Forgiving others is essential for spiritual growth. Your experience of someone who has hurt you, while painful, is now nothing more that a thought or feeling that you carry around. These thoughts of resentment, anger, and hatred represent slow, debilitating energies that will dis-empower you if you continue to let these thoughts occupy space in your head. If you could release them, you would know more peace.
Below I share how to forgive someone who has hurt you in 15 steps:
Step 1: Move On to the Next Act
Your past history and all of your hurts are no longer here in your physical reality. Don’t allow them to be here in your mind, muddying your present moments. Your life is like a play with several acts. Some of the characters who enter have short roles to play, others, much larger. Some are villains and others are good guys. But all of them are necessary, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the play. Continue Reading
Notice each day whether you are choosing to live in fear or love. Fear can keep you disconnected from the loving presence inside of you. Causing fear is a tactic of the ego, whether it be your own ego or the world’s ego. The world’s ego is a reflection of individual ego power and the amount of fear that is active. Fear is present when we forget that we are a part of God’s divine design. Learning to experience authentic love means abandoning ego’s insistence that you have much to fear and that you are in an unfriendly world. You can make the decision to be free from fear and doubt and return to the brilliant light of love that is always with you. Who you really are is that unclouded love.
Here are some ideas for bringing love rather than fear into your life: Continue Reading
A recent caller to my radio show told me that although she could forgive other people easily, the hardest thing to do was to forgive herself. In thinking about this very common problem, here’s what you have to consider: Everything that you’ve done in your life up until this moment, you had to do. The proof of this is that you did it!
Everything you did is over now. You can’t take any of it back. In The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, the poet says, “The Moving Finger writes: and having writ,/ Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit/ Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,/ Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
The fact that we can’t erase the past says something to us. We are called on to forgive ourselves, to honor what is past, to love and respect it. Look back and say, “That’s what I needed to do, that’s the person I needed to be at that time in my life. I did that, and I’ve learned from it. Now I can move on.” Continue Reading
If you find yourself looking forward to the end of the holiday season instead of the beginning, here’s a call to shift gears and reclaim what should be a time of appreciation, excitement, joy, and peace. Make up your mind that this is going to be your happiest holiday season ever. Your decision to emphasize the positive can reclaim a season that is supposed to bring out the best in us, rather than do us in. The truth is that this time of year offers us a wonderful opportunity to rekindle the spirit of love and living life to the fullest.
With your expectations set on positive, here are some attitude adjustments to try:
I’ll let the holidays flow, rather than trying to make them fit into a fixed schedule.
I’ll remember that people are more important than things.
I’ll relax my expectations for myself and others this year.
I’m going to live in the present moment and enjoy each activity for itself instead of always thinking about what is ahead of me.
I’m going to approach the holidays with a sense of joyful anticipation and wonder, just like I did when I was a child. Continue Reading
One of my personal heroes is Mother Teresa, who spent her later years teaching and serving others. She once remarked, “Love cannot remain by itself—it has no meaning. Love must be put into action, and that action is service.” These words have inspired me and have helped me make the shift away from my ego’s Ambitions for serving myself toward a life dominated by service to others. Today my life is almost 100 percent devoted to service in one way or another. Each day begins with a prayer of “Thank you,” which are the first words out of my mouth as I awaken. This is to keep me in a state of gratitude for all that I receive, as well as for the opportunity to live my days in service to others.
Before beginning my day, I make every effort to do something for someone else. Since I receive volumes of mail, I often send off a book or a DVD of The Shift, a set of CDs, or a DVD of a PBS special—something that I feel will brighten the day of a total stranger somewhere in the world. As I affix the postage, I take great joy in knowing that a surprise package of love in action will send a message to someone that there are people out there who care, and I am one of them.
