Thank you Bonnie Hassan, for the beautiful sentiments that follow.
As I think about, pray for and send Reiki to all those affected by the tragic events that occurred in Newtown, CT. last Friday, the word that most often comes into my mind is ‘forgiveness.’ For any of us who have been hurt or betrayed, whether by those we love and know, or strangers, we know how difficult it is to heal and move forward when our hearts are heavy with anger and blame, and our minds are filled with the repetitive question of “why?” As I have myself experienced, true peace and acceptance come only when we can release the anger and blame, stop asking why, and begin to move into forgiveness.
Forgiveness isn’t usually something that happens in a single quick moment, allowing us to put the past behind us immediately and easily and find the freedom to move on and continue with our lives. Rather it is generally a long, slow process that occurs over time, and one that we often find ourselves resisting, perhaps because of the magnitude of the injustice or our belief that forgiveness somehow frees the perpetrator from responsibility and accountability.
We don’t understand, or we forget, that forgiveness is for us, not the one who hurt us. Because the longer we resist, the longer our hearts are closed, the more our anger and pain cause us an even deeper hurt, one that disables our ability to heal and move into a place of peace and acceptance. It is only when we begin to forgive that we find ourselves able to move more fully into the stream of our lives once again, always changed, never forgetting, but with a more open and malleable heart, able to acknowledge joy, be more present in the moment, and laugh without feeling guilt.
So I’m asking , as we continue to think about, pray for and send Reiki to all those who are mourning, all those who are suffering, all those who are asking why, I’m asking that we fashion our words in such a way that asks God, or whatever name we use to refer to and connect with that Divine Source of all that is, to lead those who have been hurt to a place of forgiveness, sooner rather than later, so their hearts may begin to empty of anger and pain, and their minds can begin to let go of the need to know why. In this way they can be more open to the love and healing that will make it possible for them to move forward, able to recognize and appreciate the blessings that life, even without the ones they love, still holds for them.
And because the path of healing and forgiveness is a long one, they will need our ministrations far longer than the headlines will keep them foremost in our thoughts, and with the busyness of our own lives it is, unfortunately, easy to forget the ones who are in need, no matter how good or strong our intentions. So I’d like to suggest that we write ourselves a reminder note, a little post-it that we put somewhere we will be sure to see it every day throughout this busy holiday season and well throughout the New Year, so that the power of our prayers continues to extend to them for as long as is needed to bring them to a place where their hearts are open to forgiving and they are once again able to be fully present in their lives.
God doesn’t require that our prayers be long and involved, or that we spend a great deal of time. Just a few moments, the time it takes to take a deep breath, turn our thoughts in their direction, and murmur a few short words: “Help them to forgive.” “Help them to heal.” “Bless them as they move forward in their lives.” Whatever brief phrase works for each of us to show our intention will be sufficient to direct the Divine’s attention to those in need with even greater intensity.
And just as we all know, what we put out always returns to us, often in even greater measure than that which we gave. So as we consistently intend for the healing of those others, we will also receive Divine intervention in our own lives, perhaps with help in the forgiveness we have been seeking, or in some other form or area of our lives that needs assistance. I’m not reminding us of this so that we’re more willing to continue giving, but so that when we do receive because we made a sincere effort to reach out to others in spite of our oh-so-busy lives, we might more easily recognize the hand of the Divine in our own lives as well, so that we are even more deeply aware of that loving, guiding, healing presence at work for us also.
And as ‘more’ is oft times better than ‘less’, I encourage you to forward this email to any and all that you think might welcome it (and even to those you’re not quite sure about! Who knows what your gesture might generate?), so that the ears of the Divine are constantly filled with our requests for assistance and the healing that is needed progresses even more surely.
Thank you for continuing to make a space to remember and support all of those who are in mourning, all of those who have been affected by the events in Newtown. Their journeys will not be easy, but with our continued attention and love, they may be a bit less heavy.
Peace and blessings to you all,