Saturday, April 5, 2014

"The Rug Got Pulled Out From Underneath Me"

I spent today leading a forgiveness workshop and afterward one of the participants asked if I might spend a few minutes helping her understand something about an event from her past.

While doing one of the forgiveness meditations, she became aware that there were various elements associated with a particular event and wanted to know why that was.  I let her know that, yes, our bigger forgiveness lessons often have many aspects associated with them.  Big painful events are often complicated and the emotion we feel about them tends to make then seem even more complicated in our minds.

When she began to speak about what happened, her face took on a confused clouded expression and she had a difficult time grasping what we were discussing, even though it was all easily clear and obvious to me. As we were making a list of the aspects of this event that she needed to forgive, she kept asking me to repeat each one over and over so she could write it down.  She would write down a word or two of my sentence and get completely lost and ask me to repeat it again. Now, this is a very smart woman, but her painful memories were creating emotional blocks that were keeping her from thinking in her normal clear head.

Here are the simple facts about the event that transpired in her past.  She was a young girl and she was given her first bicycle.  She was so excited that she could ride it that she wanted to share her joy and rode down the block to show her best friend.  She felt elated that she could ride, proud of her new bike and excited to share with her friend.  When she rode back home, her father greeted her standing on the corner with a willow switch in his hand which he then beat her with it.

Today in the workshop she was able to see for the first time that his response came from his own fear.  After all, she had ridden off without telling him where she was.  She asked me if her understanding of this now was forgiveness.  My answer is that yes, it is, but only partially.

Anytime you flip the switch from fear thinking to love thinking you are forgiving.  In this case, her willingness to put herself in her father's shoes is an offering of love to him.  This is definitely the start of the forgiveness for her.  

However, there's a lot more under the surface.  I said to her, "Let's talk about the fact that here was this incredibly big moment in your life.  Getting a bicycle is a giant step in the progression to becoming BIG, so important to us when we are children.  This was one of the most important, happiest and proudest moments in your childhood.   Here you are absolutely celebrating this big moment and then suddenly it all turned horrible...the rug got pulled out from underneath you."

When I said the words, "the rug got pulled out from underneath you", she looked stunned.  "Oh, my God", she said.  "That is the repeating theme in my life.  Just when things seem to be going their very best, the rug gets pulled out from underneath me."

Of course they do!  When we have an experience this big and emotional in our childhood, it creates subconscious beliefs that color our world throughout our lifetime. In Science of Mind studies, we call these false beliefs.  My friend's belief is that whenever things are going really good, there is going to be a nasty and painful surprise.  The rug will be pulled out from underneath her.

The only way for her to stop reliving this moment in her life is for her to forgive it.  When she accomplishes the forgiveness, the horrible repeating pattern will stop and she will be able to accept happiness knowing that it will not be shockingly, abruptly and painfully taken from her.

Here are some other aspects of this experience which may have created additional false beliefs she can be working to forgive:

I get punished whenever I feel big and free and I fly.
People I love can harm me.
Love has strings attached. Other people love me conditionally.
I am a helpless victim.
I get in trouble even though I do nothing wrong.
I can't trust life.
This is not a safe world.

True forgiveness takes some deep thinking and self discovery.  That's why I like to call it a forgiveness lifestyle.  It sometimes takes months and even years to unravel the emotions, fears and blockages we have created in our minds because of the events in our past.  However, if we ask Spirit to help us receive understanding about our pasts, it will be given to us.  It often comes in fits and starts over a series of weeks and months, but maybe that's because we need the time to process what we are discovering.

Filmed at Lake Tahoe (where I live). 

It's true that forgiveness is a commitment.  However, the process can be fascinating (after all, what's more interesting than ourselves?)  It's also easier than you may think.  Now that my friend has begun to forgive this important event from her past, she'll be given more information and greater understanding about it.  It will become easier and easier for her to forgive each aspect of it.  Pretty soon, she will have released the whole thing.  The emotion of it will leave her body and she will be at peace whenever she remembers it.  This will allow her to open herself up to new possibilities in her life.  Perhaps she will decide to trust the world a little more and open up to new experiences and relationships in a larger way than she has in the past.

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