Sunday, December 20, 2015

Forgiveness: The Heart of the Matter

There is something about this time of year that make me (and many others) reflective. I think back to the many loves I've had: some were brief, some were long-standing, and some continue to haunt me (for good or bad).

For the relationships that ended badly, I am filled with regret for not only my actions, but for what I allowed to happen. I remember those horrible moments, I try to come to terms with the mistakes that were made, and I take a hard look at myself searching for evidence that I'm better, wiser now than I was then. Some days, I even believe that.

I was out at a café listening to a live band who played the song linked below and it hit me so hard, so unexpectedly. It's not a new idea, but the weight of it could not be ignored. Forgiveness: it's the only way out, but it's the toughest process to bear.

The idea of forgiveness is not about giving anyone a free pass: it doesn't mean that what you did was okay, what they did was okay, or that any of it was justified. Forgiveness is about releasing some of the pain, the anger, and the sadness that comes with conflict, for you and the people involved.

Forgiveness is to realize that these ugly moments are now a part of everyone, but you are now committing to moving forward, moving beyond that moment and to work towards being a better person. Although that ugly moment is a part of you, it does not represent your whole being unless you let it become your whole being by dwelling on the pain, the anger, and the sadness of it. Rather, you will use that moment as a milestone so that you can choose to dwell in your current state of being.

The word "dwell" is important in this context. It describes they way that you embody a space with an extension of yourself. The best way to think of the word "dwell": you live in a house, but you dwell in a home. Will you allow this pain to dominate your personal dwelling, or will you forgive it, find it's place in your being, and work on adding beauty to your dwelling. Unless you forgive those moments, forgiving both yourself and the other people, those moments will dominate your dwelling and that is a choice that *you* make.

I also say that forgiveness releases *some* of the negativity. We always keep some of it with us, hoarding it greedily. The choice to forgive is not a single act, but a recurring one. Each time you revisit the moment, you can forgive it again, and again, and again. It is a cycle that you get to control and make the personal choice of how often you will forgive and how much you will forgive. No one will know any of that but you, but everyone will see and feel its effects on your being.

I'm going through this process right now and it's not easy, but I'm hoping it will be worth the work. In this season of generosity, of suffering, and comfort and compassion, indulge yourself in some forgiveness. Because when you do, we all benefit.

Heart Of The Matter by hawklan

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

NEWS: The Harper Government Establishes Polytheism as State Religion

REUTERS -- In a stunning turn of events, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced in the House of Parliament that the state religion was henceforth Polytheistic in nature to reflect the myriad of cultures and viewpoints that are deeply embedded in Canadian culture.

"It was a moment of pure ephiphany," explained Mr. Harper to a curiously stunned press. "There I was in the House, listening to Mr. Mulchair make a point about something or other, and it came to me in a dream that the surest way to unite the country under one banner would be to return to religion."

At which point, Mr. Harper reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a deeply-creased folded photograph of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. "Old Pete understood how multiculturalism allows Canada to rise above mediocrity to embrace diversity, so why shouldn't our state-authorized belief system reflect that diversity as well?"

Conservative opposition to the Prime Minister's surprise statement has been fierce. "This stance does not reflect the ideals of the Tory party!" Tim Hudak shouted angrily. "Mr. Harper did not present this to the party, so we have had no time to discuss or debate it. You cannot make decisions that affect the country this way without consulting the population! It's unconstitutional!" At which point, the other Tory members began to shift uncomfortably in their suits and move slowly away from Mr. Huldak. Sniggering could be heard from the non-Tory party members and MP Justin Trudeau was spotted tweeting furiously.

"First things first, I need an MP who understands religious diversity," Mr. Harper said, pulling out his smartphone and accessing Facebook. "It appears that the pagan community has a newly-named Pope, so we'll be in consultations with this figurehead. In the meantime, we'll be diverting some of the military budget to picking up incense, candles, and statues of Vishnu to decorate the parliamentary halls. Good day to you all and may the Gods always keep your path well-lit."

Mr. Harper was briefly hospitalized for first degree burns after attempting to leap over the Centennial Flame shouting "I have been reborn!"