Revisit: Thank you Mr. Mandela, for Teaching the Cycle of Forgiveness

I originally wrote this blog post following Nelson Mandela’s death in December 2013 and I needed a refresher on the subject of forgiveness and resentment. This post deals with forgiveness in love relationships, but it really speaks to all situations that is calling for  forgiveness and letting go of resentment. My 2015 self made some edits to my 2013 post :-).

Image courtesy of "Lonely Tree" by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of “Lonely Tree” by Evgeni Dinev, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

“As I walked out the door toward my freedom I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

-Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away today, at the age of 95. Nelson Mandela’s life – long, fruitful, inspirational, fraught with pain and struggle, triumph and victory – is something we all should aspire to be. I thank him for all the teaching moments his life brought to my life and his spirit and legacy lives on forever.

Below is a question posed to me on the subject of forgiveness and my response:

Q. Can you share your thoughts about forgiveness? I’ve always heard how people chose to forgive someone who hurt them deeply in one way or another in order to help them move on. What does that mean and how do you accomplish it?

Letting go. Time truly heals many wounds but in the meantime, how can one work on letting go of a situation? Is it best to force yourself to not think about it, i.e. whenever the thought crosses your mind, change the subject so to speak? Or do you try to keep busy and occupy yourself so as to distract you?

How does one remain hopeful of love and marriage? Is there really truly somebody for everybody?

A. Forgiveness. Such a heavy proposition, isn’t it? Why should we have to forgive those who trespass us?

It’s just as much about you as it is the person whose being forgiven, if not more about you. Not forgiving holds us back, dims and dulls our life’s experiences, and drags us down.

Nelson Mandela’s first quote above is not talking about the brick and mortar prison he sat in for 27 years for anti-Apartheid activities. He’s talking about the prison of our minds – the bondage of holding in resentment. His quote can help us better understand the notion of forgiveness in relationships and how it is necessary for moving on to bigger and better love. If we cannot let go of the pain, bitterness, anger, and resentment, then we will never fully move into the present of the here and now. The here and now is freedom to love.

Resentment comes from a misunderstanding many of us have about a situation or person. We believe they have wronged us and we come to hate a person. Remember that you called this person into your life, or at the very least allowed that person to enter your sphere. Think about the reasons why they were in your life. Acknowledge and appreciate their good qualities you loved about them. And, thank God for showing you the qualities in them that you could very much live without. It is especially the parts of a person that hurt you that has the most to offer you – the relationship is gone and over, but you now learned a little more about yourself in terms of what you want and don’t want in a relationship.

Nelson Mandela had several loves in his life, including three wives. Each of those wives, he loved deeply and considered them partners and soul mates. Two of the three marriages ended in divorce. Winnie Mandela allegedly cheated on Mr. Mandela and was emotionally neglectful to him– yet, he found love again at the age of 77, and died a happily married man at the age of 95. I read that in divorce court, Nelson Mandela smiled at his soon to be former wife, Winnie, but she turned away. He was sorrowful and humbled during the divorce proceedings and he spoke of his love and appreciation for his wife. He knew there was no hope for their relationship, but he chose to not be mired in pain and resentment towards his ex-wife.

Mr. Mandela’s story tells us that soul mates can come in many different forms and times in our lives. There are some loves in your life greater than others because of the chemistry or attachment you have to a person. As many times as you believe your soul mate is out there, is as many times your soul mate is forming and finding their way to you. Many people have great loves in their lives, not just one.

Allow yourself a little time to mourn the demise of a relationship, but write a reminder somewhere you can refer to that says when you’re ready and open, love is available to you. Dwelling in sadness only delays the recovery and the rediscovery of yourself in this life and of future loves to come. Don’t let unforgiveness of the person you once was in a relationship with slow down your momentum to a loving state of being with yourself, someone new, and old connections.

If you’ve ever tried to not think about something, then you likely know that it is almost impossible not to think about that very thing you’re trying to avoid thinking about. Deal with the feelings early and head on. Wallow, watch bad romantic comedies, cry, talk it out with friends and write in a journal. When you spend a little time mourning, remember there is a season for sadness and there is a season for moving. Take a trip, pick up a new hobby, or set up a regular volunteer activity to help move you into your new season of life and love. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t let them rule you or your life. Give yourself a break and have fun! Dating and making new friends is an adventure – the hunt for the love(s) of your life should be a good time, with a little contrast here and there. Isn’t that why we signed up for this thing called love and life anyway?

