Is forgiveness a matter of life and death?

You accept God's forgiveness by extending it to others--A Course in MiraclesMost of us believe that we’re granting someone a favor when we forgive them. In reality, we’re doing ourselves a favor: We’re freeing ourselves from the grip of any negative energy associated with the incident.

When we forgive others, we also are making a conscious choice to defer to what some call the Law of Reciprocity, the Law of Attraction or karma. We are trusting that in a “what-goes-around-comes-around” world, hurtful behavior will be naturally balanced at the most perfect time and in the most perfect way.

Allowing every soul to receive what we’ve given isn’t punishment or reward; it’s merely balance. It’s divine fairness.

Forgiving others also is a conscious decision to heal ourselves so that we can progress on our path instead of being stuck in someone’s stupid. Forgiving someone does not endorse or excuse their behavior. And it does not let them off the hook. They own their behavior, and they alone will be held accountable for everything they do.

It reminds me of the time I was walking out of my office and a concerned staff member called me back. I’d left my wallet on my desk. My response: “I have way too much work on my plate to add the task of monitoring someone else’s karma.”

As far as I was concerned: If someone came into my office without permission and stole my wallet, oh well. They had just signed a requisition for someone to violate their space and steal from them. It’s what happens whenever we do something to someone else that we wouldn’t want done to us. That’s why the rule is golden.

There’s no better time to be selfish than when deciding how to respond to someone’s harmful behavior. The most selfish thing we can do is to avoid creating any negative karma of our own by trying to even the score. The Divine doesn’t need our help in restoring balance. If there a role for us, something we must physically do, we will be guided. You’ll know that it’s Divine guidance if it is spoken calmly and you feel a sense of peace while hearing it and following the directions. If the words or directions cause you to feel angry or hurt, it’s not the Divine talking, it’s Ego.

Forgiveness does not heal relationships with anyone but yourself, and does not require that you remain in the friendship, marriage or other partnership, job or other organization. Once trust is lost, it takes more than forgiveness to restore it–and restoring trust is the other person’s job, not yours. But while forgiveness cannot necessarily heal a relationship, not forgiving might physically harm you.

Harboring anger and resentment linked to cancer

A study published in the November-December 2012 issue of Cancer Nursing: An International Journal for Cancer Care and cited on the US National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website suggests a link between forgiveness and illness:

“The observed relations between religious characteristics and attitudes of guilt and forgiveness suggest that a careful examination of the role of religious beliefs and values is relevant in the clinical care of patients with cancer, both in the setting of early and advanced disease.”

Metaphysical lecturer and bestselling author Louise Hay, who claimed such a link in her 30-million copy bestseller, You Can Heal Your Life, focused specifically on cancer 20 years later in her book, Cancer: Discovering Your Healing Power. Hay asserted that resentment, criticism, and guilt create and maintain illness. And she presented forgiveness as the key to resolving diseases such as cancer.

We will not be held accountable for the way others treated us, only for the way we treated them, no matter how they treated us.Now, how do you feel about forgiveness? Inspired you to drop everything and start forgiving everyone who’s ever “wronged” you? There are things that have happened to us that we can’t recall or that we’ve protected ourselves from by stuffing those memories in the farthest reaches of our subconscious minds. If those situations are not healed, they can resurface—sometimes violently.

The situation is further complicated if you believe that you are a soul that is temporarily wearing a body. There could be thousands or millions of situations to forgive that are outside of our conscious awareness. To cover that possibility, I like to say: “I forgive myself for causing harm and I forgive everyone throughout my eternal life who has ever harmed me. I release all anger and negative energy that have chained me to those situations and souls.”

Life has dramatically taught me the transformational power of forgiveness, and I eagerly encourage others to reap the benefits of the practice (and it is a practice). Years ago, I created Forgiveness Coupons for one of my Drama Queen Workshops groups. The coupons were such a hit that I posted them on my website as a free download.

Right now, I’m in the process of a “gut rehab” of my original site, after remodeling it several times over the years. But some elements must follow me to the new domain. Among them, these precious coupons.

As I say in my workshops: “How would we experience the power of forgiveness if no one ever did anything that required it?”

I invite you to download the coupons as many times as necessary. Share them freely. Heal yourself and your loved ones—and as you practice forgiveness, be mindful not to do anything that would trigger self-forgiveness or the forgiveness of others. Balance makes no exception for you, Dear Soul.

Oh NO! Not the seven iron!

What to Do When Someone Does You Wrong, Part II

Perfect timing! On the heels of last week’s discussion about what to do when someone does you wrong, a couple of stellar volunteers have crept out of the woods to give us a real world example. Let’s bow our heads in sincere thanksgiving to a wandering Tiger who repeatedly lost his way, and publicly sacrificed his honorable reputation to demonstrate how it ultimately ruins your golden game.

While we’re at it, let’s observe a moment of silence for his angry mate, shall we? Her soul certainly could benefit from tightening her grip on a response to wanderlust that’s infinitely more evolutionary than a seven iron.

I won’t recap the nuts and bolts of the Tiger and Elin Woods story or the jokes that erupted in its wake. I won’t even address their insult to our intelligence. Did they really think we’d buy the implausible story that she had to rescue him by breaking the rear window of his SUV when any door—including the undamaged one in the rear—probably would have done the trick?

The real value of this sad little drama is the gift it offers our own lives. It is a story about how to act and react with integrity and character, how to honor ourselves by remembering that we are not Lone Rangers. Whatever we call the eternal spirit that gives us life—“The Traveler,” “The Observer,” “The Divine,” the “I Am,””Allah,” “God,” It is always with us, within us.

Wherever we go, the omnipresent God goes with us; whatever we do, the omnipresent God experiences it. When we do anything that we would not want done to us, we fail to honor the Divine within us. We temporarily disturb the order that the Divine has established.

Divine Order seeks balance. The Universe depends upon it. Without it, the very planets would spin out of control. When we create imbalance in our lives, we set the wheels in motion for that imbalance to be automatically corrected and for Divine Order to be reestablished. It happens through the spiritual Law of Attraction or, as some call it, the Law of Reciprocity. Plainly stated: Whatever you do will be done to you.

Avoiding unpleasant or painful situations (and people) requires pure selfishness, but not as traditionally defined. In a reap-what-you-sow world, selfishness is defined as actions that focus driven entirely by what’s in our best interest. Temporary gain is not in our best interest. What best serves our interest is doing whatever we can to assure that the Law of Reciprocity does not deliver unpleasant or painful situations into our experience.

The most selfish thing we can do is to treat others well. Selfish people ask: “How would I want to be treated? Is the action I’m contemplating something that I’d want done to me?” The response is instantaneous, and can be trusted to provide the best guidance. Deciding how to act—and react—doesn’t get any simpler than that.

For example, a selfish Tiger would have asked, “Would I want Elin to sneak around and be intimate with other men while I’m away?” The assorted felines (six, at last count) would have asked, “If I were married, would I want my husband to sneak around and be intimate with other women?” Elin would have asked, “Would I want to be physically accosted if I did something that angered Tiger?” If anyone in this cast of characters was selfish, none of us would even know that there was a fire hydrant near the Woods’ driveway.

We have no control over other people’s actions and are not held accountable for how they treated us, only how we treat them, no matter what they did to us. Consequently, it’s in our selfish best interest to focus our attention solely on our actions and reactions. All we should care about is that when the Great Balancer comes to call, He is swinging Sweetness and Light, not seven irons.

Ever since the late Anglo-Saxon period (c. 900-1100) when the concept of individual penance spread to England from Ireland, humans have believed that it is our job to design and price others’ sins. We must make them pay! A thousand years later, we’re still driving into God’s lane, determined to do a job that God is quite capable of doing.

Just last week, Elin Woods plowed a golf cart-sized hole in her original prenuptial agreement, as penance for Tiger’s infidelity. The prenup reportedly awarded her a lump sum of $20 million if she and Tiger remained married for ten years. Instead, she allegedly demanded that Tiger immediately pay her $20 mil. In exchange, she will remain in the marriage another two years. And she gets an even bigger payday if they later split. As one person commented on the Chicago Sun-Times website:

“Getting paid to stay in a relationship? Where I come from, that’s called “prostitution”. If it’s no longer for love, then it’s not a real marriage, is it? Very sad.”

Yes, this is very sad, but it’s also very instructive. How we respond to situations says more about us than it says about the person we’re judging or punishing.

I’m sure that it was not Elin’s intent to stick a gaudy price tag on her body. But she did, and wherever she goes, people will see her and instantly see it dangling from her golden locks. Another dramatic demonstration that you can’t hurt someone else without hurting yourself. Dignity is priceless–and losing it is something that Elin Woods obviously feels that she can now afford, along with millions of other disposables.

Elin and Tiger are reportedly in intense marriage counseling, with thrice-daily in-home sessions. Frankly, one good chat with Jenny Sanford might have helped Elin respond to infidelity in a more dignified and less karmic manner.

Mrs. Sanford, betrayed wife of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, was highly instrumental in building and sustaining her husband’s political career. Despite all that sweat equity and the forfeiture of her own very successful career, she didn’t lunge for her husband’s golf clubs or his bank account after he abandoned her, their four sons, and the entire state of South Carolina to make passionate love to his “soul mate” in Argentina.

First and foremost, Jenny Sanford wanted her errant husband to be a role model for their four sons. By example, she wanted him to teach them what integrity looks like, what being a strong man looks like, and what valuing family looks like.

While Mark Sanford’s behavior was “inexcusable,” she told the New York Daily News, it was not unforgivable:

“Forgiveness opens the door for Mark to begin to work privately, humbly and respectfully toward reconciliation,” she wrote. “However, to achieve true reconciliation will take time, involve repentance, and will not be easy.”

“Mark has stated that his intent and determination is to save our marriage, and to make amends to the people of South Carolina,” she added. “I hope he can make good on those intentions, and for the sake of our boys I leave the door open to it.”

Jenny Sanford is a Thinker. She comprehends that in a reap-and-sow world, we are punished by our sins, not for them. Ultimately, the price we make others pay will cost us in the future—something the soul currently known as Elin Woods will eventually learn.

If she’s really fortunate, she also will learn the difference between power and force. And she will understand, as the powerful Jenny Sanford understands, that when we ask that our trespasses be forgiven in the same way that we forgive those who trespass against us, God and the Law of Attraction/Reciprocity answer our prayer with exact precision.

Why it’s not as bad as you thought

Friends periodically share bits of wisdom from their e-mailboxes that they think will make me shout, “Amen!” One of my recent favorites came from my friend Jean Hill, who passed along a post from life balance expert Mary LoVerde’s “Words of Wisdom” newsletter. In it, Ms. LoVerde recounted the experience of meeting U.S. Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger, III. It was Captain Sullenberger who skillfully executed that miraculous landing on the Hudson River last January, saving all 155 physical bodies on board.

Thinkers probably noted that I didn’t make the claim, as many news outlets did, that Captain Sullenberger saved 155 lives. That’s because he didn’t, not really. It’s impossible to save a life. Life is invisible, invincible and eternal. Physical bodies, on the other hand, are a different story. On occasion, there must be some intervention so that they can continue to be seen in the physical world. And that’s what Captain Sullenberger heroically did. But I digress…

During LoVerde’s brief chat with Captain Sullenberger, he described the death-defying crash landing. He recalled that, seconds after he brought the Airbus A320 aircraft to rest on the icy river, he and co-pilot Jeff Skiles turned to each other and said in unison, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

Ah, yes. How often do we discover, after we’ve been through the fire, that the adrenaline-pumping journey wasn’t as bad as we thought? All we could see when the flames were nipping our heels and hind parts, were that we were catching sho-nuff hell.

For many years, that certainly was the case for me. As I have detailed in my books, many of my life dramas have had minimal entertainment value: divorces (no, the “s” was not a typo), evictions (ditto), negative cash flow and mounds of debt, un-Christlike co-workers and employers, non-paying clients, relationships with silly boys wearing men’s bodies, and the deaths of loved ones. None of it was the least bit pleasant until I decided to see those experiences differently—yes, even the deaths of those who are near and dear to my heart were no longer painful.

Changing your perception will change your response. I’ve taken you chapter-by-chapter through the epiphanies that rose to meet me during my “spiritual sleuthing” expeditions, my investigations of the behind-the-scenes causes of my unpleasant dramas. In every case, I concluded, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.” In fact, the drama was actually good because every situation delivered a blessing—most notably, a deeper understanding of myself, of Life, and of God.

When you understand the difference between life and Life, power and force, when you know who and what you are, God no longer works in “mysterious” ways. Nobody goes through life on Planet Earth without challenges. Nobody. Based on your understanding, you will respond to those challenges by:

  • Concluding that you’re a victim;
  • Fighting the current condition by leaning on your limited human understanding; or
  • Patiently trusting that what you’re experiencing right now benefits you in some way, and asking for the guidance necessary to move on.

Each response reflects your understanding of who you are, what Life is and what God is. As the late Emmet Fox, a profound New Thought Christian minister, once said: “There’s no such thing as undemonstrated understanding.” In other words, what you understand is evident in the outer world.

What I understand is that every life experience has a purpose. Because I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Love, I understand that whatever happens, no matter how potentially painful, lovingly serves me in a powerful way. Nothing happens to me, it happens for me.

Recently, several persons have revealed a surprising lack of integrity. That’s good information to know. At an earlier time, I would have responded to them very differently—probably with anger and pain—because I had a different understanding of Life and God. I’m sure I would have judged them. I would have strung together a series of adjectives that described them as less honorable than I—as if I’d never done anything dishonorable. Please. They were just showing me what it looks and feels like from the other side. The appropriate response: Empathy and forgiveness because I’ve been there, and done it. How can I be unforgiving if I want to be forgiven?

I don’t have to understand the reason everything happens. My understanding tells me that there was one—and a good one at that. For all I know, the reason might have been to give me an opportunity to balance out my own errant behavior or practice reacting in a less judgmental, more Christ-like manner. After all, how do you reach enlightenment? Practice, practice, practice.

Those of us who desire to grow spiritually (and what soul doesn’t) are bound to attract negative people and woeful drama. These bad acts and actors serve us in mighty, mighty ways. We bless them and we love them for working on our behalf. They’re not doing anything to us; they’re doing it all for us. Yippee!

And there’s an additional benefit: I have discovered that I am consciously aware of how peaceful I am, even as these situations are occurring. How empowering is that? It’s not an “I’m more enlightened than you are” moment. It’s a “Yes, I remember when I wasn’t totally honest” moment.

C’mon now, we’ve all had crazy moments. Some of them might have been crazier than others; but all of them had one thing in common: They did not reflect the God in us. So who are we to get mad or judge somebody else’s crazy?

Empathizing with the other person—loving and forgiving them, even if I don’t like them or their behavior—doesn’t generate the negative energy in my soul or poisonous chemicals in my body that anger and resentment do. Aside from pitting out a perfectly good silk blouse, an angry response revisits me as an angry response when I err. Ultimately, my understanding serves me more powerfully, and reduces my cleaning bill.

Understanding Life and God gives us the confidence to trust that the Law of Reciprocity will balance all behavior perfectly—and it will direct our path so that we will respond appropriately and in a manner that does not put us on a collision course with the Law.

Whatever you’re going through right now, what is your understanding of it? Does your understanding bring you peace or fear? Worry and fear constrict the body. What solutions can flow through to you if you are not chatting regularly with the God within you, and leaving yourself open to receive the guidance you need? I’m not talking about telling God what you want. I’m talking about listening, really listening. Then act on the guidance you’re given.

Chesley Sullenberger demonstrated his understanding of the Law of Aerodynamics when he bravely landed that plane on the Hudson. Notice what understanding you demonstrate when confronted with a crisis, and see if you don’t more frequently conclude: “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

Love you. Mean it!

——————————————————————————

Love the Loud Mouth LIVE at an Upcoming Event in Chicago!

If you missed the three-day Women’s Conference in June, I have good news: By popular demand, authors Shirley Lawson, Stephanie Wilson-Coleman and I will conduct sessions at “The Women’s Conference Follow-Up” on Saturday, September 19. This time, it’s in Chicago, at Power Circle Center, 9350-64 S. South Chicago Avenue.

This special event is presented by the Training, Development and Networking Team of the Alpha Omega Sisterhood, a ministry of the Power Circle Congregation, the Rev. Joseph E. Hill, founder and senior minister.

For more information and to register for only $40, visit Drama Queen Workshops.

Why it’s not as bad as you thought

Friends periodically share bits of wisdom from their e-mailboxes that they think will make me shout, “Amen!” One of my recent favorites came from my friend Jean Hill, who passed along a post from life balance expert Mary LoVerde’s “Words of Wisdom” newsletter. In it, Ms. LoVerde recounted the experience of meeting U.S. Airways pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger, III. It was Captain Sullenberger who skillfully executed that miraculous landing on the Hudson River last January, saving all 155 physical bodies on board.

Thinkers probably noted that I didn’t make the claim, as many news outlets did, that Captain Sullenberger saved 155 lives. That’s because he didn’t, not really. It’s impossible to save a life. Life is invisible, invincible and eternal. Physical bodies, on the other hand, are a different story. On occasion, there must be some intervention so that they can continue to be seen in the physical world. And that’s what Captain Sullenberger heroically did. But I digress…

During LoVerde’s brief chat with Captain Sullenberger, he described the death-defying crash landing. He recalled that, seconds after he brought the Airbus A320 aircraft to rest on the icy river, he and co-pilot Jeff Skiles turned to each other and said in unison, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

Ah, yes. How often do we discover, after we’ve been through the fire, that the adrenaline-pumping journey wasn’t as bad as we thought? All we could see when the flames were nipping our heels and hind parts, were that we were catching sho-nuff hell. 

For many years, that certainly was the case for me. As I have detailed in my books, many of my life dramas have had minimal entertainment value: divorces (no, the “s” was not a typo), loss of a multimillion dollar contract, foreclosures, evictions, negative cash flow and mounds of debt, un-Christlike co-workers and employers, non-paying clients, relationships with silly boys wearing men’s bodies, and the deaths of loved ones. None of it was the least bit pleasant until I decided to see those experiences differently—yes, even the deaths of those who are near and dear to my heart were no longer painful.

Changing your perception will change your response. I’ve taken you chapter-by-chapter through the epiphanies that rose to meet me during my “spiritual sleuthing” expeditions, my investigations of the behind-the-scenes causes of my unpleasant dramas. In every case, I concluded, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.” In fact, the drama was actually good because every situation delivered a blessing—most notably, a deeper understanding of myself, of Life, and of God.

When you understand the difference between life and Life, power and force, when you know who and what you are, God no longer works in “mysterious” ways. Nobody goes through life on Planet Earth without challenges. Nobody. Based on your understanding, you will respond to those challenges by:   

  • Concluding that you’re a victim;
  • Fighting the current condition by leaning on your limited human understanding; or
  • Patiently trusting that what you’re experiencing right now benefits you in some way, and asking for the guidance necessary to move on.

Each response reflects your understanding of who you are, what Life is and what God is. As the late Emmet Fox, a profound New Thought Christian minister, once said: “There’s no such thing as undemonstrated understanding.” In other words, what you understand is evident in the outer world. 

What I understand is that every life experience has a purpose. Because I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent Love, I understand that whatever happens, no matter how potentially painful, lovingly serves me in a powerful way. Nothing happens to me, it happens for me.

Recently, several persons have revealed a surprising lack of integrity. That’s good information to know. At an earlier time, I would have responded to them very differently—probably with anger and pain—because I had a different understanding of Life and God. I’m sure I would have judged them. I would have strung together a series of adjectives that described them as less honorable than I—as if I’d never done anything dishonorable. Please. They were just showing me what it looks and feels like from the other side. The appropriate response: Empathy and forgiveness because I’ve been there, and done it. How can I be unforgiving if I want to be forgiven?

I don’t have to understand the reason everything happens. My understanding tells me that there was one—and a good one at that. For all I know, the reason might have been to give me an opportunity to balance out my own errant behavior or practice reacting in a less judgmental, more Christ-like manner. After all, how do you reach enlightenment? Practice, practice, practice.

Those of us who desire to grow spiritually (and what soul doesn’t) are bound to attract negative people and woeful drama. These bad acts and actors serve us in mighty, mighty ways. We bless them and we love them for working on our behalf. They’re not doing anything to us; they’re doing it all for us. Yippee!

And there’s an additional benefit: I have discovered that I am consciously aware of how peaceful I am, even as these situations are occurring. How empowering is that? It’s not an “I’m more enlightened than you are” moment. It’s a “Yes, I remember when I wasn’t totally honest” moment.

C’mon now, we’ve all had crazy moments. Some of them might have been crazier than others; but all of them had one thing in common: They did not reflect the God in us. So who are we to get mad or judge somebody else’s crazy?

Empathizing with the other person—loving and forgiving them, even if I don’t like them or their behavior—doesn’t generate the negative energy in my soul or poisonous chemicals in my body that anger and resentment do. Aside from pitting out a perfectly good silk blouse, an angry response revisits me as an angry response when I err. Ultimately, my understanding serves me more powerfully, and reduces my cleaning bill. 

Understanding Life and God gives us the confidence to trust that the Law of Reciprocity will balance all behavior perfectly—and it will direct our path so that we will respond appropriately and in a manner that does not put us on a collision course with the Law.

Whatever you’re going through right now, what is your understanding of it? Does your understanding bring you peace or fear? Worry and fear constrict the body. What solutions can flow through to you if you are not chatting regularly with the God within you, and leaving yourself open to receive the guidance you need? I’m not talking about telling God what you want. I’m talking about listening, really listening. Then act on the guidance you’re given.

Chesley Sullenberger demonstrated his understanding of the Law of Aerodynamics when he bravely landed that plane on the Hudson. Notice what understanding you demonstrate when confronted with a crisis, and see if you don’t more frequently conclude: “Well, that wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

Love you. Mean it!

——————————————————————————

Love the Loud Mouth LIVE at an Upcoming Event in Chicago!

If you missed the three-day Women’s Conference in June, I have good news: By popular demand, authors Shirley Lawson, Stephanie Wilson-Coleman and I will conduct sessions at “The Women’s Conference Follow-Up” on Saturday, September 19. This time, it’s in Chicago, at Power Circle Center, 9350-64 S. South Chicago Avenue.

This special event is presented by the Training, Development and Networking Team of the Alpha Omega Sisterhood, a ministry of the Power Circle Congregation, the Rev. Joseph E. Hill, founder and senior minister.

For more information and to register for only $40, visit Drama Queen Workshops.

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you?

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and
the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the
whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for
others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.” Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may
proceed?” The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do
not yourself desire do not put before others.” Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou
wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou
wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.” Hinduism
Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and
simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it
boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the
scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.” Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be
watered.” Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.” Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree
so it will grow.” Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble
shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.” Sikhism

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?
JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?
GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.
JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?
GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!
GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.
JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!
JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.
JOY
Are you going to miss me?
GOD(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?
JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.
GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon. Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know. And don’t forget that you still have free will. You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.
JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.
GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light. Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you. You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.
Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.
Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.
JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?
GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.
You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD

I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Why the rule is golden

What if, at the end of the day, you will not be held accountable for what others did to you, only what you did to them—no matter what they did to you? 

I don’t know about you; but frankly, this kind of accountability is scarier than the claim that God will burn my soul in a fiery hell. (By the way, if there are any physicists out there, please leave a comment or a link explaining how a physical element such as fire actually burns a non-physical soul. Or is that complication why it takes all eternity to accomplish this task?)

I admit that I probably spend more time thinking about this stuff than most folks, but I am absolutely fascinated by the way humans behave, because it’s such an accurate reflection of what they believe about Life and about God. Anoint my little pointed head with oil if you feel I’m off-base here; but if God is Love, “He” would not use torture as a tactic or a threat to correct errant behavior. And let’s face it: It hasn’t been very effective. That’s proof enough for me that the real God, the one and only God, does not solve problems this way.

What seems more a godly and powerful way to address sin/error, and what makes better sense to me, is the Law of Reciprocity. What is that, exactly? It must be important because all of the major religions of the world warn us to respect it. Perhaps these words are familiar to you:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this is the law and the prophets.” Christianity

“What is hurtful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary.” Judaism

“Do unto all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.” Islam

“Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.”  Buddhism

Tzu-Kung asked: “Is there one principle upon which one’s who life may proceed?” 
The Master replied, “Is not Reciprocity such a principle?—what you do not yourself desire do not put before others.”  Confucianism

“This is the sum of all true righteousness—
Treat others as thou wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor that hereafter Thou wouldst not have thy neighbor do to thee.”  Hinduism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions

Most of us don’t take these words seriously. By the way we treat our friends, co-workers, employees, lovers and even strangers, it’s clear we haven’t noticed that we hurt ourselves significantly when we ignore the potential pain that the Law of Reciprocity can usher into our lives.

“Do unto others only what you’d want done to you” is the clearest and simplest way to avoid the flip side of reciprocity. In Loud Mouth-speak, it boils down to: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” But I’ll let the scriptures speak:

“It’s nature’s rule that as we sow, we shall reap.”  Buddhism

“Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”  Christianity

“A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”  Judaism

“What proceeds from you will return to you.”  Confucianism

“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow; as thou dost plant the tree so it will grow.”  Hinduism

“Whatever man soweth, that shall he reap. If he soweth trouble, trouble shall be his harvest. If a man sow poison, he cannot expect ambrosia.”  Sikhism

Oneness: Great Principles Shared by All Religions 

It’s difficult to ignore the simplicity and universality of the Law of Reciprocity when you see that so many religions teach the same message. And did I mention how divinely fair this law is: An eye for an eye, not eternal damnation for several decades of sin.

Besides being fair, the Law of Reciprocity, also known as the Law of Attraction, sets God free from a theater of endless tragedies. It lets God be godly, and maintain “His” focus on the Divine rather than the depraved. The Law requires no mind-numbing recordkeeping for numerous millennia, and it involves no demonic child abuse or other torturous tasks that do not befit a Spirit as divine as God.

If God can implant a steady stream of ideas into the minds of mere mortals to make our Internet speed faster, telephones and cameras smaller, and overall quality of life easier, it’s possible that “He” could also implant a self-correcting system of accountability in our souls that would make “His” life a lot easier. That system: The Law of Reciprocity/Attraction.

We can embrace the stories that depict God as an angry, vindictive, conditionally forgiving brute who helps some of “His” kids pass their cosmetology exams and win football games and lets pedophiles prey on “His” other kids, or we can write a different script—like this one, which has greater potential for attracting more joyful reciprocal circumstances than the script we currently have adopted:

INTERIOR: GOD’S LIVING ROOM, FLOODED WITH LIGHT

(God is relaxing when one of His kids runs into the room breathlessly. He looks up, smiles and lovingly strokes the child’s head.)

GOD 
Well, hello there, my little angel. Why are you so excited?

JOY
Jimmy and Paul said they’re going to spend the afternoon on Earth. I wanna go, too! Can I go? Can I go?

GOD
Of course, you may go, Precious. There’s plenty of drama over there to keep you busy for several hours.

JOY
(Jumping up and down with glee)
OK. What do I need to take with me?

GOD
Sweetheart, you have everything you need right inside you. Can you see your Christ Light?
 
JOY
(Looking halfway down her ethereal body, and pointing toward the glowing ball of light)
Yep. It’s right there!

GOD
Well, all you need to do is keep an eye on It. It will remind you that I am with you always.

JOY
(Grabbing God around the neck.)
Thanks, Daddy!

JOY runs toward the door, then pauses and turns around.

JOY
Are you going to miss me?

GOD
(Laughing)
How can I miss you if I’m going with you, Sweetheart? You haven’t even crossed the Veil of Forgetfulness at the entrance to Earth, and you’ve forgotten that already?

JOY
(Looking sheepish)
I’m sorry, Daddy.

GOD
It’s OK, Dear. You know that all is forgiven. I just want you to enjoy yourself this afternoon.
Now remember, in human time, that translates to about 75 or 80 Earth years, but when it’s time to come home, you’ll know.
And don’t forget that you still have free will.
You can do anything you want to do over there, but the play rules are the same as over here.

JOY
I know: Don’t do anything to anyone else that I don’t want done to me, because I will reap what I sow.

GOD
That’s right, Love. Try not to forget that.
And please remember to pause frequently this afternoon and look toward your Light.
Just be still and think about my Unconditional Love for you.
You’ll feel my presence, and you’ll remember that you are not alone. There is no spot where I am not.

Oh, and one more thing: There is a little troublemaker who lives on Earth. His name is Ego. He’ll be talking in your head so much that you’ll think that his thoughts are your thoughts. He doesn’t talk as gently as Daddy. One of his tricks is to distract you so that you can’t hear me when I talk to you, so quiet time will be important.

Ego wants to control you. He wants you to think that you are merely the body costume that you’ll be wearing over there, and that you are mortal like your body.

JOY
(giggling)
That’s so silly, Daddy. Who would believe that?

GOD
You’d be surprised. Ego is pretty clever. He takes advantage of the Veil of Forgetfulness. And he’s a liar.
He’s going to try to convince you to lean on him instead of me,
and he’ll try to make you do things to others that you wouldn’t want anyone to do to you.

You’re strong and powerful. You’ll be able to overcome him if you remember that you’re mine, and he has no power over you. Just don’t let him trick you into giving him your power, OK?

JOY waves and reaches for the door knob.

JOY
I won’t, Daddy, I promise. I love you!

GOD
I love you more, Sweetheart. Have fun, and remember that:   

  • Life is always fair, so don’t do anything to anyone over there that you wouldn’t want done to you!
  • God is never far. I am the Light and the Love within you.
  • Don’t believe anyone who tells you that death on planet Earth is “the end.”
  • And this is very important, Baby Girl: Remember that absolutely nothing is unforgivable. No matter what anyone does to you, forgive them as quickly as you’d want to be forgiven if you’d made the mistake, OK?

JOY
I will, Daddy. See you shortly!

GOD
Absolutely. You’ll be back here before you know it. Now scoot, so that you will be home before dark.
Have a wonderful time today. When you get back, we’ll talk about all the things you did over there. OK?

LIGHT FADES, CURTAIN FALLS

Downloadable DQW Forgiveness Coupon

Your Forgiveness Coupons

You accept God's forgiveness by extending it to others.-A Course in MiraclesMost of us believe that we’re granting someone a favor when we forgive them. In reality, we’re doing ourselves a favor: We’re freeing ourselves from the grip of any negative energy associated with the incident.

When we forgive others, we also are making a conscious choice to defer to what some call the Law of Reciprocity or the Law of Attraction. In other words, karma: Souls reap what we sow; we receive what we’ve given—in equal measure. It isn’t punishment or reward; it’s merely balance. It’s divine fairness. Why do we think God would do anything less than that?

Forgiving others also is a conscious decision to heal ourselves so that we can progress on our path, instead of being stuck in someone else’s stupidity. Forgiving someone does not endorse or excuse their behavior. And it does not let them off the hook. They own their behavior, and they alone will be held accountable for everything they do.

Life provides plenty of opportunities to experience the transformational power of forgiveness. I eagerly encourage you to reap the benefits of the practice (and it is a practice). Be very clear that the only way you can practice forgiveness is to attract a series bad actors onto your path, so be mindful when these opportunities arise.

Years ago, I created Forgiveness Coupons for one of my workshop groups. (I was surprised that the coupons were such a hit among the men!) At their request, I posted the coupons on my website so that everyone could replenish their supply.

 

I offer you the same opportunity. Download the coupons as often as necessary. Share them freely. Heal.

And don’t forget to heal yourself! When someone forgives you, the gift of release is theirs—not yours. So don’t forget to make the magic happen for you, too. Forgive yourself—I mean sincerely and completely forgive yourself—for all of the times you’ve done things to others that you would not want done to you. And validate your sincerity by consciously choosing to interact with others in a manner today that does not require self-forgiveness tomorrow.