Today we wrap up our week of clearing our spaces–our heart spaces, our mind spaces, our soul spaces, and even our body spaces–of the silent (or not so silent) anger and resentment festering within. Is this necessary? Ask any therapist. Ask any spiritual counselor. Ask any metaphysician. Ask anyone. But really, there’s only one person’s opinion that matters. Ask yourself.
You know if you’ve got old crusty crud blocking your spiritual arteries. You know if you’re carrying a pocket of anger toward some jerk who done you wrong. You know if deep inside you still wish that something rotten would happen to someone. You know. And you know if this anger is getting in the way. You know if it’s gotten in the way all last year — or all last decade for that matter. And you know, somewhere deep you know, if it could get in the way of calling in your magical, glorious, joyous new year.
So once and for all, it’s time to let go. To move on. To release. To forgive. To finally, totally and completely forgive. Want to do that? Well, it’s your lucky day because it just so happens that I know how. No, wait, let me amend that. It isn’t that I “know” how to forgive. Not in the sense of having an intellectual understanding of what forgiveness is and how it happens. I’m not sure anyone, no matter how many books they’ve read or written, “knows” that.
But we who have had a profound experience of forgiveness, do know something special. We know that forgiveness is miraculous. We know that when we forgive — not in the mind or even the heart but at the deepest, let’s call it cellular or even soul level — something happens. Chains really do break. Spirits really are released. And not just the other guy’s. Both people are released. You and the person you are forgiving. You are both instantly and miraculously free.
So, do I “know” something about forgiveness? Can I explain why this particular prayer works? No. Not really. It’s a mystical experience. It’s a miracle. All I can tell you is that it works. This is the prayer that released me and my ex-husband. Within two hours of my writing this prayer, my ex-husband wrote a check for the first time during our divorce. A check for half our son’s last dental appointment. Doesn’t sound big? Not to you maybe, but for us it was nothing less than the parting of the Red Sea. And, more than that, it was a harbinger of the giant life insurance miracle to come. (If you don’t know the story, you can read it in this excerpt from Writing Down Your Soul.)
And this prayer, “Finally Forgive,” doesn’t just work for me. Every time I read it in public, I get phone calls. I don’t know why, but they always come on the third day. And they always start the same way, “You’re not going to believe what happened….” I always smile. Oh, yes, I am. Yes, I am. Yes, I am. I am absolutely, positively going to believe what happened. Because forgiveness works. Forgiveness works miracles. Forgiveness works miracles every time.
Here’s the miracle prayer, “Finally Forgive.” I wrote it about my situation with my ex-husband. But it applies to everyone. Just change the sentence, “The truth is…” and fill in your own Truth about your own relationship with the person you are forgiving. Adjust this prayer any way you want for yourself.
- Listen to me say it first.
- Then make any changes you want to personalize the prayer for yourself.
- Then speak the prayer out loud. This is important. Say it standing up. Say it aloud. Say it slowly. With conviction. With meaning. With heart. Hold up your hands as you see the corners and make the choice. Because that’s really all you’re doing. You’re making a choice. THE choice. The most important choice you’ll ever make.
After you’ve said the prayer, be still. Let the words wash over you. Feel the fetters burst. Don’t be surprised if you’re a little woozy. If that happens, just sit. Be still. And whisper thank you. “Thank You, God for this gift of forgiveness. I am free. I am free. At last, I am free. Free to live the life I’m here to live. Free to come from love. Free to love my life, my soul, my purpose, and my gifts. Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, I am free at last.”
a prayer of finally, really, truly, and completely choosing to forgive copyright 2009 Janet Conner
Part I The Gap
There is a gap between you and me.
In the gap is pain and fear and anger.
In the gap is our history of ugly thoughts, ugly words, ugly actions.
In the gap are the sounds of screaming, crying and swearing.
That gap is killing us and hurting our child.
What good is there in that gap?
What good is there in refusing to cross it?
What good is there in staying angry?
What good is there in not forgiving?
Part II One Love
If there really is only one love—God’s love—then:
How can I love my work,
if I don’t love you, in some way? Just a little.
How can I love our son with my whole heart,
if I don’t love you, in some way? Just a little.
How can I love my new relationship,
whomever that may be, whenever that may be,
if I don’t love you, won’t love you, can’t love you, in some way?
Just a little.
How can I love my home, my family, my friends?
How can I love my purpose, my reason for being,
if I don’t love you, in some way?
