Family by Chance - Friends by Choice?
How many times have we heard someone complain about what their Mom and Dad did to them? Or what they did not do for them? How badly they were treated? That if things had been different in their childhood they would be a much better person today? - A lot of people go on and on like that. They are completely dissatisfied with their parents and/or other close relatives. Common understanding is that we just happen to be born into our families. Some people just seem to be luckier than others, who encounter disaster after disaster - or so it seems.
The other day I was attending a lunch meeting in the Kumic Lodge, listening to the teachings of a native elder. In this case she was the helper of the elder, Noel Knockwood. One of the first things Ronaye Gabriel said was: "Let's not forget. We choose our parents." It was not the first time that I had heard that statement yet it sank in more deeply when Ronaye was guided by Spirit to explain more in detail.
Before we start our life on Planet Earth we decide with our guides which lessons we want to learn this time around. So we come up with a list that could include learning about anger, jealousy, abandonment, abuse or ...?
Obviously then, the question arises, how can we learn all that most effectively? If we wanted to learn how to swim, we would look for an instructor. On the spirit level, we contact other souls until some spirit friends offer to teach us. They volunteer to incarnate at the appropriate time and the stage is set for whatever we have put on our souls’ "to-do-and-learn"-list. However, the minute we incarnate, we forget about these agreements made in another dimension.
Being faced with all kinds of disaster and innumerable problems on the Earth Plane, society makes it so easy for us to blame others for whatever is happening to us. We are encouraged to push the responsibility away from ourselves and onto someone else's shoulders. Yet looking at our lives from the perspective of the native teachings, understanding that we and everybody around us acted on contract and mutual agreement, allows us to take another step in our personal growth and spiritual development.
If we can come to accept that whoever wronged or harmed us might have done so because they were helping us to go through and achieve a learning process, one that we chose ahead of time, it might make the process of forgiveness much easier.
All of a sudden I understood the teaching of "A Course in Miracles": Ultimately "there is nothing to forgive". Do we go back to our swimming instructor and say: 'I forgive you for teaching me how to swim?' On the contrary, we would go and be grateful and say "thank you". We need to realize that forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning the other person’s behavior or doing them a favor of which they are not worthy. What it does have to do with is ourselves, setting ourselves free, letting go of the past. Unplugging our energy from the traumas of the past is the essential step towards reaching our own true potential. Forgiving someone is the most selfish thing we can ever do. It is the biggest gift we can give to ourselves.
I was reminded of one of Dr Norman Shealy’s experiences. His Dad had died from a heart attack at age 54 after consuming 3 packs of cigarettes a day. For quite a while, Norman, being an MD, told everybody that his Dad had committed suicide by acting so irresponsibly. Then one night, his Dad appeared in Norman's dream, asking him to stop telling people that he had killed himself. His Dad told Norm, he had done everything to help Norm become who he is today. By being such a seemingly weak-willed person, he had set the stage for Norman to develop into an extremely strong-willed character himself.
The people who push most of our buttons in this physical reality might be the ones who, on the spiritual level, love us the most. From my own experience I have learnt that the minute we decide to see every so-called problem as yet another learning opportunity, it immediately loses part of its difficulty. If we go one step further and see "good" and "bad", "right" and "wrong" merely as judgements made up in our own minds, we surround ourselves with much less negativity and pressure. On the spirit level everything just IS. The ultimate personal transformation comes when we stop seeing ourselves, being and acting as victims and start realizing we are to take full responsibility for our lives. When we can embrace our "enemies" and thank them for triggering a learning experience for us, our life changes completely - for the better.
By Rica Gerhardt
First published in Tone, May 1998
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