Ode to the Tree
Forgiveness comes like an October snowfall,
That quietly settles flake by flake on the dead grass,
Covering the barren ground with soft white crystals,
A cool white shroud on summer’s passionate past.
Feelings fall forgotten like frail dead leaves,
Without purpose or life beneath the white;
They are discarded bits of vanity and vitality,
Having fulfilled their purpose on the Tree of Life.
Yet, I remain in shock like the tree,
Stripped of my drive, purpose, and ability to grow,
Thrusting my life blood back down into my roots,
Away from the cold November winds that blow.
But I still live, and I still feel, and I can still dream.
I know that those discarded feelings beneath the pain,
In time shall break down and nurture growth, new life,
When the warm spring sun shines overhead again.
And those feelings like last year’s living leaves,
Have contributed their substance to make me strong;
Their scars have become this year’s branches,
New life made ready for a new season with a new song.
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” (Alexander Pope)
The next step in grounding is to forgive and let go. Forgiving is easy; letting go is very difficult. In order to let go, we have to change the neural pathways in our brain that are linked to powerful negative emotions that flow through the amygdala. Some of our memories, such as rape, abuse, and other forms of violence against our bodies, may even be stored in the nervous system of the body itself. Whenever our memories are triggered, we may feel it in our heart, in our gut, and perhaps in the parts of the body that have suffered the abuse. We may carry these hurts and insults for a life time and eventually they may become too heavy to bear. We have to let go of these hurts before we can become completely grounded.
Forgiveness is, above all, a cleansing of our mind, heart, and soul through the powers of the Higher Self.The first step is to forgive our self. The second step is to forgive the ones who have offended us. Some of these situations may be from the distant past. From time to time during these activities, we may reach into our implicit memories where we may encounter some of our deepest emotions. Usually these are early childhood memories when we were unable to process what was happening around us. If our environment was full of negative emotion, we typically blamed ourselves and felt unworthy of being loved. As our mind touches on these memories, we may feel these raw old emotions again. But as we stay there, our Higher Self will begin to soothe the child within. Eventually, this soothing will touch the pleasure center of the brain, usually experienced by a feeling of release and often accompanied by tears of joy. We refire and rewire. It is then time to go back to the child within and give her or him a great big hug and say how proud we are of their courage to be who they were and to do what they did.
We then look at our adult life experiences where we were always ready to take the blame for everything that happened to us. Somehow it must have been our fault. We now can go back into those situations as conscious adults and realize that most of these situations were because of the dynamics of the moment. There is no blame. Even if we have callously offended someone, we must realize that this is all in the past, and as such, it is all in our minds. Given the circumstances, we did the best we could with the resources we had at that time; we have to let them go.
Once we have forgiven ourselves for the past, we are free to live in the present. But some important relationships may still be fractured and triggered from time to time with the emotional power to take us back into the old patterns. When it comes to the ones we love, we have to rebuild the relationship; we have to forgive them and allow them to forgive us. We remember that forgiving is not about submitting to another or having another submit to us. It is the cleansing of our own thoughts and feelings. We then help the loved one clean up their own thoughts and feelings, and thus the relationship, in the hopes that love may now rule instead of blame, shame, and anger.
When resolving old conflicts and patterns, the ego is usually defensive, and when the two parties are defensive, there seems to be a need for blame. Blame is an extremely powerful negative feeling that can turn from wallowing in sadness to being livid with anger. In working out the old conflicts, both parties have to realize that these wounds from the past are having an unwanted influence on the present. We also come to realize that they exist only in the mind. In reality, there is no past; there is no blame; there is no shame. There was only a situation in which each individual did what they thought they had to do because they felt it was the only alternative for them at the time or they may have been swept away by the passion of the moment. Both parties have to realize that in the present there does not have to be any conflict. There does not have to be any blame. Each moment can be a new beginning. Each moment can be lived in joy. Each moment is an opportunity for two people to find peace, harmony, and love.
We take the initiative and approach the other person for the purpose of cleansing the relationship. Before visiting the person, we make sure that our Higher Self has brought the powers of love, forgiveness, and peace into our own minds. We next prepare our self emotionally, visualizing how we want the encounter to proceed. We allow the visualization to evolve until we feel the feelings we want to feel and the feelings we want to pass on to the ones we love.
We are now ready to go to the person and describe our own part in the failed relationship including our feelings of anger and/or regret. We tell them we have forgiven our self or have forgiven them for their part in the situation, thereby opening the doorway to letting them approach the situation positively. We do not blame or accept any blame. This is counterproductive. There is no blame. If necessary, we may choose to apologize, but we do so not to defend ourselves. We are not responsible for their feelings, and we are not really responsible for the events that happened. That is all in the past. We merely acknowledge that these things have happened and that we wish to forgive, forget the past, and live in the present.