Suppose, for a moment, you could let go of all old memories of past mistakes, failures, losses, judgments and reaction patterns that have shaped your life up to now? If, for one moment, you could be free of all fear, anger, hurt, hate, doubt and suspicion, what kind of energy would you want to send out into the world? When I ask myself this question the answer always comes back, love.
One early morning in late 1985, while driving an empty mini-bus over Mt. St. Helena in Calistoga, California, I had a life-changing experience (Encounter With the Energy of Unconditional Love) that showed me what it feels like and what it means to be loved unconditionally. It was an emotional ride like no other. Following are several excerpts from that lengthy experience:
“This is the energy of unconditional love,” says a deep, soothing male voice that seems to come from every point within the energy field at once.
Wow, I sob even harder now, because I know it’s true! That’s why I keep bursting into tears every time I touch this Energy. Intuitively, I must have known all along what it was but, intellectually, I didn’t have a clue until now. What I do next completely astounds me but seems only natural under the circumstances – I open up. I utterly and spontaneously open my life and being to this loving Energy. And just as quickly as I open up, I begin to shut down because it suddenly occurs to me that every thought, feeling, and act I’ve ever committed in life is now completely exposed to view, the bad ones as well as the good ones. Feelings of vulnerability and shame begin to fill my mind.
Sensing my growing anxiety, the all-present Voice calmly reassures me by saying: “Nothing you can ever say or do can keep you from being loved unconditionally.”
At once stunned and relieved by the unconditional acceptance behind these words, I cry even harder. I’ve never experienced this kind of love before, at least not in human terms! As I experience it now, I know there’s nothing I have to do to earn it. Just being is enough. Here, unlike the human world, there are no demands, no expectations, and no pre-conditions to satisfy before I receive love. It’s simply here to experience, remind and enjoy.
Literally bathing in this loving energy, I wonder if the anger, misperceptions, and imagined sins of my past will wash away forever. I use this moment to imagine they will, if not forever, at least for now. Even if it’s just the beginning of the end for these negative thoughts and feelings, that’s good enough for me.
As my own love begins to flow, I find myself joyfully wanting to perform miracles for this Loving Energy, to honor it for the loving regard in which it holds me. A superman in this alternate reality, I perform feats of magic and strength that are impossible to perform in the physical world. Then I stop to think about how important it is for me to fulfill my own unique potential as a human being here on earth. Suddenly, I know that the Energy of Unconditional Love is home, my real home! It is my place of birth or point of origin as a living soul. As I remember this, I also remember that the Energy of Unconditional Love is more than just a “place” – it is a state of mind and being I can create and experience wherever I am, no matter what I am doing!
When I can love enough to forgive and forget past mistakes and transgressions committed by me and against me, when I can see the world through other people’s eyes and realize that life is just as challenging for them as it is for me, my heart softens and love begins to flow. In that moment, I’m able to forgive us all for our trespasses and remember that what we do now and in the future is far more important than worrying about what we have done in the past.
Yes, forgiveness is the Big Kahuna I want to master! When I allow myself to forgive myself and others, I feel my spirit move. It’s a rare feeling, which tells me how much I’ve bought into the Old Testament, vengeance is mine philosophy of right and wrong, good and bad, guilt and punishment. Old Testament thinking is huge in our world and it is so self-destructive. Other than aging, it is the primary source of suffering, illness, injury and death in the world.
Forgiveness and Appreciation – Until we learn how to forgive, we cannot let go and move on. Until we stop treating ourselves like children, we cannot grow past childhood’s end. Until we can see how amazing life is, we cannot appreciate it for the magic and wonder that it is. Until we can do these things, we’ll be stuck in a time warp, doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again with little more than cosmetic change. Even though we are clever enough to build cars, airplanes and computers, we are still barbarians at heart until we learn how to forgive and move on. Isn’t it time we stop being the hapless victims of reality and become the conscious creators of it?
Is it hard to forget our old ways? Is it hard to forgive ourselves for past transgressions? Is it hard to take full responsibility for our lives and begin to think for ourselves? Yes, there is nothing harder! But, is it worth it? Yes! The more we practice forgiveness, the more we let it permeate us mind, body and soul, the more love will emerge to fill our lives. Forgiveness is the key to salvation and redemption. And once we actually forgive ourselves, we realize there was nothing to forgive in the first place. When we’re doing the best we can, what more can we ask of ourselves? But there’s always more to know isn’t there? And once we know more, there is no excuse not to change.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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