Tag Archives: wholeness

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)

Living with Nothing to Prove

A landscape of yellow field and blue sky

by Gregory Toole

Louise Hay said in her book, You Can Heal Your Life, “The innermost belief for everyone I have worked with is always ‘I’m not good enough.’” Given the large number of people she has worked with, it could benefit us all to pay attention to how that core hidden belief might be operating in us.

If most of us have accepted on some deeper unconscious level that we’re not good enough, then on some level everyone’s trying to prove that they ARE good enough. If we look out into our world we can see that going on everywhere. Oh, and of course, if we look honestly at ourselves we can see it too. In so many spheres, it shows up as a fervent desire to prove oneself right and others wrong, leading to wars and dysfunctional political systems, as well as less than satisfying personal relationships.

Until we become conscious of this hidden belief that is part of the collective human unconsciousness, then we are caught in the trap of constantly trying to prove ourselves. What would life be like if you had nothing to prove, if you fully accepted who you are, how much you do, and what you have?

Before you say, “No, I don’t have a belief that I’m not good enough,” ask yourself whether you find yourself not having enough time, money, or love, or just can’t seem to do enough? These outward experiences of ‘not enough’ are manifestations of the inner belief of not being enough.

For me personally, whenever I am off kilter, I can almost always trace it back to slipping into a feeling of not being enough. The good news is, by reminding myself that I am enough, I am powerfully transported back to centeredness and peace.

When we are driven by the need to prove that we are enough it colors how we show up in the world. In this state, we are unable to be authentically who we are because ‘who we are’ is not enough. So we must layer on top of who we are all the things that we feel will make us enough.

If so many are experiencing a sense of not being good enough, and living to some extent from that place, then we are rarely meeting and experiencing each other authentically. We are experiencing ourselves and each other as the projections of ourselves with all the things layered on top that we feel make us worthy and acceptable.

It’s not true that we’re not good enough. We are the divine in expression. How could we be anything but perfect as we are?

When we live from the sense of being good enough as we are, authentic, real, and vulnerable, then we have the true possibility of experiencing a sense of ‘enough’ in our outer experiences – enough time, money, and friends. More importantly, we experience the time, money, and friends we have with greater fulfillment, joy, and peace, rather than anxiously feeling there’s something more we need to have or should be doing.

In looking more deeply into ourselves to see where we might be trying to prove ourselves, the opportunity is to free ourselves from this unconscious limitation, and to affirm to ourselves, “I am enough. I do enough. I have enough.” Remembering that truth can also remind us to put our attention on the place within us, at our center, where we experience the peace that passes human understanding, the joy and love of just being.

We deserve this – to know we are good, worthy, deserving of happiness, and that we have nothing to prove.

Enjoy the journey.

The World is Ready for All of You


by Gregory Toole

I gave a talk this past Sunday in Oakland, California that was about the power and freedom of fully being who we are. Often we are so busy trying to conform, fit in, or not stand out too much that we forget the gift of our uniqueness.

We know intuitively that we are each a completely unique manifestation of Spirit, and yet sometimes we still find ourselves comparing what we do or who we are to what we see in others.

When I traveled to Ukraine in 2009 to be a keynote speaker at a spiritual conference, despite the fact that I had literally given several hundred similar talks in the past, I found myself wondering if I needed to somehow be different, or more, in Ukraine. I began to ask myself whether my style of delivering a talk would go over well in another culture. I finally remembered that all I have is me, who I am. So I decided to just go for it and be myself.

I had fretted so much over whether I would be acceptable that I forgot there would be an interpreter, since most people at the conference only spoke Russian. I got two sentences into my talk and I was stopped by the interpreter so that she could speak my words into Russian. It was a funny moment and I let go of all my angst. Then I told a joke and there was complete silence…until 30 seconds later when everyone broke into laughter. Ah yes, even the joke had to be interpreted into Russian first.

Even though my words needed to be translated into Russian, who I am needed no translation. Much to my delight, the crowd loved me. It was a reminder to me that who we are is the gift. When we don’t give all of who we are, we are literally cheating the universe, our fellow beings, and most importantly, ourselves.

Here are three affirmations I shared in my talk on Sunday:
The world is ready for all of me.
The world needs all of me.
The world’s going to get all of me.

And so it is.