Healing & Transformation
It really doesn’t matter if the
Person who hurt you deserves
To be forgiven. Forgiveness is a
Gift you give yourself. You have
Things to do and you want to move on.
Real Life Preacher
July 7, 2003
The first step in healing, especially from divorce or great disappointment involving another person, is to forgive. We need to forgive in order to heal the wounds or scars that remain from our relationships, because we no longer want to be hurt by them. Forgiveness is a vital step toward healing and moving forward. A favorite saying of mine is from the Greek sage, Epictetus: “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.” These words have resonated with me ever since I first heard them.
“I can forgive, but I can’t forget” is another way of saying, “I won’t forgive.” Forgiveness, when it is real and genuine, is like a scalpel that can remove the pus from old emotional wounds. When I learned how to forgive, let go, and let God take over my life, a new, youthful attitude and spirit erased the wrinkles from my face and put a sparkle in my eyes once again. We must learn the great law of cause and effect, action and reaction. It took me a while to learn, understand, implement, and live as the person that I am according to that law.
Asking questions aloud can give us added insight into ourselves. Sometimes we don’t know what we really believe, feel, or desire, until we hear our own ideas spoken from our own mouth. I usually talk to myself and ask questions about why things are happening to me or why I’m acting the way I do. After the death of my parents and my divorce from Vatche, I talked to myself a lot. If one builds a fire with newspaper alone, the flames quickly shoot high into the air, but just as quickly die down. The same is true with relationships that form on lust and physical attraction. They fade quickly. I realized through my discussion with myself that my relationships with men had all been ill founded. No matter how long they lasted, they were doomed from the start.
When relationships end, the healing period may take months or years. That’s the time when we need to embrace the healing power of love. This is our opportunity to surrender to the moment and detach ourselves from negative thoughts. Only by doing this can we heal our emotional pain. We need to express feelings that we have held onto so tightly. Love washes away fear, hurt, guilt, and anger. By letting go, and letting love in, we can rediscover our true self and feel purged, refreshed, and closer to our remaining loved ones,
My experience with healing is that we build up a great deal of resentment within ourselves, which rarely allows the healing process to work. No pharmaceutical medicine can work in such cases. Instead, we need to change our mindset with the affirmation that we are cured and happy. When this is done seriously it will cure the problem, no matter what it is. I believe that all of our physical pain comes from emotional bondage.
To achieve this mindset, we need first of all to have no resentment or ill feeling toward anyone. Virtually every human being in the world has, or has had, resentment or ill feelings toward others. To get out of this trap, we have to first think of all the people who were once the target of our ill feelings. Then we have to talk to them and tell them that we are sorry for whatever happened. By forgiving ourselves, and those who hurt us in the past, we can move into the future with a clean slate. It helps to remember the trigger incident very clearly. This has to be a very serious effort. Normally, when we truly repent, we cry. Once we have released all of our ill feelings, then our mindset will automatically change and we will be healed. When we finally relax, we will be able to laugh, and laughter is the best medicine of all.
My personal experience is that when I approach my goals with seriousness, I get what I want, but when I’m not very serious things don’t happen. Every time that life has knocked me down, I got up and moved on—even when I was alone and away from my family. In fact, not having loved ones around inspired me more, because I had to exercise more self-discipline. I don’t completely forget the past, but I don’t dwell on it, either. I push and move forward, because there are better things to do and the best is always yet to come.
While grieving over my divorce and the loss of my mother, I prayed that Vatche would find happiness with his newfound love and family and dedicated myself to improving my awareness and helping others who were going through similar situations. I had a friend from Spain who spent hours on the phone with me until he saw me turn the corner. He would remind me every day via e-mail to go to the gym and stay in good health, because the mind/body connection is very important. He encouraged me to choose the right thoughts, attitudes, and feelings, to exercise, eat the right kinds of foods, and stay healthy.
