is powerful, healing and truly works. I’m going to face my fear, and hurt, without complaint, restraint and with definite intention to heal.

So What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness can only be born once we have a deep desire to know and feel our own selves, including our pain. In this, we relinquish any desires for commiseration, retribution or short-cuts.

Forgiveness means facing the past. It means connecting to whatever pain is there – be that pain as a result of someone’s direct actions, their inaction, or our perception of their actions[*]

Forgiveness involves allowing and feeling the pain of unloving actions done to you, and releasing it forever.

Magically, letting go of pain enables truth to flow to us – the whole truth of what really happened and the Truth that we are lovable and worthy.

It can’t happen in reverse, truth always follows humility, which is why our desire to embrace our pain is so essential.

The entire process is actually so simple that, as children, we naturally knew how to do it, without thought or teaching. God created us to forgive, She built our capacity for it into the very fabric of our soul. It is through forgiveness that can stay connected to our true selves. It grants us freedom to let go of the past, and to dream anew for our future.

But somewhere along the way, we were taught to fear emotion or to fear the punishment we received when expressing it. Or we were continually placed in harmful situations, so we learnt that there was no point to releasing the pain. We shut down as a coping mechanism.

Then we went out into a world saturated with demands for ‘rights’, for justice. We see movies that glorify those who seek violent revenge to protect the weak and innocent. Often we are taught that forgiveness is weak and that if we do it we will allow ourselves to be hurt again and again.

Does Forgiveness Make us Weak?

The truth is that when we truly, authentically forgive, we are far less likely to allow ourselves to be harmed in the same way again. Why? Because in the process of forgiveness we must come face-to-face with the wrong that has been done to us. We grieve this hurt and release it from us.

These two actions – grieving the hurt and facing the truth – protect us from future harm in the following ways:

We no longer live in denial

When we face the hurt and the truth of what has been done, we are no longer in denial. Often we enter states of denial in an attempt to create a kind of ‘buffer’ between ourselves and our own pain. This can work for a while, but  it also means we are less sensitive to what is actually happening right now. In this state, of using our will to be less sensitive to what is going on around us, we often allow ourselves to be hurt again and again, by numerous people.

In engaging the beginnings of forgiveness, we face our pain, meaning that we no longer have the buffer. We are again sensitive to what hurts and more likely to withdraw or stand up to harm directed towards us – not less.

Forgiveness is not compliance

True forgiveness never means denying the truth or responsibility of anyone’s actions. So even though we forgive, we may still choose to remove a violent or harmful person from our lives, until a time when we feel that they have repented.

In fact, having gone through this process, we are more in touch with our own self-care and respect, since in order to forgive, we have had to face that the harm done to us was not deserved.

Forgiveness generates discernment

Before we forgive, we carry our wounds from the past with us. Like a huge set of mismatched luggage, we cart all our baggage with us into every encounter. This baggage is a conglomeration of trapped emotions relating to (sometimes hundreds) of painful events in the past. Emotions are trapped when, as children, we were denied the opportunity to experience the full extend of our fear, pain, shame or powerlessness.

But here’s the thing, because its trapped, because we are afraid to feel it, because we live in a state of always trying to look forward to the next destination, trying desperately to ignore the heavy burden of carting all those cumbersome suitcases, we aren’t very sure about what bit of the hurt fits where, and with whom.

We might know that we are afraid of being hurt, but we haven’t released the pain of exactly who betrayed us – so we cast that fear out like a huge blanket over everyone in our emotional vicinity. We may feel the deep, and persistent, tug of fear and unworthiness around the edges of our day but we are afraid to discover its exact roots. So we end up seeking relationships and situations based solely on avoiding these feelings – rather ones driven by our true desires and personality.

In all of this – we get lost. We loose the ability to discern who truly loves and cares for us from those who might be there to meet an addiction, or even from those who are still hurting us but we just don’t want to see it.

Engaging the process of forgiveness means that we place the hurt where it belongs. For the first time we can clearly see who has hurt us. And we can now discern and seek out those who have our best interests at heart.

Engaging forgiveness softens us to our pain, but it also makes us strong to our own desires and empowers us in reliable self-care practices.

Here are some inspiring stories about people seeking to live forgiveness in the real world:

Truth & Reconciliation Trials

 “…the cycle of reprisal and counter reprisal that had characterized their national history had to be broken and that the only way to do this was to go beyond retributive justice to restorative justice, to move on to forgiveness, because without it there was no future.”

Desmond Tutu

Forgiveness & Criminal Justice?

Amish Grace

[*] which may or may not be correct – the point is that we must feel what we carry as hurtful feelings towards us, clarity will come as we go.