Of all my experiences with forgiveness, there is one that will likely be remain as the one told most often for the remainder of my life. It proved to me, beyond any doubt whatsoever that there is transformational healing power in forgiveness.
7 years ago, I was given a forgiveness meditation that was labeled “The Theatre of the Mind”. As I read over the process, I liked it. It was simple and straight forward. It did not require anything but my intention and a few minutes where I got very quiet and visualized the process.
So that evening, I decided to take this exercise for test drive. I did not have to look far to find a suitable ‘subject’ for the exercise (focused of course on someone other than myself who I needed to forgive). Despite the fact that over the decades, I’d focused a lot of forgiveness work at my father, I figured just like a kitchen floor, there could be a bit of yellow wax build-up in the corners that this could eliminate.
So to the Theatre I went, focused the process on Duane and did the visualizations that were outlined in the instructions. At the end of the process, I added… “I carry with me no scar of any kind from this relationship.” I was thinking mental or emotional scars.. not even considering physical scars.
I wrapped up the process, and didn’t think too much about it. It felt good, felt productive… end of subject. That is, until the next evening I was washing my face, which until that moment had always been a fairly mundane part of my day. But on this night, my forehead felt different. As I washed the soap away I discovered that a scar and bump that had resided on my forehead for about 35 years from a run in with a canoe paddle that had been launched from my father’s hands when I was 13 or 14 was gone. 100%, completely vanished from my face. No bump, no scar, nothing.
You hear of people having moments when they cannot believe their eyes. This was one of those moments for me. I rubbed the spot, tipped my head at various angles in the light, up close to the mirror, back and forth, not believing that it as even possible that this sort of physical transformation could take place. And then my own words came back to me. “I carry with me no scar of any kind from this relationship.” I guess I wasn’t kidding when I said that.
Since that day, I have listened to and read as much material about forgiveness as I could. I’ve attended and presented workshops on the subject and have shared various exercises and forgiveness tools whenever an opportunity presents. Because I believe that much of what creates disorder in our lives and in our world is an inability or unwillingness to forgive, ourselves and others.
I believe that the lack of forgiveness, of ourselves and others can and does impact our health, our weight, our relationships, our happiness and our world.
But I know how one solitary act of forgiveness changed my physical body. I can’t even imagine how that same act changed me on deeper levels. I hope and pray that in some way, the telling of that story, the sharing of the ideas and tools I’ve worked with will help others to complete some of their own forgiveness work. Each person and the world we occupy can be transformed by the process.
June 8 2016 Update:
I’ve doubled back to this post today and linked a recording that I created of the Theatre of the Mind Meditation that is referenced above.
Please feel free to use it, download it, share it. Please do not listen to it if you are driving or operating any sort of equipment.
If you use it, and experience any wonderful outcomes as a result, I’d love to hear from you!