Posts Tagged With: Forgiveness

When Actions Become a Roar

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I think everyone has a baseline of energy, from which other facets of their personality then extend from. Some people are just like Charlie Brown, wishy-washy, boring and listless as hell. Some people are naturally just very gentle and sweet. Others are full of pep and constantly on the go and mind-numbingly energetic all the time. Some are very manipulative and sneaky, everything and everyone is a game to be played according to them. The list of types is endless and as varied as humanity itself.

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I know my baseline is anger. Incidents which might cause most people to run for the hills in fear instead has a way of enraging me. Things which most people often are willing to just shrug off and forget infuriates me instead. I know myself well enough at this point that it is the perceived lack of justice which is my trigger and instead, need to constantly remind myself like the great Jim Marrs once said, the truth is inevitable. If you really sit down and think about that statement, it’s a very, very profound one and speaks to how strong and powerful a weapon the truth really is.
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I bring up this topic of anger and truth because they are intimately tied in with forgiveness. Like every other human being, it’s something I struggle with. When I read about Tibetan monks who were tortured for years by the Chinese for example, and how they would deliberately go into deep meditation in the midst of that torture and walk away from those situations with nary a sign of anger, I for one am completely humbled because it reminds me how far many of us have to go before we can even approach that level of spiritual and emotional maturity.
The Venerable Palden Gyatso. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a real badass.

The Venerable Palden Gyatso. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a real badass.

I’m nowhere near those monks but I also know there are way too many people in this world in positions of influence and power who have an ever further journey than I do before they get it.
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In an age of constant spin, public relations, easy imaging, quick media, branding of all human life, it’s all too easy to fall for the image and show and overlook the actions and behaviors or render them completely invisible.  What’s that line in the Bible about knowing a man by his deeds?
Pope Francis, before he was Pope, on public transport.

When he was still a lowly priest…

In contrast when I look at someone like Pope Francis these days, it would seem every time I turn around, he just goes out there and does something jaw-droppingly awesome. Practically every day now, my FaceBook feed has some story or other of him going out of his way and doing something which would have been unthinkable even a few months ago. I know the conspiracy research community are extremely suspicious of anything related to the Catholic Church (which given the centuries of baggage the Church carries, can be justified) and the fact that Pope Francis is a Jesuit, however I think a huge distinction needs to be made between the institution and the individual here. You’re not going to be able to change a 2000 year old institution overnight. It happens in steps and usually involves picking your own battles and then creating an institutional culture, incrementally, where more change can then continue to take place long after you’re gone.
Pope Francis, sitting in the back row at a mass for janitors and gardeners

Pope Francis, sitting in the back row at a mass for janitors and gardeners

Today, a Canadian sculptor presented a statue of a “Homeless Jesus” to Pope Francis. The statue is of a shrouded and covered Jesus as a homeless man lying down on a bench, the only thing showing are his bruises on his feet from the cross. The statue was rejected by cathedrals in New York City, in Toronto and somehow or other found its way to Rome where Pope Francis blessed it and will shortly be mounted somewhere in Rome. I think it’s very telling of the direction which Pope Francis is trying to take the Church. In recent months, he come out directly and has bitterly condemned capitalism with indirect jabs against CEOs, bankers and other financial manager asshole types. He condemned a bishop known for his love of luxury and turned the multi-million dollar mansion into a soup kitchen. He’s also been known to call up regular Joe-like people directly and offer help. He offered to baptize a child of a woman who has recently been abandoned by her lover, a married man. Pope Francis told her if no other church is willing to baptize her child, he would do it. The man, in short is displaying EMPATHY and it’s been a long, long time, too long, since any prime minister, president, king, queen or any other type of leader has displayed such a quality and I say all the better.
"Jesus the Homeless" by Timothy Schmaltz

“Jesus the Homeless” by Timothy Schmaltz

People often forget that the origins of the Church were really based on ideas around social justice. Jesus, in my mind, was this really open-minded, poor carpenter in Palestine who basically tried to bring hope and dignity  to the poor, prostitutes, lepers and other marginalized types and couldn’t stand the rich priests in the temples. That’s why he was killed because his ideas were a threat to the Powers That Be in his day. To me, that’s all there is to it. I don’t fall the rest of the story which the Church created. In light of that, here’s a picture of Francis with a horribly disfigured man which speaks volumes.
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Categories: Ascension, Ch-ch-ch-changes, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Trident of Clemency

I admit it, I watched Lance Armstrong’s admission of guilt last night with Oprah Winfrey.

While I was not particularly interested in watching the interview to understand all the whys and wherefores of his cheating, his colossal asshole personality and his arrogance which seemed to know no bounds, I was more interested in watching him closely, his facial expressions, his eyes and watching the body language of apology and admittance in general.

