I Beg Your Pardon! Healing and Forgiveness
By PETER and ANNE SELBY
Published in the August 2010 issue of The LENS – a quarterly E-Newsletter/Journal of the Center for Empowered Leadership www.cfel.org
Forgiveness is a natural concern in healing; it affects all aspects of health: body, mind, soul, and spirit. Perhaps at the core, it is a dis-ease of the heart and certainly can cause heart disease. A hard nut to crack, lack of forgiveness does far more to harm the victim than the one who ostensibly caused the problem, yet is so deeply compelling that many would sooner die than extend forgiveness. Dealing with forgiveness issues is a natural concern for all holistic health practitioners wishing to promote wellness and conscious living and figures strongly in hospice work and conscious dying.
As clairvoyant healers who assess the human aura/energy field, we commonly observe forgiveness issues that reach beyond death. Years ago, a client came for physical therapy; she suffered from disfiguring torticollis in which her head chronically rested on her right shoulder and could only be straightened with effort and pain. She could not turn her head to the left at all. Upon her arrival I perceived a shimmering figure of a man beside her on her left; she was unaware of the figure’s presence. The head of this ghost image was also resting on his right shoulder; I perceived a tubelike energy connecting their necks, also on the left side. Shocked, the woman immediately identified the figure as her father, who had been decapitated when he fell onto a pipe from his garage roof. His death had taken place one week before the spontaneous onset of her condition four and a half years earlier, and she had not until that moment connected the two events.
She spent the next 20 minutes talking with her father’s ghost, repeating both sides of the conversation aloud for my benefit. She and her father did not have a good relationship before he passed, and the conversation had everything to do with their asking for and receiving forgiveness. She then turned to me and said, “I am ready to let him go.”
We called on Archangel Michael, and immediately the shimmering image disappeared from her aura and her painful neck deformity and restricted movement vanished before my eyes, with no recurrence. You might wonder if everyone who had a poor relationship with a departed loved one has their ghost in their field. The answer is clearly “no,” but it can and does happen.
Forgiveness issues revolve around an identified “wronger” and, of course, a “victim”; the hat each wears can be freely exchanged or passed around to others. Billions of people on the planet are affected by and challenged in regard to forgiveness. Over the centuries, countless wars, tribal conflicts, and blood feuds have been waged in the name of vengeance, and much blood has been shed due to persistent personal and collective grievances.
Almost everyone has a story illustrating how difficult it is to forgive somebody or to be forgiven, and most of us have also experienced the relief and inner peace that comes with the resolution of interpersonal issues, and the resulting reconciliation. Self-forgiveness can be even more challenging. To embrace one’s own mistakes and treasure what one has learned through them can heal a wounded conscience in ways that even forgiveness cannot touch. This type of forgiveness can just as powerfully be extended to others.
But whether it involves oneself or another, lack of forgiveness can manifest a myriad of problems including physical disease, social isolation, mental torment, emotional anguish, and spiritual alienation, not to mention its tendency to perpetuate cycles of violence and abuse. Clearly, mastering forgiveness can help one avoid some bad mojo.
Clearly it is easier to forgive someone when you can see the situation through their eyes and walk a mile in their shoes. We have found the Enneagram, a comprehensive delineation of personality types synthesizing many different strands of ancient wisdom, to be a wonderful resource for understanding people. It provides perspectives that allow one to acknowledge and appreciate a person’s wonder and positive attributes while engendering insights into the unconscious behaviors to be understood and forgiven.
Consider the following situation, which caused us some difficulty until we analyzed it thoroughly. We once had a neighbor who antagonized many people by trying to enforce rules and regulations that lacked legal standing and had become defunct through collective disregard. He turned both barrels in our direction when our new puppy started misbehaving, and things went downhill from there. Of the nine core Enneagram types, his behavior fit the classic description for a “1” personality—a hard-working, responsible, high-integrity, law-abiding person. When the downside of the type is being manifested, 1’s are prone to being driven by perfectionism and anger. Under stress, they descend into isolation, disappointment, and excessive fault-finding.
Understanding the upside and the downside of his personality type made it much easier to see what he needed and to forgive him for the over-the-top aspects of his behavior. We were also able to grow in our own integrity and admire the best of his neighborly ideals and high standards of behavior. By agreeing to modify a fencing project for our dog and by rigorously policing our dog’s behavior, he was not only placated but felt valued and respected. Peace was restored between us, and his lighter side emerged once again.
We have heard people argue that the notion of forgiveness is bogus because it is tied up with concepts of sin, guilt, and judgment and is often paired with a belief in an angry God. It doesn’t take a history major to conjure scenarios in life that, through human eyes, are so horrible that they require the compassion of a God to expunge the outrage. Yet those castigating both sin and sinners can be projecting the angst of an inner Catch-22 wherein the need for self-forgiveness is thwarted by feelings of worthlessness and self-condemnation. A remedy is to appreciate what it takes to incarnate one’s expansive soul and spirit into a human body with human limitations on the dense Earth plane. The very feat and the learning journey are meaningful and heroic.
We are here to learn and grow—like babies learning to stand and walk though falling down repeatedly. To be human means we are all learning through trial and error. By cutting ourselves and each other enough slack, we can actually afford an undefended view of our actions and motivations so that we and those we forgive can learn something and make better choices next time. In that same spirit, one can step back from the greatest horrors being perpetrated on the planet, and see the human race as a grand experiment in free will on a do-or-die path of self-realization, seeking to reveal its own connection to Divinity.