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Excerpt from  Chapter 6


“Transforming Dark into Light” 

 

 

"Why’", she asked herself, ‘"Why keep a wound open when forgiveness can close it?’”

                                                                               ~ Alexander McCall Smith, The Cupboard of Life

                                                                 
     Forgiveness opens our eyes, and allows us to see ourselves and those around us very differently. It gives us space to learn from our mistakes. When we acknowledge our part in creating grievance stories and the drama that follows, we can take the next step and learn to avoid setting up such patterns in the future.

     Some dear friends of mine had a son named Paul, who many years ago when he was twenty-one, was cycling in a triathlon. The highway route of the race was poorly marked and because Paul was leading, he was the first to reach an intersection where a semi-truck was coming through from the opposite direction. The truck struck Paul, and he was killed.

     It was a terrible blow for those of us who knew and loved Paul, and his parents were devastated. Yet somehow in the midst of their grief, Paul’s parents reached out to the truck driver and invited him into their home. They wanted the driver to know that they did not blame him for Paul’s death, and they wanted to include him in the group of us who shared the pain.

     I’ve always been amazed at their wisdom and ability to see the importance of that gesture, and grateful because it showed us that we’re all connected. It raised us to a higher place and allowed Paul’s parents and all who loved him, to write our own stories of his death without the negative energy of blame.

     When we rewrite our stories so that guilt and blame are diminished or removed, the memories become rich and alive. We free ourselves to understand how we’ve grown, and what we’ve learned. We don’t deny our pain, but balance it with understanding of the power that adverse events can have to transform our lives.

     It’s not worth the price we pay to keep carrying our grievances. The longer we live with our resentments, the heavier our burdens become. Releasing guilt and blame opens us to spiritual wisdom and emotional resilience, and allows those qualities to continue to grow.

     By forgiving ourselves and allowing blame and guilt to dissipate, we become more accepting and less judgmental. The process of letting go allows our difficult experiences to flow more easily through us and become positive rather than negative influences in our lives.

 

 



 


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