Since my eyes opened this morning I have been pondering forgiveness. Is it an easy thing to do, like snapping our fingers? Can we just choose to basically forget? Can it really happen in an instant, once we make the decision? I want to believe that it can.
Last year when I had my vision prescription updated, suspicions of glaucoma surfaced and I was scheduled to a busy lab for more comprehensive tests. It is a relatively minor malady but I would rather not put chemical drops into my eyes for the rest of my life so during the long period of time until the appointment I did my best to not worry.
The book by Louise Hay “You Can Heal Your Life” has a reference section to look up nearly any illness and see her ‘probable cause’ and then her suggestions for thinking and meditating on a new thought pattern. As I flipped through her updated release to look up glaucoma, my mouth fell open at what I read. The probable cause could be ‘Stony unforgiveness. Pressure from long-standing hurts. Overwhelmed by it all.’ Instantly I memorized her suggested new thought pattern: ‘I see with love and tenderness’ and began repeating it over and over. Saying it internally on a regular basis helped it become like a mantra in my mind.
I acknowledge that I’m a sensitive person. Much less so than in my twenties or even thirties, but a bit thin-skinned nonetheless. During the weeks until my eye-testing, I’d notice the moments when I would lose focus (pun intended) of my intent to ‘see with love and tenderness’. Little things like poor service by a waitress and I would begin to feel irritation rise. Then my mantra would rise to the surface, and I would remember to see her with tenderness. It was me who was benefiting from this internal work. Driving amongst congested highway traffic within this huge city became less stressful for me as I saw the other drivers with love. Line-ups became opportunities to remember to see with love and tenderness, helping me arrive at the cashier with a smile.
When the day of the test came I made the conscious decision to remain calm. Either way, I’d be fine. But I did better on the tests than I had months earlier at the initial testing. The doctor stated there appeared to be no signs of the disease and basically I had a 20% chance of contracting it within the next five years. I can handle that!
I am not claiming the power of positive thinking did or did not do anything. However I know that spending weeks and weeks focusing on seeing the world with eyes of love and tenderness benefitted me greatly. I still have a ways to go to fully release my tendency to hold on to old hurts. I am not sure if the relationship between my once-beloved sister and I can ever be repaired. A family estrangement is a tragedy in this world of too-little community. I work on breathing and meditating with love towards her everyday. I do it for myself. And my eyes. Just in case.
Here is a poem I wrote many years ago. May I continue to learn from it myself…
Attempts to control other people
Imprisons ourselves instead;
We tighten the chains that bind us
When our forgiveness is limited.
When we love with conditions
We cause our own misery;
By releasing expectations
We return to harmony.
To stay in the present moment
And let the future unfold;
Brings us peace and a sense of calm
As we fully release our hold.
Whether out loved ones stay or go
Is never for us to know;
So much more healing can love be
When we set each other free!
© Professions for Peace