Finally, BE forgiveness. One of the qualities we want in our mates is the ability to forgive and humility. If those are qualities you want in others, make sure it’s something you have inside yourself as well. As a matter of fact, any trait you’d like to see in your partner, bring that energy into your own being right here, right now. BE the forgiveness. Appreciate – even if all you can think of is the negative in a person or situation. The negativity or adversity is only clarifying what it is you really want in your life, so have compassion for yourself and that person. Bless yourself and the other person by praying for you and them to be love and peace.

In relationships, there will be transgressions, arguments, and disagreements. A person who can quickly regroup and forgive is one that will succeed in life and love.

The cycle of forgiveness is necessary to keep mankind in love and in check. The moment you truly forgive, is the moment you are free from the prison of resentment. Forgiveness sets us all free, both the forgiven and the forgiving. The moment each of us wholeheartedly takes part in this beautiful cycle, the moment love blooms and dwells freely inside all of us.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Freedom Consciousness: Part Six – Freedom to Choose a New Thought

In looking at the above picture, we could choose to see a lonely, desolate place for a church. Some would choose not to drive on that tiny, dirt road. Others may see a beautiful place to get away, finding this lone church a sanctuary. It all comes down to choice. How are you going to choose to feel in the moment before the drive up?

Let’s look at some potentially stressful life experiences and see what your first reaction would be and then what could we choose to feel about that situation.

  1. I got passed over for yet another promotion! Why are my talents and abilities always overlooked?
  2. I ran up my credit cards again, and this time, I don’t see a way out of paying them off.
  3. I almost wished I hadn’t gone to college. I’ve racked up this student loan debt and can’t find nothing but menial jobs that barely covers my living expenses.
  4. I wished I went to college, maybe I would have had a better job than the one I have now.
  5. I think my husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend is cheating on me. Now what?
  6. My kids are growing up and don’t need me as much. Where does that leave me?
  7. I can never seem to make enough to make ends meet. I have a “good” job, but I’m not making enough to cover all my expenses.
  8. My parents/friends/lovers are considering a move to a faraway place. Where does that leave me?
  9. There’s so much violence, conflict and suffering in the world. What am I supposed to do about it? How can I pursue happiness when others are suffering?
  10. I was just diagnosed with _________, now what?

What’s your first reaction to each of the above scenarios? Look at them again with a new perspective. What is an alternative, uplifting alternative feeling/expression you could choose to feel in each situation?

How you traverse the mountains of change reveals how you cope with situations that move you out of your comfort zone. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • When you reflect on your past choices and paths traveled, what is your self talk saying about you after you’ve made those choices? Do you feel like you had choices in the matters that concerned you? If not, who held the power of choice in your life? Did that perceived power shift take anything away from your ability to choose?

There is no right or wrong answer – it’s just important to take a look at your choice styles. Let’s pick a few of the above situations and see if we can choose to see the blessing in each of them.

Situation #1: The persistent promotion passover on face value appears like it’s the worst career situation to find yourself in. One could resign themselves to feeling unwanted and unsupported, which in turn generates behaviors in yourself and those around you that may result in undesirable changes, such as being fired. The other choice you have is choose to say, “The Universe recognizes the last position I tried to promote to may not be exactly what I want or need. God knows my true desire. And, whoever receives this promotion will have to work long hours to get the work done versus my comfortable forty hour work week. My life right as it is now cannot support a sixty hour work week – I have a new baby who requires more of me than I am able to give to a demanding career right now. I love my baby and the balance I have right now is what works for me. I wanted my family more than I ever wanted this job. God will show me the best position when it’s time and I’m ready to receive it.” See how a perception change can transform a situation right before your eyes? And, that same paradigm shift is what it will take to bring forth that dream job you want – not the ego driven dream job that really fits someone else’s life. The ego driven job search rarely produces jobs aligned to who we are and what we like to do.

Situation #2: The I am in over my head with debt scenario. You could choose to feel defeated, ashamed you can’t better manage your debt or spending, and you begin to stress over how you can barely pay the minimum payments. Another choice is to first forgive and have compassion for yourself for being in debt. Recognize you made choices to incur the debt, so now it’s time to reclaim your power to bring balance in your life. Perhaps you’ve decided to take on each credit card and negotiate what’s owed to them. Or, you could consider bankruptcy to start anew. Or, you could elect to get a second job for the sole purpose of paying bills. You could create a budget. There are so many divinely led steps you could take, instead of choosing to remain in fear or denial.

