Now, I admit, Edwene Gaines’ writing and presentation style might not be for everyone, none-the-less the essence of what she has to say is quite stunning.
A phenomenally BIG take-away for me was Gaines’ discussion of forgiveness. Forgiveness, of course, is not a new concept; what was new, is how much I needed to hear this idea, now, at this point in my life.
I’ve been slowly coming to terms with the realization I am the creator of my life, the good, the bad, the ugly, the abundant.
Now, my ex-husband and I did not create his infertility; that came about as a result of a childhood operation at the hands of an incompetent surgeon. However, we created our personal hell-on-earth as a direct result of the thoughts, emotions, and reactions to the discovery of infertility in our household. I immediately travelled down the path of despair and sadness. Underlying these emotions was the sense of lack, a focus on the unfairness of life. This focus, in short, created the exact situation I was most terrified of: a childless life.
I remember distinctly, several days after my then-husband announced his plans for a divorce, plodding along my morning walking route, trying to stay positive for the sake of the twins I was carrying, and having this HUGE thought enter my mind: “The worst has happened. It can only get better. If I created this terrible existence, then I can create something equally magnificent.”
Now, honestly, I don’t know where those thoughts came from, especially, that last sentence. It wasn’t really the way I viewed the world at that time; I typically just took life as it came to me, life happened. I remember stopping in the middle of the sidewalk, feeling rather amazed at my thoughts and the hope they gave me.
I admit hope waned considerably as I miscarried the babies and my husband moved out of the house; however, it was still there underneath the wreckage, a very light, but constant heartbeat. This hope – I could truly be the powerful creator of my life – grew stronger every time I took a step towards building a new life for myself. And yet, five years after that “Ah Ha Moment” on the sidewalk, I realized a crucial and missing piece of my creation process: Forgiveness.
Underneath my efforts to create a magical, spectacular life for myself was anger at what had been: anger at the young girl who married the young guy who eventually divorced me; anger at the young girl who got married before she truly figured out what she wanted from life; the list goes on, but you get my point, it was filled with anger, anger, anger.
Gaines encourages a forgiveness technique which involves taking a complete inventory of one’s life, from early childhood through current moments. The point of this is to completely forgive yourself for every mistake you’ve ever made, to forgive others for mistakes they’ve made, to let go of the guilt, blame, shame, judgment, and hurt. I forgave my parents completely. I forgave everyone who did not give me the love and attention I deserved. I forgave myself for my unconscious behaviors of the past and I forgave others theirs as well.
I wrote a list beginning from the time I could remember…which was from about age three to the present. I filled FOUR typed pages. I cried. It was cathartic to let all this stuff go – stuff I hadn’t realized I was even carrying around with me until I started to write it all down, but was obviously there, because it came pouring out.
I sat with myself, feeling forgiveness, feeling forgiven. I don’t honestly know if I’ve ever felt forgiveness before. I can only describe it as an incredible lightness of being. I truly felt transformed, at peace. And to my amazement, I didn’t feel angry. To describe the difference I felt is to conjure the relaxed feeling I have after an awesome massage – those moments of warm, cozy quiet while still on the massage table, under the blanket, once the masseuse has left the room, and before I get up and put my clothes back on. My limbs are loose, the tension gone.
Gaines is right when she says, “Forgiveness is not something we do for the sake of the other person. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves.” She likens it to emotional housecleaning to make room for the good we desire.
I’m looking forward to 2012. I’ve made plenty of room for all the good, all the magnificence, and all the abundance coming my way.
I encourage you to sit in front of your beautiful Christmas tree and begin the forgiveness process. You won’t regret it.
In case you were wondering, Gaines’ Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity are as follows:
Law One: Tithe. To acknowledge God as your Source, return 10 percent of all you receive to a person, place, or institution from which you have received spiritual Food.
Law Two: Set Goals. Setting concrete and practical goals creates a vessel with which you can catch the new wealth and good fortune that tithing brings you.
Law Three: Forgive. If we cling to self-defeating feelings such as guilt, shame, blame, hurt, and resentment, we cannot feel truly worthy of having the best God can give us; we cannot–and will not–accept God’s gifts.
Law Four: Commit to Finding and Fulfilling Your Divine Purpose. Every single one of us has some special gift, some special interest, some special talent, and some special way of impacting this world so that it becomes a better place for everyone. Hold fast to your divine purpose prayerfully, persistently, and patiently.