By Donaia De Marco
What a grand time to be alive! Not only are we ending a single year, but we are also ending a century and a millennium. A vast space of time is being completed. December bodes a time of both closure and expansion. There have been a rash of deaths in the sports world, a jetliner crashed off Nantucket, and I have been to three funerals in the past month. People are transitioning. It is so sad to be saying good-bye to some parts of our old selves. In this year, 1999, we seem to be really completing some old business. However, Christmas is almost at hand. Traditionally, this is our time for giving. And, this Christmas offers many opportunities for beginning a new year, a new century, a new millennium…a new way of being. The beauty part is that we get to complete the year, the century, the millennium with our giving.
When you look at the syntax of the word forgiving, you may find a simple understanding of the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is about giving. The word literally means (1) to absolve or excuse from fault, (2) to renounce anger and resentment, and (3) to offer a blessing. Sometimes we humans run around like little power-mongers, withholding our love when we feel we have been wronged. Look at how the word withhold is spelled; it has a look of adhesion in the middle. "I will not pardon you. I will hold it against you; I will not care about you any more. Now I have an excuse to care about you less." Somehow, we believe absolution is only for holy people…priests and priestesses. For the rest of us, withholding seems to be a power base. We are in control of our benevolence. Their punishment is that we don't really have to be nice to them any more. However, withholding forgiveness bocks our general capacity to love because self-righteous anger sucks our energy inward and slams our doors and windows shut. "You won't hurt me again" becomes our mantra. It also becomes our prison. No one can get in…but no one can get out. And, it gets tight in there…hence, the growing stiffness in our bodies.
The second part, the renunciation of anger and resentment, seems to be very important for health reasons. It is difficult on the physical body to hold a grudge, to sustain high levels of stored anger and resentment. When we don't forgive, we create quite a few bottled-up little storms. We have this intense, negatively charged, energy that must be put some place, so we seem to build hard little blocks of fire. It could commercially be called "hot pockets." However, unlike glowing coals radiating heat evenly, we release our heat in spurts of anger…like an ever-ready pressure cooker periodically popping its lid. Or, if we don't express our anger at all, like anything else that has been stored too long, it starts to go bad…becoming rank and foul. Then we go cold and begin to dry up. Holding on to self-righteous anger and resentment creates hot pockets in the physical body because the body has to work so hard to maintain a fixed position. As my physical therapist sister Patti says, "The human body was meant to move." The rhythm of life is the inhale and the exhale…movement and rest…the constant pulsing of receiving and giving. When we disrupt that rhythm with our beliefs and self-righteous stances, we start to blockade the natural moments of love. Don't you just love it when a person can't help but smile? When we're caught unawares in a moment that is soft and funny, a trickle of bliss seems to leak out of one corner of our mouths? "Hallelujah!" I say. "Thank you, God," I breathe.
Ever notice how persons righting a wrong can seem just as sour as the ones ringing the wrong. There's something very similar in the match-up of the two of them. They both have purpose tension. That is why the third ingredient of forgiveness, offering a blessing, is so important. We get to melt the iceberg if not in them or between us, then simply within ourselves. With forgiveness, the air begins to clear and a path seems to open before us affording us an opportunity to extend our goodness wherever we will. Oh, what a joy it is to be free again to give and receive…to be able to relax into the flow of any given moment. Experts say, "Children play when they feel safe." Well, forgiveness means we are safe from each other's judgements. Forgiveness means we are offering not only acceptance, but we are extending blessings. If we can truly touch them and say, "Blessings on your journey," and truly mean it, then we have come to a place in ourselves that is divine, so to speak. We know what it means to give a heartfelt gift…and we know what it feels like to get just what we need at just the right time. "Angels we have heard on high…."
This is the time of year for giving, so it is a good time of year to practice forgiveness. Give the gift of Love. Let's extend our blessings to all in this holiday season. Let's soften the rough and sharp edges of our make-up. And let's not forget to forgive ourselves. As Cindy Watlington says in "Mineral Kingdom Wisdom, "This incarnation is not the time to worry about perfection. This is the time for moving forward and releasing old patterns that no longer work. Now is the time for taking stock in your life and changing course if you feel empty, unhappy, or disconnected. This is the time for recognizing yourself as a beautiful, loving and lovable being with much to offer." Tis the season for giving blessings…your self included. Offer this world your greatest gift of all…become the Love that you are. Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year…new century… new millennium
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