Heart Thoughts: Dare to Forgive

Oh, wow! Our parking lot has received a fantastic makeover, and it truly couldn’t have turned out any better. A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who played a part in making this transformation possible. Just this past Sunday, someone shared an inspiring insight with me. They mentioned that whenever we set our intentions on improving our building, it miraculously comes to fruition. They continued, saying that this is a perfect example of faith in action. This serves as a direct message to each and every one of you for prioritizing and nurturing our spiritual community.
As we progress in the book Dare to Be Yourself written by Alan Cohen this week’s message was on forgiveness. Forgiveness is so important to our spiritual growth.

What actually is forgiveness? Forgiveness is letting go of previous hurts or harm you may feel has been inflicted on you.

A Course in Miracles says real forgiveness is selective forgetting.

Alan says: To find healing we must remember the blessings and let all else go.

I am going to share a forgiveness example from my own life. I didn’t share this on Sunday; however, it is a great example of how forgiveness works.

Several years ago, Rev. LeRoy and I went to a retreat in Mentone, Alabama with Rev. Edwene Gaines. Edwene was a mentor of ours and we respected her and followed her teachings.

At this retreat we were participating in a “fire walk.” In preparation for the fire walk we needed to clear out any non-forgiveness we were holding against anyone. This was very important as it directly had an impact on the fire walk experience if you didn’t want to get burns on your feet.

We started the day out with meditation and identifying who we needed to forgive. For me it was my first husband, who had been my abuser. I wrote a letter of forgiveness even though he had died several years before.

We were given the afternoon to work through the forgiveness process, which I did. Rev LeRoy and I went down to a river, and I prayed and released my letter and then I was reminded of something that Emmet Fox says about forgiveness:

Freedom from the Past: By affirming that you have already forgiven someone when the memory or thought of the offense arises, you are actively choosing not to dwell on the past hurt. This practice helps you let go of any lingering negative emotions and prevents you from reopening old wounds.

When it comes to mind, I would say “I have already forgiven that.”

Continuous Practice: Fox’s teachings suggest that forgiveness is not a one-time event but an ongoing practice. When you affirm forgiveness each time the thought arises, you reinforce your commitment to release the past and maintain a state of inner peace.

Healing and Transformation: According to Fox, forgiveness can lead to profound healing and transformation. It can free you from the burden of resentment and anger, allowing you to experience greater inner peace, happiness, and spiritual growth.

Needless to say, the experience of forgiving my ex was a huge relief and I went on to the fire walk experience and had no burns…

I can now think of my ex and bring to mind the blessings he brought into my life and the teacher that he was for me.

The affirmation that I learned there was “I am a fire walker, and I can do anything.” I don’t always remember that but writing this is a good reminder.

If you missed the service, you could watch it here.

Next week is Dare to Feel. See you then!

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey

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