If I could love you, just a little
I could love my life all the more,
love my child all the more
love my work, my home, my friends, all the more.
Part III The Choice
I have it in my power to hate you, to ignore you, to blame you.
I have it in my power to make your life difficult, set up little traps,
say small nasty things.
I have it in my power to paint you as the bad guy, the stupid one, the fool.
And, I have it in my power to forgive you, to love you, in some way. Just a little.
The truth is your presence in my life was a gift.
For now and for always, you gave me our precious child,
the sweetest gift on earth.
And you taught me, finally taught me, to say no.
Thanks to you, I learned, oh God, how I learned.
Thanks to you, I grew, till I became bigger, stronger, richer, fuller.
Thanks to you, I walked. I walked a long tough journey, but I walked
to this place, this moment, when I know who I am.
I know what I’m thinking. I know what I’m feeling.
And I see a clear choice:
I can hold you in this corner, where you are forever wrong.
Or, I can hold you in the light, where you are free to grow, and change, and be happy.
Dear God, I’m choosing.
I’m closing the gap,
filling it with forgiveness, plugging the holes, and posting a sign:
Only love is spoken here.
(Finally Forgive comes from Spiritual Geography, the soul-writing system that heals the broken heart. Click on the Country of Peace to learn more about forgiveness. If you’re interested in more information about Spiritual Geography please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I invite you to forward this and all the posts on forgiveness in the December Plan to friends. Encourage them to subscribe to this blog and to the Writing Down Your Soul newsletter.)
This week in our December Plan we’re looking BACKward. Back all the way to January 1, 2009. Look at your calendar. The clues to your year are right there in front of you. Who knew that such a simple office supply could carry so much information, including several messages from heaven.
Before the year began, I pinned a four foot tall dry-erase 2009 calendar on the wall above my desk. For the first few months, it looked rather pathetic. As in: blank, empty, WHITE. But slowly, as people discovered Writing Down Your Soul, the squares filled with classes, speaking invitations, workshops, book signings, and radio interviews.
I didn’t consciously plan a color scheme. I just reached into my drawer the day I booked my first event –and grabbed a black marker. Joyfully, I posted my first book signing in the square for January 11. Once I posted that one in black, I wrote all speaking events and workshops in black. Newsletter due dates are green. Social events are red. Florida sales tax due dates are red, too. But blue is reserved for something special. Blue is the color of surprises. Heavenly surprises. Miracles in other words.
Some of my miracles are big. What happened at the book signing on January 11th is big — very very big. If you’ve heard me tell the story of the mystery man and his message, you know what I’m talking about.
But most of my heavenly surprises are small. So small that you might not consider them miracles. But I do. On August 23, for example, I picked up a penny from the immaculate driveway of the brand new home where I had stayed in Vero Beach while teaching. You are not impressed? Not even if I tell you the penny wasn’t there fifteen minutes before? How about the penny in the bottom of the gas station in the middle of the state as I drove home? Still not impressed? How about the penny at my feet in the hotel shuttle at the airport in Raleigh? Maybe you’ll be more impressed if I tell you that as I waited for the shuttle I had a vehement conversation with Spirit saying, “OK, I’m here. I did what you asked. Now you have to show me that I’m OK, that this is all OK. That you are with me and all is well.”
A penny for me is more than a penny. It is the way my first (and thus far, only) husband says hello from heaven. It is the way Spirit winks and pats me on the pack. I see pennies all the time. One morning, after a fitful night worrying about money, I went to the gas station. As I stood there pumping gas, I demanded to know that heaven was with me. The receipt wouldn’t come out, so I stomped into the station to pay. There on the post outside the door was a dime and 2 pennies. I took it, said thank you, and, “You know 2 more cents would make 14. Fourteen cents would be really nice.” As I got in my car, I noticed 2 pennies on the ground. “Thank you,” I cried.
When I got home I put those coins with all the others in a little bowl under my creative altar. I think there’s a couple dollars in it. I’ll count the whole amount on December 31. After I put the coins in the bowl, I mark my wall calendar with a blue dot.
Today, December 10, I sit under my 2009 calendar and smile at all the black squares. I see in my mind all the people I taught. All the book stores I entered. All the books I signed. It’s all there on my 2009 calendar in bold black marker.
But the real wonders of 2009 are the blue marks. Those are the moments heaven winked and said, “We’re right here, with you, darling one. All is well.” Those are the moments that carried me then — and carry me still.
