Photo courtesy of Sergey Yeliseev, @yeliseev on Flickr

FORGIVENESS, A MIRACULOUS CHOICE

WRITTEN BY REGAN CARUTHERS
Driven by her desire to make a difference, Regan Caruthers is a coach, mentor, and advisor to some of the most well established education companies, and devotes much of her time to recruiting senior talent, coaching education industry leaders, and innovating educational programs. Operating always with the belief that we must lead with our hearts, Regan’s unique and intuitive approach to business was influenced by her early schooling where she meditated each day and learned other healing modalities such as Tai Chi. Her former work with the HeartMath Institute and Society for Organizational Learning enables her to bring transformative tools to her clients to build resilience and navigate change with more ease and grace. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Regan has called Santa Cruz, CA home for the last 20 years. Her two sons, Connor and Ian, and her husband, Jim are the loves of her life. Outside of her work in education, Regan is a writer and a intuitive with a focus and specialty in the healing arts.
Forgiveness, A Miraculous Choice

This essay is part of our month exploring the theme of Forgiveness. Follow along with us all May to read more stories on the theme, and be sure to check out Regan’s other story on awakening to her psychic intuition.

“Either you just had an orgasm, you’re on some kind of drug, or this heart stuff you’ve been talking about is really working,” my mother said, abruptly stopping mid-sentence during a brutal manic-induced tirade as we sat in my living room. She had suddenly sensed the energy of love and forgiveness that was pouring out of me in real time, creating a momentary miracle. As a consequence of the deep work I’ve done over the course of my life, I was able to hold this space for her, choosing to tune into the energy of forgiveness. While these chaotic moments were common throughout my upbringing, I had realized over time that the only way to free myself from the pain in any moment like this was to transmute it through love.

I knew what feeling victimized and deeply hurt by her felt like, for prior to having more internal maturity and self-mastery, I felt deeply hurt and caught up in the energetic turmoil that she would create. But in this instance and most that followed, I made a different choice. I chose deliberately to shift my reaction to her uncontrolled outbursts by loving through them. I simply focused my heart, connecting consciously to my breath and then self-generated feelings of love and appreciation for her. She had provided over the course of my life unparalleled, deep love and connection too, so I focused on that quality within her, and connected to feeling deeply grateful for that aspect of her. And what I then experienced from her, was her choosing differently. Instead of continuing to attack me, she stopped because in the presence of unconditional love from her daughter, she could only love too. This is the miracle of love and forgiveness; they are the ingredients for transformation and when one truly loves, one truly forgives.

Those who know me well, who understand me and how I approach life, have asked me in a myriad of different ways a vital question: “How do I forgive?”

My answer is simple and consistent: you choose it. You can choose it, just like your favorite radio station that operates at the frequency of 93.7 on your radio dial. You can dial into the heart-centered emotional frequency of forgiveness, with sincere intent and daily practice.

THIS IS THE MIRACLE OF LOVE AND FORGIVENESS; THEY ARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR TRANSFORMATION AND WHEN ONE TRULY LOVES, ONE TRULY FORGIVES.

This vital lesson was first shared with me at Forsyth School where as a child from the age of three to 11, my inner life was fostered through daily meditation, Tai Chi, and lessons that taught me that my thoughts and feelings were my choice; we learned that there is always space between any sensory input and our reaction. And in that space lives freedom. I also learned key lessons about the nature of our physical systems; that every time your heart beats it generates an electrical wave or frequency, just like your favorite radio station. Your feelings determine the quality of your broadcast; feelings of love or appreciation for example, operate at a high frequency, and conversely feelings of frustration, anger, resentment operate at a lower frequency. As a psychic intuitive with profound experiences of love and loss, I have chosen to commit to a life of love. I have come to understand that the whole purpose of existence is to learn to do this. Just as the master teachers over the history of the human experience have taught, it is love that heals, transforms, and enables a joyful, meaningful life. And it is our collective purpose to embody this. And in order to do so we must forgive.