My verdict: I think he’s sorry he got caught. I think he’s sorry that his name will forever be in the mud now. I think he’s sorry how much he’s screwed up his legacy and the sport of professional bike racing. I think he’s sorry that he’s no longer on the A-list and won’t be able to bed Hollywood actresses as easily as he used to. In short, I think he’s sorry for what he did but I don’t think he’s sorry for who he is and what he became as a man and*that’s* the problem for me. I didn’t get any sense of genuine remorse and sincere apology. I almost get the feeling he’s timed the whole thing because he has plans for something else and this apology and admitting is a necessary stepping-stone which needs to be over and done with so that he can move on to something else on his horizon. It seemed too mechanical, planned and rehearsed.

Kate Hudson and Lance about to smootch...

Actress Kate Hudson and Lance about to get smootchy.

In all honesty, I could really care less about Armstrong in general but it got me thinking about the nature of apology, forgiveness and redemption. We have all done and said things in the past which we’re not proud of, that’s a given. We’ve all had bad things happen to us by the hands and words of someone else, no doubt.

But when I watch “comeback” stories, people who have literally gone through the wringer for something they did or said, gone a few turns on the wheel of fortune, through a few levels of hell and come out on the other side, not only whole, but somehow wiser, kinder, more understanding, more authentic, there is one quality which seems to be the common denominator: Humility.

Ahem.

Ahem.

Humility also comes in the same territory as taking full responsibility for your actions, admitting what you did was wrong and then trying to make amends, I think. People, like the Lance Armstrongs of this world, seem to think that a “I’m sorry” is enough and walk away as if nothing happened. I guess it depends on the seriousness of the consequences of your actions but that’s like just saying “I’m sorry” to a mother after you plowed down her son while driving drunk. It just doesn’t cut the mustard.

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Amends also have to be made, not grudgingly but one of complete admission and humility. In my tiny opinion, it needs to come from a place of truth if it’s to mean anything. It’s a 3-prong process, admission, seeking forgiveness and making amends. Depending on the severity of the incident, sometimes these things take years to unfold. Unfortunately what I see nowadays is the sensationalizing of admission and some forgiveness but not much on the amends part.

the reverand Jimmy Swaggert crying his crocodile tears when he got caught with his pants down...literally.

The Reverand Jimmy Swaggert crying his crocodile tears when he got caught with his pants down…literally.

Canada’s Native and First Nations communities have come alive in recent weeks with the “Idle No More” movement. There have been blockages are strategic border crossings and rail-lines, all in support of Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. She is asking for a face-to-face meeting with our horrible Prime Minister Stephen Harper to discuss the myriad of legitimate grievances which First Nations have put up with for far too long.

Right-wing, pro-oil, pro-cattle nut from Alberta (aka Texas North) VS Chief Spence

Right-wing, pro-oil, pro-cattle nut from Alberta (aka Texas North) VS Chief Spence

The trauma of residential schools, the humiliation of the Indian Act, a piece of legislation written up in times of racial and cultural ignorance and bigotry, that Canada’s rich natural resources are stolen, mined or sold and not a whit of the profits go back into these communities but rather, lines the pockets of corporate fat cats in Calgary and Toronto. Communities which often don’t have proper drinking water, among the highest suicide rates in the world and the lowest life expectancy rates in the West.

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Canada, along with countries like the US, Australia and New Zealand due to British and French imperial powers, along with what Spain did in places like Mexico and Peru, have yet to make proper amends to Aboriginal communities for the genocide, planned assimilation and deliberate ruin of those civilizations and cultures.

El Presidente!Hugo Chavez, Fidel castro and Evo Morales.

El Presidente!
Hugo Chavez, Fidel castro and Evo Morales.

Yet when a Hugo Chavez in Venezuela or an Evo Morales in Bolivia shows up (both leaders with Indigenous backgrounds incidentally) and decide to add extremely progressive and sensible legislation to their countries like considering the natural world a legal entity of its own with rights which need to be respected, they are written off as flakes or Marxist dreamers. A “sorry” here, a reservation there, a dinky treaty written under imperial laws and decrees, just doesn’t cut the mustard.

This culture of faux-apology is everywhere. One yoga instructor I heard about took advantage of his privileges as a yoga instructor and not in a good way. Things finally caught up to him with the unfortunate result that he lost many friends and business contacts. Sadly, despite the fact that he was a pretty good instructor from a technical point of view, he now has a bit of a questionable reputation among the more established yoga community. From what I understand he’s trying to get back his credibility but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. He never bothered with that 3-prong process I mentioned. (OK, I’m talking about  John Friend of Anusara Yoga fame and his attempted recent “comeback” called Shri Daiva Yoga.)

South Africa was able to get past it’s awful Apartheid past when they instituted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission under the moral leadership of Archbishop Desmond Tutu . The ANC offered amnesty to those who tortured or killed others under apartheid in exchange for admission and truth.

Happy dudes, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Happy dudes, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Is it that hard to take those same principles and apply in our own lives?

Here’s brilliant vlogger Jay Smooth taking Chris Brown to task for assaulting Rihanna a few years ago  and why he needs to get a grip on himself and why it’s NOT ok to play the victim when you knowingly did something wrong….

Categories: Ascension, Politico, Pop culture, Raise your EQ, This is why the planet is screwed up, Yoga | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

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