During this time of year in the Jewish religion, it’s common practice to reflect on both mistakes and the bad we’ve done or said to others.
Asking for repentance, making amends and atoning for our sins are all supposed to grant people forgiveness from G-d.
Meditation class, at Full Bloom Lotus, offers other options to consider. This story Rama shared shed much light on the subject for me.
Monks are not supposed to even look at women, much less talk to them. One day the Monk and his pupil were walking by the river when they saw a woman who needed help across the river. The Monk quietly picked up the woman, carried her across, set her down and kept walking, all without saying a single word. The pupil was very upset that the monk broke his vows and after walking away said, “You are not supposed to have any contact with women, why did you carry her?” The monk calmly replied, “I left her back there; you are still carrying her.”
This is what most of us do, right? We carry old baggage filled with shame, blame and guilt well-past when we should. This is what occupies our minds and creates liver-stress and toxic-overload mentally, which in turn effects our physical health.
I wrote in my book, A Survivors Guide to Kicking Cancer’s Ass, about the emotional connection to dis-ease. I am again looking at this concept in my life, studying more on the liver’s connection to anger, frustration and old, deep resentments. I am exploring the possibility of being free from the constraints of my mind and past wounds, and reclaiming my power to be happy, instead of stuck in the emotions that create physical illness.
We are not meant to be perfect; we are simply meant to be in the present moment while we are having a human experience.
We are not our minds, or our thoughts; indeed our mistakes and problems do not define us. I am learning that we are, in fact, our attention, which is our true essence. This means that whatever we focus on or give our attention to is what shall be. Whatever we allow will continue. If we focus on being angry then we shall live in anger.
My meditation guru says it perfectly:
“Whatever we turn our attention to will be like MiracleGrow; it will thrive!”
I tell people not to claim cancer by saying “my cancer.” Likewise, Rama says that if you keep saying, “I am sad,” then sad is what you shall be.
More than just reflecting on how we have treated others, though, perhaps we should take a long, objective look at how we have treated ourselves. Have we allowed people to be unkind to us? To abuse us? To shame, blame or label us? Have we neglected to put up healthy boundaries and love ourselves unconditionally, no matter how we are bombarded with messages of being “bad?”
Many clients of mine exhibit signs of being depleted and exhausted, and many of their illnesses are caused by being mal-nurtured. Not malnourished, but quite-literally depleted in self-nurturance. I too am guilty of this.
In meditation we learn that we don’t have to be perfect, or even “good.” The greater gift is to be present and appropriate. And guess what? If we are not perfect then we should forgive ourselves, as we are simply beings having a human experience. Forgiveness for our past imperfections or crazy behavior is imperative for our sanity and health.
The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to be imperfect; to be in the moment, no matter what that moment brings us.
Try choosing forgiving friends and partners. Stay away form eggshell people—those who ridicule and judge you for every word and move you make. Steer clear of anyone who continues to remind and ridicule you of your past mistakes and doesn’t allow you to grow and move on.
This time of year is the time of the goddess—a time when we are supposed to take care of, be gentle and kind to ourselves.
It’s a time for nurturance of the goddess energy in all of us.
So start with forgiving yourself.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Julie Jordan Scott via Flickr