Sep 29 2010
As part of my focus on deep healing, I’m reading a book called The Cancer Cleanse, which advocates that one of the most important things that needs to be cleansed is forgiveness, or rather unforgiveness. Holding onto emotional hurts creates an acidic state in the body, making it a breeding ground for cancer growth and other illnesses. It’s made me wonder if there are people I need to forgive.
I’m reading another book called Journey of Souls by Michael Newton. He is a hypnotherapist who has regressed thousands of people to the life-between-life state. Most people report that after they die they are welcomed by loved ones on the other side, often by their deceased parents. They exclaim, “Oh, there’s my beloved mother and father. How wonderful to see them again!” I sadly realized that I wouldn’t have that reaction to seeing my mother and father. I have a frozen image of my mother as a cold, refrigerator mom, and my father as a volatile, volcano dad.
Even though I’d thought that through all my years of personal growth work I’d forgiven them and accepted them as they were, I can see that my mind has locked them into those limited images. I know they were more than a fridge and a volcano; but unforgiveness is insidiously one dimensional, it locks in the bad image of people and locks out anything good about them.
When I was diagnosed with cancer and was about to send out my first newsletter about it, I was estranged from one of my longtime best friends. We’d had a fight and hadn’t spoken to each other for a couple months. In my mind she was the devil — I couldn’t remember what I’d ever liked about her. She was seeing me in that same negative light. It is so scary to me how our minds can obliterate, eviscerate and eliminate others like that, especially someone who has been so close to us.
But cancer softened me, it got me out of my steel-trap mind and into my broken open heart and loosened the grip of unforgiveness — I decided to include her on my newsletter list (she was not aware that I had cancer). As I pressed the button to send it out, in that same second I received an email from her! She wrote that she had a foreboding sense that something bad might have happened to me and wanted me to know that despite our differences she still loved me and wanted to know if I was alright.
That blew my mind and melted my heart. It was amazing to me that we had reached out to each other simultaneously. It shows how connected we are to the important people in our lives. As we reentered each other’s lives, I remembered how much I loved her. She has brought a richness and joy to my life that I would not be experiencing if I hadn’t moved beyond my frozen image of her. What a terrible loss that would have been.
A life-threatening illness is one way to shift us out of our closed mind into our open heart, but there are less drastic ways. My husband Tom told me that one of his mentors, Dick Olney, sometimes worked with people on their memories of their parents. He had them vividly imagine their parents the way they would’ve liked them to be, to really get into seeing and feeling it as if it were actually so. This helped melt the frozen image their minds were fixated on and allowed memories to flow of things they liked about their parents. The story they’d been stuck in was changed forever and they were free to have a new experience of their parents.
My cancer coach told me that another ‘unfreezing’ technique is to think of the person we are having a hard time forgiving and ask ourselves, “How would God (or our Higher Self) see this person?” It is said that forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing – it is a continual work in progress. I realize there are things I’m still forgiving myself for, like my own moments of fire and ice, times of volcanic eruptions and glacial reserve. What helps me most is to see myself from the sweet perspective and unconditional love of my Higher Self, to feel compassion for myself and know that I’m doing the best that I can.
I see this is true about my parents as well, and this expands my limited view of them. I’m remembering there was lots of playfulness, laughter and good times, I’m remembering that they did the best that they could, I’m remembering that they are a part of me and I am a part of them. (Michael Newton says that in his work regressing people to their life-between-life states he’s found that we actually CHOOSE our parents for all the learning and growth that they spur in us).
Ultimately, I know that the most important healing for me in this lifetime is not healing cancer… it is healing the feeling of being wronged, melting my frozen negative images of others, seeing it all as part of the plan to grow myself to wholeness, and learning to see myself and others the way God would.
I have learned that when I build a case against others I become imprisoned in that case. I am the one who is freed when I forgive — it is so much more fun and spacious living in an open heart than a closed mind. That’s where I’m aiming to be.
How about you? Are there people in your life you want to forgive? Ask yourself, “How does God (my Higher Self) see this person?” And when you need to forgive yourself, ask, “How does God (my Higher Self) see me?” Then serenade yourself with Joe Cocker’s song, “You Are So Beautiful to Me.”