When and how did heaven show up for you this past year? Do you have a private little language between you and your divine guides? Does Spirit send you pep talks through birds? Answered prayers? Unexpected phone calls? Music? Smells?
If you didn’t pay attention this past year, that’s OK. Just resolve to pay attention from now on. Ask your divine guides to show up and make it clear they’re with you. Then, mark your calendar. In color. A year from now, you too will sit and smile and laugh and cry looking at all the beautiful blue (or gold or red…) days when heaven said, “Hello, beloved. we’re right here. We’ve got your back.”
How do you keep track of your heavenly “winks?”
I grew up celebrating the seven Catholic Holy Days of Obligation–holy days like Ascension, Assumption of Mary, All Souls, etc. By mid grade school these “celebrations” seemed a whole lot more obligation than celebration. Just something else to do. At nineteen, like lots of other Vietnam War era college kids, I stopped celebrating my entire religion, never mind the Holy Days of Obligation. The whole thing seemed meaningless.
But enter the gifts of time–gifts that came in so many mangled packages. Packages labeled Loss or Fear or Starting Over. I didn’t want these “gifts.” But they kept coming. It seemed the more I tried to avoid them, the more piled up at the front door. An odd thing happened. When I worked up the courage to open one of these “gifts,” I found something beautiful.
Like the gift of 11-11. Today may be just another page on the calendar for you. Or it may be the American holiday of Veteran’s Day. For me, it is something more. It is the anniversary of a miracle. Several miracles actually.
My first clue that today is a precious day came on Nov 11, 1988. I was 39 and suddenly and unexpectedly pregnant. This was not immediately welcome news. Pregnancy and marriage were not on my life list. I was terrified. I didn’t see how I could possibly juggle all the balls needed to continue to be the major breadwinner and raise a baby. The father reacted by crawling into a shell of silence. My doctor added a healthy dose of fear with scary statistics on Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifada and all kinds of other horrifying possibilities for a woman with such “old” eggs. He insisted I have amniocentesis.
After plunging a horror movie needle into my belly four times, he finally extracted enough of the precious fluid. He handed it to me in a paper bag and told me I had 90 minutes to get it to the lab in Tampa. I arrived at the medical complex of the University of South Florida with twenty minutes to spare. But the front door was locked. The side doors were locked. I scrambled through dense bushes knocking on windows and calling for help. With five minutes to go, I did the only thing left: I sat on the sidewalk and cried.
A taxi pulled up. A man got out. He walked up to me, pointed at my bag, and asked, “Is that for the lab?” I nodded. He took the bag. Dumbfounded, I watched him enter the building. Only when I got home did I realize I never asked the man’s name, I didn’t tell him what was in the bag or what it was for, and I had no way to know that it got to the right place. That is, until several weeks later when we got the glorious results that I was carrying a perfectly healthy baby boy.
If you’ve read Writing Down Your Soul, you know that my ’88 miracle was the portent of miracles to come. I declared my Covenant with Spirit on Nov 11, 2000 and three years later, the miracle check arrived dated November 11, 2003.
Since then, I’ve treated November 11 as the holy day it is. I clear my calendar, say my prayers, have long chats with my Divine Voice on the page, ask for guidance for the coming year, and place my requests for miracles, knowing that miracles are real and they happen. They happen to me. And they happen to you.
On the page this morning, reviewing my 11-11 miracles, I had a flash: This is a Holy Day of Obligation for me. It is holy and I am obliged to remember. Remember and be grateful. So I asked, what are all my Holy Days of Obligation. And guess what, there are seven! For me they are:
1-1 Begin Again Day New Years Day
1-11 Michael Day The day Michael showed up at Wings
6-16 I’m Here Day My birthday
7-2 Laurene Day The anniversary of my mother’s death
10-6 Atonement Day The anniversary of my husband’s death
11-11 11-11 The holy of holies for me
Friday 13 My Lucky Day Good things always come on Friday the 13th
No accident that there are seven. Seven in every spiritual tradition is the number of the divine.
I celebrate each of my Holy Days of Obligation by setting aside extra time to connect with Spirit. I always receive guidance. I always feel grateful-ness and joy. I always experience a deep sense of peace. And I always ask for–and expect–a miracle.
How about you? Have you considered the possibility that the calendar contains several precious and important days? Days Spirit has named just for you. Pick out those days. Name them. Then, on your next holy day, take a moment to reconnect with Spirit, remember your miracles,
re-explore your divine purpose, and renew your partnership with Spirit.
And expect a miracle.