Tainted Love: Forgiving Ignorance

_There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love. _ (1).png

We can only love as much as our current level of consciousness allows.

When we say that we love someone with all our hearts, the limited nature of that love is dependent on the level of consciousness we hold at the time.

Love can be so easily tainted by fear, which by its very nature is often so insidious that we don’t even know it is there, so insidious that we believe it IS US. One of the biggest fears of all being the fear that someone else will withdraw their love and our own unworthiness will definitively be proven to us beyond any reasonable doubt.

I know that I do not love with absolute unconditional purity, that is a high goal that I know I might never reach. But I open myself with a willingness to love with more of my authentic heart every day. When I look back on my life, I can’t even count the number of times that I have hurt others while just trying to love them with the whole of my being. This knowledge is still a sick slime in my belly and something that I am still working on forgiving myself for, that I am still working on releasing and healing.

I hurt them by depending upon them for love, by burdening them with the full responsibility of my own mental/emotional well-being, by asking for something that only I could give myself.

I hurt them through unconscious words that rocketed from my mind and through my mouth before my conscience had its say.

I hurt people I loved, by staying silent and still, by diverting my eyes from their need of fear, or embarrassment.

I hurt them by speaking for them and by making assumptions about what was in their hearts and by failing to speak the truth written on my own heart.

I hurt people by loving them without boundaries, by taking on responsibility for their wellness that was not mine to take.

I hurt them through my own ignorance of what it means to love for Love’s sake, from a continued experience of wholeness and oneness, without attachment to reciprocity or outcomes.

I think we all do this, and every time we become aware of someone else’s ignorance of love and failures to fully love us, it is a Precious Gift. These experiences of well-intentioned but tainted love are how we begin to examine our own lives and behaviors and become determined to not repeat those mistakes again. It is the unconscious mimicking of ignorant patterns of behavior the perpetuates cycles of limited love.

"True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’" ~ Oprah Winfrey

It is time to forgive.

To forgive without the cloying aftertaste of tolerance, pity, and obligatory resignation and without getting sucked into the initial cycles of blame and self-righteousness. Rather, let’s forgive in the spirit of compassion and gratitude with the knowledge that we also have caused suffering while simply trying to love as best we could.

Let’s forgive ourselves, our parents, our guardians and family members, our friends and our enemies, our teachers and our students. Let’s forgive the human collective, for to forgive one is to forgive all. That is what makes forgiveness so powerful.

This is not the same as excusing the behaviors but is rather a commitment to living in the present and learning from the past. Forgiveness frees us from the weight of blame and self-pity and empowers us to step out of the shackles of victimhood and make decisions on what way of life is best for us. Forgiveness allows us to put an end to the cycle, instead of continuing to punish ourselves daily because a past version of ourselves or someone else didn’t know how to limitlessly love.

Every day we wake up new.

"Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning." ~ Desmond Tutu

I am not the same woman I was yesterday, not even close. I am not the same person who caused all that pain in others. My mother, father, and step-parents are not the same people they were. The lovers who left and the friends who turned their backs are not the same people they were when they hurt me. We are not the same people and most of the suffering we experienced was caused by ignorance, by this separation from Love that we were not even aware of!

This is not to say that there is no such thing as malicious action, but I do believe that true maliciousness is rare and even that, at its core, is the result of a severe separation from love.

We all need to do what we feel is right. If this is not the right time for you to forgive, then it is not time. However, I would just remember that forgiveness of more of a healing balm for your own soul than it is a backdoor of absolution for the other person (or for your past self).

If it is our goal to love more fully and to open ourselves to the experience of all that Love is, we need to release that weight of blame and resentment, anger and fear. Forgiveness is a beautiful way to let go of that weight.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

May you be aware that pure, limitless Love is with you always!

Love,

Ana

Digging Deep: Releasing the Emotional Roots of Physical Pain

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I have grieved a lot in my life.

I have grieved over the past and the future, for my pain and for other people’s pain. Grief has left me on my knees with no breath in my lungs and no thoughts in my head but “Why? Why? Why?”. In these moments, sadness and loneliness seem endless, dark abysses seem welcome and the tears go on and on and on, unless they don’t. Unless the apathy takes over. The numb staring at the ceiling as I laid in bed on my back, not caring that it is 2:00 in the afternoon and there are places I am supposed to be. Not caring that friends were knocking on the door and slipping love notes through the door frame.  

I used to believe that when people leave, or die, or just stop caring out of self-defense, that a part of me died with them. I believed that I started off as an infant, whole and intact, but with every crushing moment of abandonment, a new part of me was stripped away. Death was inevitable, inconsequential, either I died doing something stupid, or some random accident happened, or I lived until there was no more of me to strip away and then grief would take me into nothingness. Either way, it would be over, and that was okay with me. I never really believed I would live past 30. Maybe that’s why my 30th birthday this year felt so…consequential, so big.

Today, I live a different life.