When we don’t give ourselves time to heal, we’ll make poor choices; then we’ll wonder why we keep attracting the same kind of men or women into our lives. We have to ask ourselves what we really want out of life and what is the best and highest use of our precious assets and faculties. I spent 15 minutes each morning doing visualization and imaginative techniques, and another 15 minutes reading the Scripture. I was amazed at what happened. Allowing my nerves to relax enabled me to laugh again. I felt released from blame, guilt, resentment, and pain. I became energized and started looking straight at problems and challenges, believing that I could move the mountain before me with the right positive mental attitude. I discovered that if I couldn’t laugh at myself, I would be less willing to take risks in my life.
Life goes on, and I wanted to do something with mine. I had been under the control of others who had thwarted my growth for too long. Now it was time to change all of that. Anaïs Nin, the famous French author, wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” There was risk in blossoming, of course, but I decided to start planning for what I wanted to accomplish in my life.
In order to heal from pain, it’s necessary to find someone or something new to love. The more I saw that I had options, the better I felt. I noticed that people were looking at me and asking questions like, “What does she have that we don’t have?” I knew that I was carrying true love within myself, and that it was expanding and expressing itself outwardly. Once I started healing, doing and being who I wanted to be, family, friends, and co-workers all came together to join my victory.
I am often reminded of the time that I first crossed the Atlantic Ocean to the land discovered by Christopher Columbus—America! We are like Columbus; we are the captains of our own ship, and we have several important tools and personnel on board with us:
1. OUR WILL is the ship’s rudder. It determines the direction in which the ship is sailing and our ability to focus on the desired harbor, our goal or dream. No matter what other people do or say, the challenges we meet depend on our ability to focus our attention on our goal.
2. OUR CONSCIOUS MIND is the man in the lookout post. He can only take us to a known harbor. He reacts to everything he hears, sees, smells, tastes, and touches. He follows the ocean currents and doesn’t know how to go against the wind.
3. OUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND is our first mate. He steers our ship in the direction he is told to, but he can’t tell the difference between the captain’s voice (ours) and the voice of the person in the lookout post. We have to constantly direct our first mate in the direction in which we wish to sail. As soon as we lose sight of our harbor or do something that takes us in the wrong direction, the first mate listens to the man in the lookout post, and then we are no longer on course.
4. OUR MEMORY is the ship’s hold. There’s room for everything here; our memory is perfect if we have made an effort to keep it intact. This means we have to open the hold and let the things we want to remember in.
5. OUR IMAGINATION is our harbor. It’s the image of our dream or goal. Our imagination takes us beyond the horizon, just like Columbus when he sailed and found America. We need to let our imagination take us where we want to go, continually creating the hope, the burning desire to be who we want to be and giving us unwavering faith that we will realize our desires.
6. OUR PERCEPTION is the distance to our harbor, but it also makes the distance what it is. If we compare it to a much longer distance, then it becomes smaller and much easier to reach. Our perception can give us energy by making the destination seem within sight.
7. OUR INTUITION is our map. It guides us and shows us the way. It tells us how to steer the ship. We have to learn to use our intuition and not listen to our conscious mind (the man in the lookout post) except for information on where we are now. Then we have to use our will (the rudder) to keep our first mate steering our ship in the right direction.
8. OUR THOUGHT is our sail. How we think determines the way we set our sail. This brings forth action, and that action will take us to our goal. Negative thinking allows for little wind to get into the sail. With our sail set poorly, we will never arrive at our destination. Whatever we can conceive mentally, we can bring into manifestation.
James Allen said, “Calmness of mind is the jewel of wisdom.” When we have this calmness, we attract people; we become a magnet for abundance, riches, loving relationships, opportunity, and success. Change is inevitable, so shifting our paradigm and seeing the good in every situation is the key to success. I advise people, no matter where they are in their careers, not to rely on just one stream of income. I’m currently not just a real estate agent, but am also an investor, a coach, and a travel agent. Now I’m so happy and grateful that I wake up with a smile on my face every morning. My mind and heart are strong and healthy. No storm shall destroy this house in which I live. As Louisa May Alcott wrote, “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”
I am grateful to be in the Land of Free and The Home of Brave