Read Forgiveness Online

Authors: Iyanla Vanzant

Forgiveness (page 6)

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I called the church and asked to speak to the registrar. Without a moment of hesitation, I made my plea.

“I am asking for grace to pay for this workshop on a payment plan. I receive $265 each week in unemployment benefits. I can pay a portion of that every week for the next four weeks until the balance is paid in full.”

The space between us was so still, I wasn’t sure she had heard me. When she spoke, I couldn’t believe my ears.

“I do not have the authority to make that type of arrangement. The full amount of the registration fee is due on or before the last day of class. That will be next Saturday at 9 p.m. Do I have your commitment that you will honor this arrangement?”

IHAD A VERY LIMITING TENDENCY TO BELIEVE THAT I COULD NOT HAVE WHAT I WANTED, SO WHY BOTHER ASK-

Without thinking I said, “Yes.” In that moment, the workshop began for me.

I did not know how or from where the money would come, but I knew it would come. Every morning as soon as my feet hit the floor, I prayed the same prayers. I went to each class day without giving a thought to how I would pay for my participation.

During the Wednesday evening class, the facilitator challenged me about who I was choosing to be. He asked me for a 25-word statement to the universe of life as a declaration of how I planned to show up in the world from that day forward. As the only person of color in the room, I was a bit hesitant to declare myself as anything. All of the issues related to being not good enough, inferior, less than, and unimportant that had been laying dormant in my consciousness stood at full attention and held my mouth glued shut. The facilitator asked me if I intended to remain not good enough, inferior, less than everyone one else, and unimportant in order to hide the gifts God has given me. Waves of shock and horrification flooded every fiber of my being, and I suddenly became faint. The facilitator was now barking at me:

“Stand up straight! Open your mouth and honor God, or take your limited mind out of my sight! Who are you choosing to be?”

From somewhere between my big toe and my second toe, the words spilled out of my mouth:

WHY HAD I PRAYED FOR JUST WHAT I NEEDED RATHER THAN ASKING GOD TO HANDLE EVERYTHING?

“I used to be just another poor black woman. From this day forth, I choose to be a child of God every day.”

“Great!” he said. “That was 23 words.” Then he moved on to the next person with a different challenge.

When I came home from class Thursday evening, I felt compelled to go through the stack of mail on my desk. I had been avoiding the multicolored envelopes filled with overdue bills. When I saw the brown envelope from the state of Pennsylvania, my heart literally skipped a beat. Methodically moving the letter opener through the tightly sealed flap of the envelope, I removed what I knew was a check. Before I turned it over, I prayed, “Wait on the Lord and be of good courage.” Pay to the Order … $457, retroactive unemployment benefits.

The limitations of my consciousness were now in full view. Why had I prayed for just what I needed rather than asking God to handle everything?

 

DAILYFORGIVENESSPROCESSREMINDERS

For a more detailed explanation of theDaily Forgiveness Process Guidelines,

 Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for at least 30 to 60 minutes.Still your mind for at least 5 minutes or listen to theStillness Meditation.Read the Forgiveness Prayer once silently and once aloud.Scan theEmotional TriggersList.Write out the 12 Forgiveness Statements for each day’s topic on thinking, judging, and believing in your Forgiveness Journal (Days 1–18). Write your Forgiveness Letters (Days 19–21).Perform your Pro EFT™ Forgiveness Tapping Sequences.Process thoughts and feelings consciously through your Forgiveness Journal Reflections.Listen to theGratitude Meditationon the Forgiveness CD.Complete the day’s practice in quiet reflection or with meditative music.Be sure to do something good for yourself today!

 

I FORGIVEMYSELF FORJUDGINGMYLIFE

Today’s Forgiveness Practice is about forgiving the judgments and limitations you may be holding about your life. Life is a series of unfolding possibilities, opportunities that are ignited by the choices we make moment to moment. When the consciousness is filled with judgments and fears about what has not happened in response to what has already happened, we limit the greater good that life holds. No matter how many times or how long you have wished, hoped, and prayed for something, because it has not happened yet does not mean it will not happen. Life follows the energy of our focus and faith. If you put your faith in what has not, may not, will not happen, life will deliver more ofthatto your front door—it will not happen.

Another pitfall we humans face is looking at the circumstances and situations of our lives in any given moment and calling it all that is possible. Remember, in my mind, I thought of myself as just another poor black woman. With a college degree, a law degree, and more than 20 years of work experience, I could not see beyond the experience of unemployment. Referencing my historical experiences of being poor and homeless and of feeling unsupported, I was predicting a future that would mirror my past.

Life is about so much more than we can imagine, yet we must give ourselves permission to imagine it if we want to experience it. Forgiving ourselves for the judgments we have held about what did, did not, should have, or should not have happened throughout our life experiences opens mental and emotional space to choose new possibilities. One of my favorite statements fromA Course in Miraclesis: “All things are lessons that God would have us learn.” One of the rewards of forgiveness is that it moves us to the head of the class where we can see and recognize the lessons and strengths we have gained from every experience.

LIFE FOLLOWS THE ENERGY OF OUR FOCUS AND FAITH. IF YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN WHAT HAS NOT, MAY NOT, WILL NOT HAPPEN, LIFE WILL DELIVER MORE OFTHATTO YOUR FRONT DOOR—IT WILL NOT HAPPEN.

 

A PRAYER OFFORGIVENESS

Dear and Precious Lord of the Universe:

I now ask that You untie the nots that have invaded my mind, my heart, and my life. I now ask that You remove the have nots, can nots, and do nots that are occupying space in my mind. I now ask that You erase the will nots, may nots, and might nots that invade my heart. I now ask that You release me from the could nots, would nots, and should nots that limit my ability to receive more good than I have ever known.

Most of all my dear God, I now ask that You disintegrate and eliminate all of the am nots from my mind, heart, and life that I have allowed to hold me back from the endless possibilities You have in store for me.Today, dear Father God, I come to You humbly asking that You untie, eliminate, and erase all of the nots that I have chosen to entertain rather than remembering all that You have promised me.

I ask that these words be received in the presence of Your Holy Spirit and become conditions in my life.

I let it be!

And so it is!

—EXCERPTED FROMEVERYDAYI PRAY

 

– I FORGIVEMYMIND FORTHINKING–

EXAMPLE

I forgive my mind for thinking unproductive thoughts about my life.I forgive my mind for thinking my life is

I forgive my mind for thinking my life is not

I forgive my mind for thinking my life should

I forgive my mind for thinking my life should not

 

– I FORGIVEMYSELF FORJUDGING–