Bankruptcy. Divorce. Mental Illness. Child Abuse. Betrayal of a Best Friend. Absent Father. Theft. Dishonesty.

I have had my share of life circumstances where I have learned that the only way to heal myself, to truly take care of myself, to be an instrument of love on this planet at this time, is to forgive. Before making this choice, I lived with pain, feelings that had no resolution; living in a violent, chaotic home as a child left a traumatic imprint. But I have learned a profound truth that while your wounds are most likely NOT your fault, your healing is your responsibility. As an act of empowerment and healing I chose the path of unconditional love and forgiveness, first for myself and then as a natural extension to others who had hurt me.

That said, my Mother’s miracle of peace from her manic episode was brief and temporary. Growing up with her was marked by contrast, I lived the polarity that ran through her. The way I came to understand her over time was that the radio station, or emotional frequency that she operated from, was too powerful for her to self-manage. So from that power frequency she experienced great genius, psychic awareness, and a capacity to love larger than anyone I have known, but she also experienced uncontrollable negative emotion which at times led to brutality in how she communicated. She had no filter.

And I had a choice: to consciously choose what was in my highest good, which is always to come from love no matter how much pain or hurt precedes it, or to choose its opposite, which was to live with deeply imprinted feelings of anger, sadness and powerlessness. I chose to love and forgive but just like anything one learns to do, it is a process.

WHERE WOULD HOLDING ONTO TRAUMA, FEAR, AND ANGER LEAD ME? WOULD IT ENABLE ME TO THRIVE? WOULD IT ENABLE ANY CHANGE IN WHAT HAD ALREADY OCCURRED?

Holding onto painful moments in times when I felt attacked or unloved by her didn’t change anything, it only contributed to a feeling of deep weight within myself. Where would holding onto trauma, fear, and anger lead me? Would it enable me to thrive? Would it enable any change in what had already occurred? No. So I chose to feel empathy for her suffering and forgive her for not being able to regulate the energy that ran through her. And I made this choice over and over again. As I consciously intended to truly love myself, I was led to the necessity of forgiveness.

In order to create peace within and fully love myself, I learned first not to personalize what came out of her. I related her behavior to a wounded animal who was attacking out of some deeply felt need for survival. She simply needed to unload the energy out of her, it had nothing to do with me other than she felt safe enough in my presence to let it all out. And I consciously referred to love as my guidepost; love that I knew she felt infinitely for me and love for self.

And while I could forgive her, some moments were certainly harder than others. On a visit to my home in California, we were having dinner at a sweet outdoor café in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I don’t recall what had triggered her this time, and frankly it doesn’t matter, what I do remember is as she attacked me, I witnessed my 5 year old son silently weeping at the table. In response, I harnessed the energy of love and forgiveness for her, but knew in my heart that I needed to put in place a boundary to protect my child. I simply said to her, “Mom, I love you deeply but if you continue to speak this way you will need to leave and not visit us again.” For the rest of the visit, she was her beautiful, loving, deeply engaging self. Had I responded to her with anger, or had I met her with judgement or fear, I don’t believe she could have shifted for the rest of the trip. By modeling for her self-regulation, she could catch if you will, my frequency and use it to better enable her to act from a place of love.

That is the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness creates the conditions for such miracles to happen. And if and when they don’t happen as a consequence of forgiving, what still always happens is a profound feeling of emotional sovereignty, of not caring about your hurt, your perceived betrayal because you transcend those feelings in the presence of unconditional love.

THE ENERGY OF LOVE, WHICH I WAS HOLDING AND RADIATING TO HIM, CHANGED HIM. HAVING BEEN FULLY LOVED AND FORGIVEN, HE COULD HEAL AND TRANSFORM.