A life where each part of “me” that is stripped away brings me closer to experiencing the whole of ME. Grief seems to exist only to point out, through contrast, the awe inspiring brilliance of life and to be a part of what it means to fully heal. Every once in a while, grief pours out of unexpected places, hidden underneath the layers of resentment and rage that I never allowed myself to feel before. Hidden under layers of archetypal stories, linking lifetimes of mistakes and the growth pains of being human.

(*For more on anger click HERE)

Society defines the significant events in life as the weddings and the funerals, the acceptance letters and the graduations, the building of homes and the birth of children. However, whenever I sit down to write about the moments that really changed my, the list is filled with tiny BIG moments that no one else viewing the movie of my life would have even noticed.

The times I crawled in bed next to my mother to say goodbye before catching the bus to school in the morning. The warm smell of comfort, and being able to pretend to be a child for a while, before reality locked its cuff around my wrists.

The first time I so coolly and casually said “I love you” to someone, but meant it with all my heart, and the way it felt to keep from crying until he closed the door behind him for the last time. The feeling as my knees gave out and slammed against the wood floor as all the breath in my lungs was taken away and the feeling of not wanting it back.

The time I planted a poem under a Sourwood tree for a friend that I wasn’t sure if I loved or not, but knowing that now, I would never get to find out.

The first time I really had the courage to say “NO!” and the moment that I decided inside my heart to forgive what I once believed was unforgivable.

The day I found out how deeply I had abandoned the person I loved most in the whole world and the guilt that settled deep into my body, but had to play if off as no big deal.

Love flows through us, Joy flows through us, Elation flows through us leaving happy memories and a sense of expansion. But grief, anger, resentment, self-loathing, guilt, shame, they tend stick to the deepest layers of the body because they are the emotions we were taught to never fully feel. We were taught to be afraid of discomfort not to allow it to flow with gratitude through our body and into Mother Earth. So the grief, or fear or anger or resentment, hides inside our very bones, causing chronic pain, so easily rationalized and explained away as something superficial, something that makes sense.

Recently I was meditating and intentionally releasing some chronic pain that I had in my lower back for about a year, when my attention was forcefully relocated to my right hip instead. I have had on and off hip pain for over 10 years ago, “it was from a rock climbing accident” I told myself, “I worked it too hard at the farm today” I would explain.

However, when I started to breathe into that space, a tiny door that appeared in my mind. I opened it, shone and imaginary light into my hip and called a timid “Hello?” into the dark, I was in for a big surprise.  

I was confronted by a past life version of me. A woman screaming in rage and grief “How could they do this to me?” over and over again. She looked like me, but not like me at the same time. They had taken her toddler away, stripped the child from her arms and took him away. The pain of that separation ripped through my body and the woman turned into my teenage self, then my adult self and I instantly knew all the ways this past life experience related and explained my tendencies, behaviors and chronic emotional grief, guilt and pain in this lifetime. The details of which, I will not go into here for it is a long story in and of itself.

The moral of this story is that it is okay to grieve, the feel rage and hurt and disbelief that life happened the way that it did, but we need to acknowledge that if unresolved, these frequencies, these energies cause chronic dis-ease in the physical body. They cause stress and tension and inflammation and so much more.

For most of my life, I didn’t make the connection. I didn’t know how to allow pain to flow through me, so it was stored by default. But now that I know better, it is my responsibility to stop rationalizing away my physical pain. It is fine to see a doctor and to treat the symptoms, but I also need to begin digging deeper into the emotional root and clear that with breath and intention.

In this case, I experienced about 10 minutes of extreme discomfort, but in exchanged I was granted lifetimes of knowing and patterns and connections that left me feeling lighter and able to love myself more than ever before. I intend to continue this physio-emotional exploration and look more closely under the sensations that I have rationalized aside as insignificant for far too long.

I wish you the best of luck with any explorations you attempt and encourage you to gather your support system closely around you, because you don’t have to do it alone this go ‘round.

 

Love you all!

 

Ana

How to Use Your Fear of Failure to Create a New Definition of Success!

How to Use Your Fear of Failure to Create a New Definition of Success!

I hope we can all take time and care as we re-define failure and success for ourselves and that it gives us the momentum to take a closer look at the other important words in our lives and the power we choose to give them. Let’s all use self-knowledge, love and choice to take our power back and create lives full of freedom, abundance and success!

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Trials by Fire: 5 Tips for

Trials by Fire: 5 Tips for

When we are in a partnership with another person, facing these trials has another added element of complexity. Not only do we need to walk through the fire and survive, we need to make sure that the fire doesn’t destroy our relationship. So why do some couples come out stronger after going through these trials and some relationships just burn to ashes and fall apart?

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The Power of Presence is the Power of the Question:

Take a moment now to close your eyes and breathe deeply three times. Allow tension to ease and calm serenity to flood your body. Smile, and be here now.

