Tag Archives: forgiveness

Living Without Limits: Manifestation Checklist

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As I was encountering some seeming “roadblocks” in manifesting what I wanted in my life recently, I decided to create a manifestation checklist to examine where I could align more completely with spiritual principles.

Science of Mind philosophy founder Ernest Holmes stated, spiritual laws are “exact and exacting.” He also said “Our belief sets the limit to our demonstration of a Principle which, of Itself, is without limit.” The laws or principles of which he spoke are those that govern the spiritual universe, or how things work spiritually. Paying attention to them and aligning with them brings us into our highest expression of who we are.

In examining some core spiritual principles and truths, I developed this simple six-step checklist:

  1. Oneness: Am I living in the awareness and embodiment of my oneness with infinite presence, power, and intelligence?
  2. Mental equivalent: Do my beliefs and the way I am looking at life match and support what I desire to create in my life?
  3. Love: Are my thoughts, intentions, and actions grounded in love, for myself and others?
  4. Gratitude: Am I continuously grateful for all the good that is in my life, including in the area where I am wanting to make a change?
  5. Surrender: Am I steadily surrendering and letting go, allowing room for grace to unfold beyond my own seeming limitations?
  6. Forgiveness: Am I forgiving myself and others freely for perceived mistakes and transgressions?

While this checklist is not exhaustive, if we can answer “yes” to each of these questions we are likely very well on track in creating the fertile ground and opening for what we wish to manifest in our lives.

In my own case recently, it was the very first item on the list that held the greatest opportunity: oneness. This meant coming fully into my body temple in the remembrance that the all-ness of divine presence, power, and intelligence is right at my center, at my core. Further, it involved grounding into my core to feel and experience it all right there. That got me right back on track.

Which step is calling you for more attention? Which one will free you to more powerfully create the life you are envisioning? The invitation today is to choose one item from the list above to deepen your practice. It could just be the one thing that creates the breakthrough you’ve been seeking.

Enjoy the journey.

How to Be a Spiritual Activist

A Heart with Copy Space

The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary defines activism this way: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue. I’ll focus on “a practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action.” Since oneness is a core precept of spirituality, the second part of the definition, supporting or opposing one side of an issue, does not seem to fit.

But can we be activists without taking sides when so much of the world begs us to take a stance, either for or against, on so many issues? Since all of life is one, what we call sides are simply different aspects of the one. All are contained in the one.

What if we simply be for love? Love is our essence, our divine nature. Love has no real opposite. We can be for love without being against anyone. Hate is not the opposite of love; it is simply the masking of love. Fear is not the opposite of love; it is turning away from love. Love is the core essence of who we are and what life is, the divine nature of all things.

I can remember, in one of my past relationships, coming to the realization that all conflict could be resolved if we could get reconnected at the heart. Once I had that realization, I never saw it fail. Time and again in the relationship, when we seemed to be at a great impasse, getting connected at the heart transcended the conflict and allowed for not only resolution, but also deeper understanding of one another.

To be for love is to bring more love into all situations. Everything is made better with love. Everything is lifted up with love. When we have love in our hearts we see more clearly. Love points the way, allowing us to find common ground or a higher possibility. It points us to inclusion, fairness, and justice. It allows us to see beyond our biases, opinions, and judgments.

It is very destructive to believe our opinions are right. When we feel we are right, and we are guided by that notion, we are blinded to other points of view and we limit higher possibilities. Rather than being right, how about if we are true, true to love? Love doesn’t cast anyone out. Love doesn’t put us in opposition to anyone else. Love connects us.

To me, being a spiritual activist is about vigorously acting from love, sharing love, emanating love, opening to love, and allowing the infinite reservoir of love at our core to flow out into expression.

An indicator of spiritual maturity is the ability to love even when it is not seemingly deserved. As the master teacher Jesus is quoted as saying, “Love your enemies and bless them that curse you.” We do this because of our own expanded conscious awareness of who we are as beings of love and light. We know the transforming power of love, so we’re not waiting to return love from where we receive it. We are proactively allowing love to flow from us in every direction.

5 Questions to Know If You Are Being a Spiritual Activist

  1. Do I allow the opinions of others to hold as much weight as my own, even when their opinions are contrary to mine?
  2. Do I easily love people regardless of whether they meet my expectations?
  3. Do I love and forgive people even when they do something hurtful to me?
  4. Do I open my heart and provide a space of love in difficult situations?
  5. Do I love and embrace those who seem very different from me?

If you answered yes or mostly yes to these questions, you are being quite the spiritual activist according to the definition put forth here. If not, perhaps there is an opening to expand your role as a conduit for love. In any case, our essence and nature is love. The question is, how true will we be to our nature?

Enjoy the journey.

How to Forgive Anything

Cat and lapdog in studio

This is the second article in a two-part series on forgiveness. The first article addressed the question of “why forgive?” Here I explore the practical “how to” of forgiveness.

Let me begin by saying that there are many different ways to forgive and each of us is likely to do it a little differently. You might consider the steps here as the foundation upon which you can build your own forgiveness practice.