Situation #3: My partner, the cheater. One can lose a bit of their self-worth with scenarios such as this one. Instead of blaming yourself or the other person, accept that it happened and thankful God revealed to you what’s going on. Sometimes, we just can’t see the subtle, low vibrational changes occurring in our relationships. Cheating is the symptom of a bigger issue in the relationship. Instead of spending too much time in grief, anger and sadness, find the blessing in that pain. “Now I know – and I had a feeling all along. I have to exercise more trust in my own intuition, but it’s okay that I did not find out until today. I can now make a choice on whether this relationship is worth saving or if it’s not. I got to this point of looking at my relationship, so I need to know why it took me this long to see the signs. At least it’s not five years later and now I can make some real life decisions with this new information.”

Any of the above ten situations could have bounds of blessings in them, if only we choose to see them. Some things that happen, at face value, look dismal – but a new perspective is what will transcend you to the next level of manifesting. You have the freedom to choose! Choose a higher vibrational rung to grasp each time, and you will be on your way to a truly abundant life.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

14 Things to Start Doing for Yourself

I love a list and this list on Whatcherlsaid’s blog has wonderful reminders and new information on how we can live our best, most fulfilling lives right now. Enjoy!

whatcherylsaid...

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Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual…

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Blog Series: Freedom Consciousness

Abundant Life Initiative’s next blog series explores freedom consciousness. We will explore the following:

  1. Freedom in your spirit
  2. Freedom in your affairs
  3. Financial freedom
  4. Freedom to dream big
  5. Freedom to be who you want to be
  6. Freedom to choose

So many of us know and experience the physical form of freedom, but are we toting that same freedom consciousness in other areas of our lives?

  1. The first installment is Freedom in your spirit. What does it mean to be spiritually free? We will explore how many of our old belief systems adopted from our teachers and parents’ own spiritual interpretations shaped what we believed. Do these old beliefs still serve you, or are they limiting and minimizing who you are as an evolved person? Some beliefs may still work, while others may need to be let go. In this post, we will explore how religion and limiting beliefs shape and many times hinder a person’s spiritual growth instead of evolving or enhancing it.
  2. The second post discusses freedom in your affairs. Your affairs include your personal and professional experiences. Are you enjoying your job and where you work? If not, why? What about your personal relationships and experiences in your everyday life? Let’s explore what makes you feel more restricted and less free in your business and personal matters. What will it take for you to feel a little more free each day?
  3. The third blog installment discusses financial freedom. Some people seem to have it all and never have to worry about money. There are those who do not have a lot of money and express how rich they are anyway. Then there are those with or without money that bemoan what little they have. Abundance is more than just money in the bank, it is maximizing on what you do have, while making spiritual and physical room to receive more from the Universe. The best part of the abundance cycle? Sharing what you have with others! We will explore different ways to look at your situation so you can become more grateful for the financial freedom and abundance you do have.
  4. The fourth blog post explores freedom to dream big. Dream big, but take measured, action steps to get to what you want. Dreaming big, then bigger, then biggest prepares you to receive more. Often people are too afraid to dream big, for fear of getting let down. Are you constantly dreaming too small or becoming too narrow in your search for what you want to manifest, limiting the Universe to give you bigger and better? Lets find ways for you to begin to dream big and dream often.
  5. The fifth installment discusses freedom to be you in any and everything you do or encounter. Do you find yourself changing your tone and personality from person to person, and then losing your own voice in the process? What is it about you that makes you run away from becoming the person you truly want to be? Knowing your worth allows you to stay true to yourself and your values. We’ll explore how to always be your authentic self and why it’s good for manifesting.
  6. Finally, the sixth installment deals with the freedom to choose. Choice and free will is God’s gift to mankind. My people, we can choose! Now, it is time to learn how to practice this freedom and to rely on your intuition to always guide you to where you want to go and where you need to be.

I will include blogs and Podcast recommendations to further deepen our understanding of ways to incorporate more freedom in every area of our lives. I love hearing from my readers, so please share your thoughts on the upcoming freedom blog posts or suggest other topics we can discuss in the future.

~Your Curator of All Things Uplifting, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Desperation or Inspiration?

Image courtesy of markuso, published on 27 March 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 10078194, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of markuso, published on 27 March 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 10078194, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

The root word of desperation is despair, which is defined as “to lose all hope.” The root word of inspiration is inspire, which also means, “in spirit.” Ask yourself today, where are your desires coming from?

I was listening to June 20th’s Rae Zander’s Everyday Attraction podcast and she played a snippet of Abraham by way of Esther Hicks, where Abraham asked the person in the hot seat whether they were motivated by desperation or inspiration. I realized that if I looked back on some of my “desires,” many of them may not have been coming from an “in spirit” or inspired place, but rather a place of desperation.

When I sat down four years ago to write my desires for my life, I was in a rough, desperate place. I was in a very stressful job, I was overwhelmed with a mortgage payment and single parenthood, and I was in anxiety mode all the time. Sure, I manifested some of my desires, but to this day, some still elude me.