When we breathe and come fully into the present moment, we can see our internal and external environment more objectively. We step into the space of being able to ask meaningful questions and therefore receive meaningful answers.

Breathing into the present moment allows us to disengage from the Ego’s tendency towards judgement long enough to accept what is. Acceptance of what is, soothes us enough to get curious. Curiosity temporarily cures judgement, so that we can stop asking the universe “Why me?” and start asking “What does this situation have to teach me?”.

When we ask, an answer is always given, but that answer is not necessarily the answer we were hoping for and it doesn’t necessarily happen on our timeline, and it doesn’t even always happen with words.

If a verbal answer does come into the quiet stillness, it often comes in your voice (not some deep booming voice of GOD). This makes guidance easy to dismiss as just another thought, especially if it doesn’t seem logical or if it challenges you to change your perspective.

How do you know that you didn’t just imagine it, that it isn’t your Ego just making stuff up? Besides just Knowing, you can tell because not only will it be the exact answer to your question but upon further investigation an answer from the Universe will always be based in love and unity, and an Egoic answer will usually be based in fear or doubt or separateness.

For the last few weeks, I have asked the Universe “What is it that still needs to click into place when it comes to my purpose and what I am meant to do and share with the world? What would you have me do? What do I need to do, I feel so lost?” and for weeks, I didn’t get an answer. I got guidance on a lot of other things, but no clarity of purpose.

Today, I asked when I felt at peace, when I was calmly in my heart, and I received an answer immediately. It was my voice, but gentler and slightly sweeter than I normally talk to myself.

“Can you be happy not knowing?”

To me this was answer enough.

Being in the space between, in the Gap, is a pattern for me. Changing cities or jobs or lovers was a common theme in my life and I am currently in a Gap where I am trying to establish a new career that will allow me to share my love with others and support others in finding themselves and their deep inner love.

This Gap time is another chance to learn that happiness and purpose and fulfilment is not something to be found externally but is rather something that I must cultivate in my awareness no matter what is going on in my environment.

When I can be happy without knowing, the knowing will come.

So, I deeply encourage you to take time to breathe in any way that feels intentional and powerful to you. Breathe and step back from the Ego identity into the Observer state and start asking questions. Big questions, small questions, fun questions, scary questions, just ask and then know that they will be answered in divine timing and through your path of least resistance.

Cultivate joy and peace in your heart in the present moment and notice that when you ask from that place of no resistance, how the answer is right there for you to hear or see or sense.

 

Sending my love to you as always!

 

Ana

Here is the video (it is a little rambling, so I tried editing it down for you, not sure if it worked). I am back to work at the farm and so trying to fit in my regular blogs and videos, so I apologize for the tiredness and the farm attire =)

The Power of Presence is the Power of Connection

Every time we BREATHE with intention and shift our focus from the Ego's busy workings to the calm and quiet of the Observer state, new doors open to us. Doors of opportunity, of beauty, of joy, of grace appear out of no where because we have the power of presence on our side.

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When we breathe and pause in the present moment to connect to the Observer part of our consciousness, we step into a time that is not a time and a place that is not a place.

In the present, we are able to bridge the gap between the Ego and our Higher Selves and benefit from the insight and information of both.

New doors appear because our Higher Selves shed light on them and we are far enough removed from Ego's obsession with the past and future that we can see these doors as they open invitingly in the now.

All we have to do is breathe, focus on what we feel now, ask our Higher Selves for a little light and guidance and eagerly await the answer. Sometimes the answer is very quiet and sometimes it doesn’t come the instant you ask.

The guidance we receive from our Higher Selves can come in an infinite number of ways. It can come through a conversations we happen to overhear between two strangers, or a blog we are reading, a video we are watching, or a billboard that we drive by. It doesn’t have to come in full sentences either, a single word or object or experience can be a key that clicks into place and jump starts your brain’s amazing process of making connections between pieces of information you already possess and drawing the exact conclusions you need.

I like to think about being present like being in a classroom.

Let’s say you are in a class trying to learn a foreign language. There’s a lot depending on you learning this language and you sit down and immediately start thinking about all the times you tried and failed to learn languages before and projecting about all the things that might happen if you can’t learn it this time and before you know it the class is over and you didn’t even realize it had started.

The next day you go into the class you sit down and start to breathe, slow and deep. You quiet your Ego mind just enough that you can see and hear your teacher. You are still aware of your thoughts but you have stepped far enough back from them that you can observe them clearly and choose to focus on only the thoughts that help you learn. Being in this Observer state also gives you full access to all the knowledge of your teacher, who is there to give you all the information you need, as well as, all the resources in the room (including the other students in the room that starting walking through the door as soon as you decided to learn).

Sometimes, the only information your Higher Self gives you is that you need to wait or you need to continue to practice being the Observer and connecting to love and that the information you are seeking will come in perfect timing. This can be a little frustrating, but that is where the power of faith comes into play, which is the topic of a different post.

Sending all my love to you!

Ana