Remember, forgiveness is something we do first and foremost for ourselves, not the person we are forgiving. We forgive because our nature is love, and to have anything flowing through us that is unlike love begins to block our true nature and potentiality.

So our goal is to get back to the love within ourselves. The love is always there at our center, as our essence. In forgiveness, we are simply freeing it to flow unencumbered within us and out through us.

No matter what has happened, we forgive because we need to get back to our own true nature of love, in order to be fulfilled in our lives and to fully express the gifts that are ours to give. Forgiveness is not condoning the behavior of the other person. It is an act of our own self-care.

Seven Steps to Forgiveness:

  1. Acknowledge that you’ve been hurt.
  2. Feel your feelings of anger, betrayal, resentment, or any others that come up. Allow yourself to feel them and experience them fully within yourself. They are part of your natural process. Share them with your spiritual practitioner or someone you really trust. Write them in a journal.
    (We do this step so that we are not bypassing our feelings, only to have them resurface later in some unhealthy way.)
  3. Bless the feelings from step 2. Say a prayer of blessing and acceptance of the feelings. Remind yourself that the feelings are not who you are, just something you are experiencing.
  4. Make the decision to forgive. Before doing so, intuitively determine whether you have spent a healthy amount of time experiencing your feelings.
  5. Open to the power of divine love, grace, and wisdom to guide you in your forgiveness. Recognize that, though you may not feel you know how you will forgive the person or situation, there is a power, presence, and wisdom within you that does know.
  6. Ask your divine wisdom to reveal to you how you might find empathy for the person you are choosing to forgive. (For example, you might realize that the person hadn’t experienced much love in their own lives, and empathize about how difficult that must have been for them.)
  7. Open your heart and allow love to flow to the person you are forgiving. Repeat this step every day until you feel nothing but love toward the other person. (This step takes whatever amount of time it takes – days, months, or years, and it does not mean you have to let the person back in your life.)

While these steps appear sequentially, in practice one might need to go back and repeat steps. Step 7 in the process can be a big step, depending on the nature of what happened. Be gentle with yourself in this step. Allow yourself whatever experience you need to have. Remember that forgiveness is a process. Some situations are likely to be easier to forgive than others. Forgiveness transforms us, and transformation does not usually feel good while it is happening.

May you know only love. May the love in your heart flow freely in your being. May you be transformed by love, and may your love transform the world.

Enjoy the journey.

Is Forgiveness the Answer to Your Challenge?

attractive young model on chair

by Gregory Toole

As I was searching keywords on my blogs of the past two years, surprisingly I found that I had not written about forgiveness, a topic my first spiritual teacher had at the core of her teaching. Rev. Elouise Oliver would ask students who came to her with any issue, “Who do you need to forgive?” Whether the issue was a health challenge, an off-track relationship, or a financial difficulty, the question was always the same, “Who do you need to forgive?”

Lack of forgiveness manifests itself in a wide variety of ways in our lives. One thing we can be sure of is that it will manifest itself in some unpleasant form, eventually. Essentially, lack of forgiveness is holding onto resentment for a prolonged period of time. It does not mean we never get angry or never feel resentful. These are normal emotions experienced temporarily by healthy people.

There was another minister who told the story of a woman in a wheelchair who showed up to a foundational spiritual class. She told the minister that she wanted to walk again. Upon reflection, he told the woman that they would start their healing work with the practice of forgiveness. Much to the minister’s wonder, the woman said she’d rather stay in a wheelchair than forgive. Apparently there was some deep hurt she was unwilling to let go of. Whether she would have walked again is unknown, but the story points to how much we can become attached to anger and resentment.

Usually when we refuse to forgive it is because we mistakenly believe that forgiveness is for the benefit of the other person. While the other person may derive some benefit from our forgiveness, the primary beneficiary of forgiveness is the one doing the forgiving. It is we who engage in the practice of forgiveness who are freed from the negative effects of holding onto anger and resentment.

Another common misperception about forgiveness is that we are condoning the behaviors that led to the feelings of anger, betrayal, or resentment. This is not true at all. The behavior itself may have been reprehensible. The question is, are we going to hold ourselves in a prison because we believe we are justified in our anger. Holding onto resentment has been compared to drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

We are responsible for keeping our own energy field open and flowing with love. No doubt, people will do things to us, sometimes horrible things, and yet it is up to us in the longer term whether we will allow anything to pollute our energy field. Keeping love flowing in our energy field maintains us in the flow of divine goodness, such as prosperity, health, and loving relationships. Holding onto anger and resentment has the opposite effect, eventually causing blockage in our energy field, and therefore blockage in our connection to source energy.

In short, holding onto anger and resentment for prolonged periods of time will begin to manifest as poor health, shortages in our financial affairs, unfulfilling relationships, or all of these. The master teacher, Jesus, is quoted in Matthew 5:25, “Agree with thine adversary quickly,” which to me is a message of forgiveness. Keeping our energy field clean maintains us in the flow of divine harmony and wholeness.

The choice is clear. Let us begin today to open up the channels of love more fully. Let us forgive easily and enjoy life to its fullest.

Enjoy the journey.

Next week: The Practice of Forgiveness (how to do it)