Our resentments bind us to the person with a cord stronger than steel.
Ellie and I set out on our walk yesterday full of the promise of time spent in nature, walking beneath a glorious blue sky. The day felt spring-like, refreshing. After the deep-freeze of the past few weeks, it was a relief to walk with just a heavy sweater, gloves and no hat.
Ellie was ecstatic. Snow still covers the ground and she took great pleasure in rolling and slithering her body through it. She dug her nose into it, flipped it up into the air and created mini-snowfalls all around her. She danced and pranced and dug deep into its frosty depths, following the scent of other critter's paths, following the scent of her own joy.
She didnt' question where she was walking, or how or what she was doing. She just did. Enjoy.
As I walked along a path on the ridge overlooking the river, I carefully stepped across icy patches in the trail. It was treacherous in places. Ice covered the path in a narrow band, the hillside fell away sharply. Footing was important.
I thought about stepping cautiously. Stepping consciously. About stepping carefully. Stepping with care.
Cautious steps left me less balanced. In my focus on my footing, my head was down, my energy centered around 'not falling'.
Conscious steps kept my feet firmly planted on the ground, stepping assuredly across the icy patches.
It was a small step, a slight shift in how I fulfilled on my intention to enjoy my afternoon in the sun, and it made a difference.
When I focused on not slipping on the ice, my thoughts were all about my fear of falling. With fear-driving thoughts running through my head, I was less confident in my progress.
When I leaned into my fear and focused my attention on stepping across the icy patches, trusting in my ability to navigate the trail, regardless of its terrain, I wasn't thinking about falling. I was committed to my intention to have a wonderful walk in the sun and snow and air. I needed to walk with care, not to avoid falling, but rather, to enjoy my time in the outdoors. Confident in my ability to carry me over any uncertain terrain, I stepped assuredly where ever I went. With my thoughts focused on taking care to be conscious of where and how I was walking, not because I feared I might fall, but simply because I was enjoying my walk, I felt more centered, more balanced, less exposed to the risk of falling.
It's all in my attention and how I focus my thoughts on my intention.
When I focus on the litany of what someone did to hurt me, forgiveness feels hard. It feels difficult. Challenging. Sometimes, even impossible.
When I focus on the benefits of forgiveness, on how I am choosing to forgive to set myself free, and put my attention on the person I am forgiving, not their sins against me, forgiveness flows into my body filling me with grace. The steel bands constricting my heart, limiting my movement and my enjoyment, are released and I am free to pass confidently from anger, resentment, bitterness and regret into the healing grace of forgiveness.
It's all in my attention and intention. When I put my attention on my intention: In forgiveness I set myself free -- rather than my fear that if I forgive the other person will get away with having hurt me -- I cut the bounds that tie me to his/her wrongdoing and set myself free to flow joyfully into what I am doing. In forgiveness, I do not have to worry about whether they'll get theirs. I am not the keeper of the Universal scales of justice. I am the keeper of my own journey, my tranquility, my peace of mind.
When I focus on all the reasons why I do not, cannot, will not 'walk in faith', I talk myself out of surrendering my ego, and falling into love.
Yesterday, I set a vow to be One with God.
It is an act of faith. A belief that the Divine within me is a reflection of the Divine spirit of love flowing in and around and under and behind and below and through me.
I am a child of God, the Divine expression of Her amazing grace.
In my expression of the Spirit within me, I take a leap of faith. I leap into the Spirit of living my one and only life passionately in love with the rapture of now unfolding all around me.
I don't worry about stepping carefully. Where I step doesn't change the value of my journey. No matter the terrain, when I walk with faith that I am supported throughout my journey, in every way, in every step, I travel with confidence, no matter the obstacles, no matter the road, trusting the path will reveal itself as I journey joyfully through each moment of my life. Walking as One with God within me, I become all I am and all I can be in Love.
In Love, I surrender and soar free of the chains that bind me to living my life in fear of falling.