When I asked for six figures to plop into my life, that came with a conflicting belief that I was not going to get it – no matter how much I thought I desired it. Not only was it not a comfortable desire for me to embrace, it was not coming from inspiration.

I had to look at why I wanted a six figure salary – was it to bring happiness? Security? Happiness and security comes in many forms and blessedly not just through having lots of money.

I was inspired and guided by my Inner Spirit to soul search what made me happy about my stressful job, and I was able to identify qualities that I enjoyed, like writing. In my stressful job, there was minimal writing in my everyday routine. From there, I found out that in the company I worked for, there was a job that encompassed my desire to write all day. I was led by Spirit to prepare and apply for that job. Now, I am very happy and successful in my current role for the same company where I was stressed out just four short years ago. See the difference between inspiration and desperation? Desperation had me going after any job (including similar ones to the stressful one I was trying to leave), whereas inspiration led me to where I truly wanted to be. Thankfully the jobs that I was searching for out of desperation never panned out.

We often ask for lofty desires because we think it will bring us happiness. Instead, we have to start from a happy place and sometimes it could be as basic as we’re happy to be alive and loved by family. From there, inspiration and creativity grows.

When your desires are aligned with your true values, creativity can flow easily to and from you. It is your creativity and inspired desires that bears the fruit of abundance. Your abundance comes as a result of following your true desires.

If our desire is not rooted in our unique values, what we want will have a hard time manifesting. We have to examine why we desire a particular thing and ensure that it is coming from your Spirit and not just ego.

Examples:

  • Is wanting lots of money another way of saying you want to feel secure and worry free? You can enjoy being worry free today – without having millions in the bank. A decision to feel abundant with what you do have, creating a realistic budget, finding time to seed and grow your dreams (baby to big step), all could help you feel secure. Gratitude for what you do have goes a long way.
  • Is finding a soul mate to marry another way of asking the Universe you’d like companionship? Then take it a step further, and find yourself being content with being your own best friend and cultivate your talents and interests. The loneliness begins to dissolve, making room for more companionship from others and eventually your mate.

Do not limit or underestimate the power of God and your creative God in you. All you have to do is know what your values are, stick to them, and pay attention to where a desire originates and whether it represents something else entirely that you probably already have access to.

When we are manifesting, we have to ask ourselves where are our desires really coming from. Is it out of desperation? If so, we need to look at the essence of that desire and find what it is we are truly looking for.

The truth is, when we clear space in our hearts and minds for love and happiness, creativity flows easily and then abundance follows. When we desire material things first, it is not coming from a sustainable place. But, your boundless creativity is and does sustain forever.

The source of our desires holds the key to our ability to manifest them. Be sure your desires are not coming from a lack-filled, desperate place and begin to focus on desires that are truly inspired by the essence of who you really are.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Top 6 Law of Attraction Must-Listen-To Podcasts

Image courtesy of vectorolie, published on 12 November 2013 Stock Image - image ID: 100217583

Image courtesy of vectorolie, published on 12 November 2013 Stock Image – image ID: 100217583

Six months ago, I listed the top 10 Podcast of New Thought and Law of Attraction https://abundantlifeinitiative.com/2014/01/02/top-10-podcasts-for-law-of-attraction-new-thought-and-life-enrichment/. I decided to shorten the list to the top six that’s on my iPod right now. These podcasts regularly enlighten us with great topics, ways to raise up our vibration and consciousness, and a couple of them meditate with us. Here’s my short list of life changing Podcasts to load up on your device:

  1. Think, Believe and Manifest show, Constance Arnold http://fulfillingyourpurpose.com/blog/tag/constance-arnold/
  2. Your Happiness Way, Lorane Gordon http://yourhappinessway.com/
  3. Everyday Attraction, Rae Zander http://everydayattraction.com/
  4. Receive Your Life, Janice Campbell http://www.receiveyourlife.com/
  5. Create Your Reality, Lynn Crocker http://lynncrockercoaching.com/
  6. Flowdreaming, Summer McStravick https://flowdreaming.com/

Summer McStravick always offers a “flowdream” where she guides us into a daydream to charge up our flow energy in different areas of our life. Lorane Gordon usually guides us into a short meditation towards the end of her show and I love every second of it. All of the above podcasts teach us how to live authentically happy and prosperous lives.

If you don’t have iTunes, no worries. By clicking on the links above, you’ll be guided to each podcast’s home website that offers other ways to listen in on some wonderful knowledge of all things New Thought and Law of Attraction. If you have Spiritual Podcast suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Sharing is definitely caring.

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley