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Volume 4-- Issue 3             NEW BEGINNINGS by                                      Page 8

Now that you know that that seemingly difficult person -- be they parent, child or spouse -- is a thorn in your side for one reason only, because you requested it of them, can you now begin to forgive? Can you begin to envision them as their spiritual self, their higher self? Can you envision thanking them for a job well done? See if you can discover what lesson you have set for yourself. Once this lesson is discovered, you can begin to move swiftly to a place of shared understanding and joyous learning, rather than learning through pain and unhappiness.

Remember, you always have the choice to learn your lessons through joy and grace. Learning through pain will garner you no extra "points" on the path to enlightenment. Poverty, humility and deprivation are in no way spiritually preferable to abundance, self confidence and joyful indulgence. Those ideas are merely ego trying to work things out. Unfortunately, ego does not have access to the big picture. Ego is trapped at the level of physical experience. Ego prefers the fear it can see and touch and smell, to the radiant bliss that comes beyond the physical senses. Ego holds on tight, because it knows that to transcend fear you must release the ego all together. In the letting go you are transformed and ego ceases to be.

So it is that in the release of forgiveness the experience of pain is transformed and ceases, while the experience of love grows, expands, and matures into an experience of personal divinity and universal oneness.

Forgiveness is not excusing unpleasant behavior, but remembering that you requested this particular unpleasantness for a purpose and can now accept responsibility for your request. By acknowledging the inherent lesson and committing yourself to it's assimilation within your heart, you release the other person from their commitment to you. In discovering what you have to offer them, you take the final step and release yourself from your commitment to them as well. Forgiveness is transcending what is apparent on the earth plane and remembering that every soul with who you interact is, on the spiritual plane, your dearest friend, your most beloved companion. Forgiveness unlocks the secret key within your heart that will allow you to love that person unconditionally here on the earth plane as you do in your spiritual home.

Through release and forgiveness you do not give yourself away. You lose no part of yourself. No one takes anything from you. Rather through release, through forgiveness, you discover the hidden spiritual depths within yourself which were invisible to you. You gain parts of yourself you never knew existed. And you discover that the world is peopled with your soul mates in disguise.

Anne Irwin of Napa, CA is a teacher, mother, graphic artist and author of the exciting book,
Enlightened Parenting, forthcoming from Twelve Star Publishing

Volume 4 -- Issue 3                   NEW BEGINNINGS  by                                           Page 12

Volume 4-- Issue 3              NEW BEGINNINGS by                                      Page 13