Countless times since I've started the journey back to absolute Peace, sages have advised: forgiveness is the only way. After duly considering their advice, I drop into total futility. Forgiving my enemies, whether it's the loud neighbors having sex at 3 in the morning, or Hitler and his troupe of villain, seems an impossible task.
God knows I've tired. Really. More than twice. But it always fails. (Case in fact: I have been trying to forgive the man with whom I spent nine years in a relationship. We broke up forty years ago. Just when I think I've halfway succeeded, I see his face in my meditations my stomach grips, and I realize I've failed yet again. The odd thing is: This man never did anything wrong to me! Consciously, anyway. All those misdeeds and malevolences were only in my head!
For a long time, I thought maybe I was going about it in the wrong way. Obviously, relying on my own resources/strengths, was not enough. So, I gave it over to a Higher Power, repeatedly, and the ball always came rolling right back into my court. Nothing was achieved.
What did I do wrong?
Because forgiving-your-enemy has gotten such good press from the New Age circuit, I kept it up, tried my best to let go of grievances, gave the task over to the Holy Spirit, erased it from my mind, ignored it. To no avail. What now? I mean, if I can't even forgive something someone never did to me, (except in my mind), imagine me trying to forgive something that really did happen, like the holocaust, Hannibal Lektor, the guy chewing gum in the back row of my yoga class.
And, so it seems, I'm back to square one.
Well, not quite ground zero, thanks to the encounter with 25% of my 7,896,346,257,153 demons back in the cold dark month of January.
Going through a 'dark fortnight of the soul' has a way of blasting you off the trusted path and onto another, more appropriate one. (Funny how extreme fear forces you to find new ways of dealing with things). Although the new road appeared a bit drab next to the path paved with glitter and gold I normally travel, I started the journey. My first discovery was if I wanted to get rid of my inner turmoil and anxiety, I had to face the above mentioned 25% one by one.
No. Not face them; embrace them!
Up until the month of sickness, I did everything I could to avoid my demons, (except, of course, the smaller ones like illicit sex, or pigging out on potato chips and popcorn). For example, an evil demon would pop up in my mind: I would either sit down and meditate, space out in front of the TV, or read a beach blanket novel. These failing, I'd pop a Prozac. Although these techniques worked well when the sun was shining and my heart as open, in the throes of anxiety, they were as useless Methamphetamine in Heaven. Worse yet, while the demons had me by the throat, My Higher Self was forcing me to face them, these deep dark shadows that had been begging my attention ever since I turned sixty – ten years hence.
I breathed, mantraed, recited the 108 Names of God, even promised to take up the cloth should my prayers for release be answered. But the demons had their claws in, clutching at my soul with all their might.
A well-reputed Facebook guru I was following on Instagram advised me to befriend them. "Don't see your demons as enemies, but as advisers who are working together with your Higher Self to unclog the drain between you and God. The Heavenly Host clapped there hands and flapped their wings, and told me to heed the wise words.
"Say, what?" I responded. Obviously, neither the Internet Guru nor the Heavenly Host was that well acquainted with my particular brand of demons, who were are about as attractive as Jabba the Hut.
"Find something positive about them!" he advised. "After all, you created them, so there must be something worthwhile waiting for your discovery."
Odd as it sounded, a payoff surfaced immediately. In the space of a thought, one of my major demons attained a voice. It said, "Without me, you will never gain enlightenment."
"You need me the way the day needs the night, the moon needs the sun, peace needs war, the donkey needs a kick in the ass."
It didn't take a genius to understand what he meant.
God's Presence waits for my permission to enter my consciousness. in order to be felt, God, Peace, Love, and Light, must be remembered. Not once a week, not once a day, but every minute of every waking hour for the rest of my earthly life. True awakening was only possible when the desire becomes as desperate as a drowning man yearning for air.
How easy it is to forget one's divinity when the sun is shining and everything is going hunky-dory. Who's thinking about God when they're twenty and hormones are raging, and the men are standing in line to sign your dance card?
I'm learning; it's not so much a matter of giving up the world of form as it is to see the world of form through the eyes of absolute consciousness, or peace, or perfect love. It's not about relinquishing the senses so much as to feel and experience sensations while being anchored in the knowledge that I am That which witnesses all that happens. I am not the physical body, but the consciousness that is aware of the physical body.
Ever since I hit puberty, one of my greatest desires was to achieve enlightenment while still in the body. When I ask myself now, what is the greatest obstacle to enlightenment? the answer returns: All that stands between you and enlightenment is: you don't believe you are, now and forever more: enlightened. How can I incorporate this great truth into my everyday life? By affirming my true nature, and negating the illusion you are a body, a concept, a thought. Here this: it's not enough to affirm this truth once, but over and over again.
Ever notice how friendly and helpful your neighbors are during a crisis or war?
This is the subject of my next blog post!