Monthly Archives: August 2012

Forgive Yourself and Others

The following is an excerpt form the book, A COURSE IN WEIGHT LOSS: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering your Weight Forever (by Marianne Williamson).  If food is not your “addiction”, feel free to substitute whatever has meaning for you.  It works the same for all:

Forgiveness in hugely powerful yet often resisted fiercely.  A young man I knew in an AIDS support group years ago once asked me, “Do I really have to forgive EVERYBODY?” to which I responded, “Well, I don’t know .  .  . do you have the flu, or do you have AIDS?  Because if you only have the flu, then, heck, just forgive a few people. . . but if you have AIDS, then yes try to forgive everybody!”

You certainly wouldn’t ask a doctor, “Do I really have to take ALL the medicine?  Take the ENTIRE ROUND of chemo? Can’t I just so SOME of it?”  Nor would you say, “Doc can I just take the medicine when I feel bad?”  No, medicine is medicine.  And you respect it enough to take the amount you need.

Forgiveness is more than just a good thing.  It is key to right living and thus to your healing — not just to be applied every once in a while, but to be aimed for as a constant. . . .the effort keeps the arrows of attack at bay.  Holding on to judgment, blame, attack, defense, victimization and so forth are absolutely attacks on yourself.  And you attack yourself with food.

As you forgive others, you begin to forgive yourself.  As you stop focusing on their mistakes, you will stop punishing yourself for your own.  Your ability to release what you think of as the sins of others will free you to release yourself, putting down that particular weapon with which you punish yourself so savagely.

Forgiveness releases the past to Divine correction and the future to new possibilities  Whatever it was that happened to you, it is OVER.  It happened in the past; in the present, it does not exist unless you bring it with you.  Nothing anyone has ever done to you has permanent effects unless you hold on to it permanently.

For those of you who read my blogs on a regular basis, it might seem like I share a lot about forgiveness.  I do . . . because resentments are one of the most common mechanisms that we use to keep ourselves invested in being “right.”   We often feel threatened by someone who does not believe as we do, or who might think beyond our own realm of understanding, or who did something to hurt us or a loved one.  When we feel threatened, it just keeps us tied to our fears, anger and powerlessness – hence to the extra weight or the effects of whatever compulsive behavior we use.  And we do whatever we need to in order to feel in control.

Forgiving is letting go of that need to control and be right.  It is allowing ourselves and others to live in the flow of life as it comes.

Have a mind that’s open to everything – and attached to nothing.
-Tilopa


The Beacon of the Lighthouse

Many of you know I am somewhat involved in the new Community Center in Kansas City, called the Lighthouse. The LIKEME® Lighthouse is an LGBT Center that provides a broad array of services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.  Located at 3909 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri,  The Lighthouse is a multi-faceted community center and a place for LGBT individuals, their families and friends to call HOME! (taken directly from the website: www.likemelighthouse.org)

I just came from there after meeting with a group of the volunteers who are dealing with a very painful loss.

Grief and loss are difficult to accept, but they are an integral part of our lives, whether we want them to be or not.  Yet, every time I join with a group like this, at the level we have to get to in order to face it, I feel such a loving, compassionate connection.  I fully believe that there are may reasons for events that rock our sense of security in life.  But if there was no other reason for the loss, I believe it is so that those of us affected can have this experience.  THIS is who we are.  This is what we are supposed to come away from this earth knowing.

I am so grateful to Chely Wright for spawning the idea for the Lighthouse and to all those who work tirelessly to make it happen.  I am honored that they allowed me to be a part of it.  They are each making a difference in the world.

Namaste

 

Storing Energy

Below is a quote from Elizabeth Lesser in her book, BROKEN OPEN. In this section she is talking about grief, and how we do ourselves and our loved ones a disservice by trying to move on too quickly after the death of a loved one. Our society encourages this “quick fix” mentality of grief just like it does for other problems – take a pill, take a week off to get your affairs in order, and throw yourself back into work. This is one of the main reasons we have so many people with anxiety disorders and depression. We don’t allow the time and space to experience our feelings all the way through to the other side. (Gospel According to Patti)

What Elizabeth is saying goes for ANY loss. We need to learn to allow all the feelings to come and to sit with them. No one likes this. And sometimes it feels as if we’ll never be able to get past it, but she explains very well how it can work:

“To have a store of energy accumulated is to have a store of power in back of one. We live with our psychic energy in modern times much as we do with our money – mortgaged to the next decade.

Most modern people are exhausted nearly all the time and never catch up to an equilibrium of energy, let alone have a store of energy behind them. With no energy in store, one cannot meet any new opportunity.
Keeping the gap open after the death of a loved one (or any loss) is a way of storing valuable energy.”

Once we’ve allowed that energy to be stored, we can then move on.

She goes on to say something I’ve always told clients. I don’t like the concept of “closure”. It sounds so final, and to me, it means that the loss we just experienced is “done” and no longer has any meaning. When we grieve someone or something in our lives, we are honoring them/it. We’re never “over” loss. It’s difficult and it’s messy. But we can get through it and integrate the lessons it’s taught us into our lives and come out stronger – and with more energy!

Gratitude

Those of you who have known me for a while know I’m really into practicing gratitude – even for the crappy times in my life.  When I look back I can see so many lessons I’ve learned from those times, that I’m very much in tune with how they are helpful.

But at this moment, I’m not focused on the crappy times.  I’m  feeling so much gratitude for each client in my practice and each family member and friend in my life.  At the end of my meditation each morning, I ask  for those who need my service to be put in my path.  To my amazement, those who show up in my life give me so much more than I feel I can give them.  As I work with each person, I gain so much understanding of my own issues and I’m so honored that they put their trust in me.  There is no greater gift as far as I’m concerned.

Just want to say to each of them – Thank you!