All people carry with them unspoken burdens that can unconsciously drive their behavior, leading them to “act out” from this place of unresolved pain. A profound example of this is my stepfather, who over the course of my life was abusive and violent in our home, acting out in frightening ways as a result of the unresolved pain he held from being abused and abandoned as a child. Over the years, I learned about the great trauma and abuse that my stepfather had experienced. From informed empathy I then moved to depersonalize his choices and focus on loving myself enough to forgive him. In choosing that, I could then have the internal resources to fortify my commitment to love; that impersonal, vastly beautiful agape type love, where you choose to recognize that love is the only energetic condition where healing and transformation can occur. This insight was then completely internalized within me after my psychic gifts returned as result of a dramatic reawakening. Just hours after my awakening, I called my stepfather to share with him what I had awakened to understand. I shared with him my understanding of life’s purpose; to fully love, forgive and honor that all of us are interconnected. A complete peace had poured into me that morning and I held nothing but complete love and forgiveness for him. As he listened on the phone, I heard the phone scuffle and then he said, “Well Blond Beauty, I don’t have any explanation for this but a golden eagle just landed on top of the crabapple tree in the backyard.” Moments later, he witnessed a red fox emerging seemingly out of nowhere looking up at the eagle.

From that moment to now, 25 years later, from that clear transmission of love and forgiveness for my stepfather, he remains changed; kind, gentle, thoughtful and grateful.

Photo courtesy of Susan Van Gelder @susanvg on Flickr

Again, another miracle birthed from forgiveness. The energy of love, which I was holding and radiating to him, changed him. Having been fully loved and forgiven, he could heal and transform. My process with him began with informed empathy and then the energy of complete love and forgiveness did the rest.

Of course you will have circumstances where you won’t know someone’s backstory to begin with informed empathy. So, again, just like tuning into your favorite station, you just select love, empathy, and forgiveness as your operating frequency. It takes conscious work to do this, and the best way to begin is to have focused time each day where you tune into feelings of love and appreciation for something or someone. By training your system this way, you can more readily find this “station” within yourself when faced with a trauma or a circumstance that you want to feel liberated from. If you train your system to have love as its baseline frequency, then you are able to draw upon this energy more easily when faced with a stressful or traumatic experience.

WHAT I’VE ALSO LEARNED IS THAT AN INTEGRAL COMPONENT OF LEARNING HOW TO FORGIVE OTHERS IS TO LEARN HOW TO FORGIVE MYSELF.

What I’ve also learned is that an integral component of learning how to forgive others is to learn how to forgive myself; for the many times I’ve been out of integrity with my values, for the frequent moments of sin, which translated in Hebrew or other Biblical languages means to “miss the mark”. Learning how to do this has been the greatest liberating gift of my life, enabling me to transcend emotional pain by letting it go, by appreciating that like me, others often miss the mark. Yes, there are differences in manner of degree but the underlying principles remain the same. To choose forgiveness is to choose love and to stop carrying the burden of hurt by truly forgiving others, including myself. I have learned to accept that in my humanness I will still miss the mark, I will have trouble from time to time in fully forgiving or loving. But I also know that the sheer act of intending in this way will create more good than harm, and this truth both comforts and strengthens me. And so, it is my daily choice, my daily commitment, my daily practice to forgive, given that in either small or large ways each day we all can miss the mark. When you choose this, you choose to embody love. When you embody love, then forgiveness just flows and you create the energetic conditions for miracles to occur, while feeling both sovereign and empowered.

I assume like me you have a laundry list of miss the mark moments where you were either the subject or the object. With the next one, how about choosing unconditional love and forgiveness as a response? Reflect on how you would want to be met by others when you’ve made a mistake. From a place of sincere inquiry try and learn about the pasts of those who have hurt you; informed empathy can quicken your journey to forgiveness. And by choosing to feel the energy of love and sincere forgiveness, instead of the energy of resentment, anger, or frustration, you will feel better. And who knows, you may just find yourself witnessing a miracle in response.

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