Retreat to Forgiveness & Compassion

I love this stamp.  It reminds me of my years of competitive sailboat racing.  I loved the physical challenge, the mental intensity, the teamwork and the beauty of being on the water.  On the racecourse I learned that the journey of life is won by those who sense the shifts in the wind and sea and boldly respond, changing course as needed to reach their destination.  Unconditional love, forgiveness and compassion are both my bold response and destination.  Here’s how these three got connected together.

December 2007.  I am in India, down on my knees  in a sacred shrine, the warm breezes, gently blowing the scent of jasmine through the open windows.  I touch my head to the cool floor before the marble tomb of the saint who’s spirit inhabits this place.  I silently pray a monumental life shifting prayer, “Forgive me for whatever it is I’m not doing right.  Show me how to worship you.  Can we have some kind of relationship, please? ”  I silently walk around to the back of the tomb, to the majestic photo and gaze into his eyes, which are sparkling with love.  I hear his response, a voice in my head.   “Let’s start by you letting me love you just the way you are.”    An intoxicating wave of indescribably intense unconditional love washes through me.

Fast forward 2 months to a handwritten scrawled question and answer in my journal:  How do I love myself unconditionally?  Self Forgiveness.  Plain and simple.

Last week the final thread gets woven in.   I get to hear His Holiness the Dalai Lama speak.  His theme, Compassion.  Having empathy for what another is going through and also taking action to ease their suffering. 

A mental light bulb flashes! It’s not so easy for me to get over there and have empathy and unconditional love for you, if I’m hiding behind the wall of my wounded ego silently beating myself up with negative self judgments, projecting them on to you.  I can’t get over there with you, compassionately, intimately connected until I forgive myself.  Try some self forgiveness this week for the sake of you and those you love. Forgive whatever is standing in the way of you loving you, exactly the way you are.   Treat yourself to a blended cocktail of unconditional self love, forgiveness and compassion.  Let me know how it impacts your journey.  Cheers!