i couldn’t save you.

October 4, 2010

This past week, as part of my healing process, I undertook a week-long raw food cleanse and liver and gallbladder flush. Theory has it that the liver and gallbladder are the organs that store our anger and resentment. And this past week, as I was detoxing from caffeine, sugar, dairy, gluten, and all animal products…let me just say that we had one crazy week here in Los Angeles last week. With temperatures hitting as high as 117 degrees, and as I tried to navigate around town running a billion errands in bumper to bumper traffic, my anger, irritability, and impatience were at all time highs. It was a hectic, stressful, and cranky week, as a lot of my issues were coming up both on a physiological level and on an emotional level.

As part of this cleanse, every night, those of us who participated, were guided about the process on an hour-long phone call hosted by some amazing healing practitioners. On one of the nights we had a fantastic speaker named Josh Hathaway, a non-violence communicator practitioner, who spoke with us about how with all this anger being detoxed from the liver/gallbladder, it is important for us to embrace forgiveness.

He led us through a beautiful forgiveness meditation/visualization. On this inner journey, I reconnected with my heart and my compassion for myself. I was able to fully realize that while yes, other people out in the world were pushing my buttons and I was finding myself more and more irritated with the small things, that  was really just a symptom of my larger anger toward myself that was leaking out and being externalized in various ways.

Why was I so angry at myself? What would I forgive myself for?

I was angry at myself for not having been able to save John. For being human. And lord knows that rationally I have come to understand that I did so many things to try and help him. I even asked him the week before he died if he was thinking of suicide and if he had a plan. He told me no. And rationally I know the cold truth, that if someone really wants to kill themself, then there is nothing anyone can do to stop them or save them. And spiritually speaking, I know that it was John’s destiny to take his life, and it is my path to live on and work with suicide here on this plane with him helping me from the other side. Yet still, a subliminal and incessant anger towards myself, at my own sense of ineffectiveness and helplessness to be more than I am, to be better than I am pervades in the deepest recesses of my body.

It was through Josh’s guided meditation that I was able to fully see and feel this. When the truth of how I was beating up on myself came to the surface, tears flowed down my face. I was filled with love and compassion for myself for having done the best I could and for feeling so much pain through this loss. Some of my self-anger was released.

Because this process was so moving and powerful for my healing and has inched me a little bit further towards some more acceptance, I want to share with you some of what Josh said about forgiveness and share the guided visualization with the hopes that perhaps you will use it on yourself.

Here’s some points about forgiveness that Josh made:

Forgiveness is an act of power. It is an act of recognition and acceptance.

Forgiveness focuses on the human being, not the action, who has done something or triggered pain or harm in us in some way. Forgiveness focuses on that person and sees that person for who they are.Forgiveness is an acknowledgement of our imperfection as human beings. Forgiveness is an incredible gift.

Forgiveness starts by forgiving ourselves and acknowledging the places where we’ve made mistakes, by acknowledging the harm or the pain that we have caused. Usually that process of acknowledgement brings with it the experience of shame or guilt. This is an invitation to move beyond shame and guilt.

I really invite you now to take a moment to yourself and allow yourself to go inward with the following guided visualization. If you can, you might want to read it aloud- slowly — into a recorder and play it back. Or maybe even have someone else read it to you. Also keep in mind that it’s a template meditation and can be used to find forgiveness not just for yourself, but for anyone in your life.


Guided Meditation for Forgiving Ourselves

Take a deep breath. Notice in this moment any tension that’s showing up in your body. Check in with your body. Feel your feet on the ground. Feel your body pressed against the chair you’re sitting in. The process of forgiveness is a process of the heart.

So I want to invite you to breathe into the heart as often as you can remember.

Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Breathe into your body, into your heart.

As you breathe into your heart I want to you to feel your heart expanding with every breath. Growing with every breath.

Expanding until it expands large enough that your body can fit inside your heart. I want you to breathe into your heart until it feels large enough that you could fit the whole room you’re in inside your heart.

{pause}

I want you to look there. And all of a sudden your heart is the most lusciously decked out room you’ve ever seen. All red velvet with soft couches and pillows and satin. Just the softest most luxurious place you’ve ever seen.

When you get that image, I want you to call yourself by name, in your own inner room, in your own mind. I want you to call yourself by name and invite yourself to come in and take ease in your heart. I want you to see yourself entering into that soft space. And just reclining. Resting at last.

{pause}

And say to yourself – call yourself by name – say “I forgive you. I forgive you for everything you’ve ever done intentionally or unintentionally that caused pain. I forgive you for everything you’ve ever said. Yes even that, that has caused pain.”

{pause}

Call yourself by name again. Say “I forgive you even for the things you have thought that have been less than flattering and beautiful about others or yourself. I forgive you. I take you into my heart just as you are. I accept you, just as you are. Here and now.”

{pause}

When you have a sense that you’ve taken this in, that you’re reclining in your own heart – – resting at last,  I want you to see yourself gently and easily rise up off the pillows. And I want you to see a golden road, like the setting sun on the ocean. And I want you to see yourself walk down that golden road. And as you walk, I want you to bless, bless yourself: May you be happy. May you be free from suffering. May you be at peace.

Breathing into the heart. Feeling your own heart-space. Your own red velvet room. I want you to acknowledge for yourself the act of power that you’ve just made. What you’ve just done is released yourself from the bondage of anger and resentment that you’ve carried toward yourself. And you can even say it to yourself: “I release this resentment. I let go of everything I no longer need.”

Breathing again. And feeling your body, feeling the earth – this physical space. And open your eyes and come back into the room.


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