Often I call someone I’ve been told is grieving the loss of a loved one or is ill in a hospital setting. Other times some money in an envelope goes to one of the many people who serve in my community. If I’m on the road in a hotel, I seek out the maids who serve me so anonymously and surprise them with a gift of some unexpected cash. The things I’m doing aren’t reported here for recognition, but to provide real-life examples of how shifting from Ambition to Meaning affects daily life. The ego seeks recognition, but in a life of Meaning, loving action is its own reward. I’m reminded of Ram Dass, who told me that his years of putting his ego aside and being of service to his mother, father, and stepmother; as well as to people with AIDS and cancer, were the most fulfilling and meaningful times in his life. There are a multitude of ways in which we can give. It doesn’t really matter what we do—the point is to get in the habit of replacing our attention on ourselves with attention toward others and take loving action.
Before merging into form, we were a part of God, with all the inherent qualities of a Creator who sends forth abundance, creativity, love, peace, joy, and well-being. The spiritual dimension calls to us in this material world of beginnings and endings. When we listen and allow it to, Spirit guides us to something greater than our life as a physical being. When I let myself align with Spirit, I have a feeling of contentment, but more than this, I experience joy. I’m able to receive the vibrational energies of my Source—call them voices, messages, silent reminders, invisible suggestions, or what have you—they’re vibrations of energy. I’ve learned to get my “self” out of the way and remove resistance to the free flow of this spiritual energy.
Spirit doesn’t dwell on the impossibility of anything—that is, it doesn’t focus on not being able to create, on things not working out, on expecting the worst, or on being stuck in place. When I’m in-Spirit, I want my present moment and thoughts to align perfectly with what I desire to share. I want to offer an experience of inspiration to my audience, so I don’t give a speech thinking, I’ll probably disappoint them. I choose to think that if I stumble or forget something in the middle of my talk, the inspiration to get me through it will be there. When I sit down to write, my desire is to invite Spirit to express through me, and I encourage ideas to flow freely. I’m connected in-Spirit, expecting to be the instrument of my spiritual Source.
When we remember that we’re always connected to Source, we can summon the well-being of God. Each and every one of us represents God or Spirit revealing Itself here on our planet. Experiences of being in-Spirit are available to all of us. Remember that your life is bigger than you are. Dedicate your life to something that reflects an awareness of your Divinity. You can begin by committing to at least one daily experience where you share something of yourself with no expectation of being acknowledged or thanked. For example, before I begin my daily routine, I go to my desk and choose my gift for that day. Sometimes, it’s just a phone call to a stranger who’s written to me, or perhaps I order flowers or send a book or present to someone who has helped me in a local store. It doesn’t matter if this activity is big or small—it’s a way to begin the day in-Spirit. Make a silent dedication to encourage and express your Divine nature.
Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some of the great men and women who have inspired me with their work and their lives. In their presence I felt the radiant energy that living in-Spirit brings. In 1978, I was invited to go to Vienna to participate in a presentation to a group of young presidents of companies. I was assigned to be on a panel with a man who had been a huge source of inspiration to me: Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a medical doctor who had been herded off to die in a Nazi concentration camp in WW II; while imprisoned, he kept notes that ultimately became a book called Man’s Search for Meaning. This work, which touched me deeply, illustrated not only how Dr. Frankl survived the horrors of Auschwitz, but also how he helped other camp mates do the same. He taught them to be with his spirit and infuse it in others who were giving up on life. He even practiced sending love and peace to his captors, and refused to feel hatred and vengeance because he knew that this was foreign to his spirit, which he wouldn’t forsake. Viktor Frankl stayed true to his spiritual origins in the face of horrors that destroyed so many. When I met him, he exuded joy, peace, kindness, and love, and he wasn’t bitter. Instead, he felt that his experience taught him lessons he’d never have known otherwise. I spent a good part of that afternoon in Vienna listening and being in awe. Viktor Frankl had been one of the truly inspirational figures in my life, and being on the same panel—under the pretext of being a colleague of this master teacher—was overwhelming to me. It was an afternoon I’ve never forgotten, full of pure exhilaration and inspiration.