Oh! What a journey I am going through while I am reading in fascination the book by Roberto Calasso “The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony.” I just read this paragraph where I learned that Athena forgives and frees a man who indeed committed a crime, Orestes, while Aphrodite forgives and frees Hypermestra, one of the 50 Danaides who did not kill her husband on the night of their wedding like her sisters did. At that time, it was considered a crime to betray your own blood and the duty to kill, in order to survive. Hypermestra did not commit the crime because she fell in love with her husband and she helped him escape. I admire Aphrodite for doing that, because in the end she was doing her job as the goddess of love to protect love affairs. But I admire Athena more, because she has such a hard job on forgiving a man who actually committed the crime.
Athena uses logic and logic tells her that man must be forgiven, because there are hidden reasons that not everyone knows why someone could make certain horrible decisions. Athena, as always wise, she never judges or condemns based on facts that are obvious to many. What is obvious often lies. Many books portrayed Athena as cold and serious and never funny, or humorous, and now I am seeing a different side of her; the side of a forgiving and loving goddess. I always loved and admired her; I always felt like she is my guide, but I’m starting to love her even more these days, because forgiving is my thing. Love does not exist without forgiving.
In my book “Secret Beyond the Secret” I share the first three steps on healing yourself from guilt, and pain of the past mistakes which are: Love yourself, Accept yourself, and then Forgive yourself. However, in dealing with others the process is reversed: First you need to forgive others by reasoning that they just like you may have had a reason for their hurtful actions; Second, Accept them for who they are, as sometimes who we (they) are is not quite our (their) choice, is it? And then, Love them. Now, there could be some exceptions to this rule where it happens that we fall in love with others first, then we accept them, and then forgive them. However, it takes strong men and women to complete the process of forgiving others in reverse. The way of healing and forging others is often destined to fail if it starts with a love affair, by loving your enemy first. It takes a strong love to resist such a horrible plot, because when the opposites learn about the horrible things their lovers may have done in the past, they will lose trust. It is easy to lose trust because we humans confuse the past with the present and start worry about the future. It takes a strong mind and a big heart to continue loving and forgiving you opponent-lover in such conditions, like Romeo and Juliet did. I feel blessed to have been gifted at this point in my journey with both, a strong mind and a big heart, but it did not happen overnight.
I can tell you that my life has never been an easy ride. In this wild and painful ride I learned to be humble and I learned not to judge. I learned to love and forgive and cry way too often, but I do not regret my journey. Often I cried, “Why God Why? Why did you put me in such horrible conditions? What have I done to deserve this?” I believe that we all do this when we feel hurt, frustrated and victimized by others. It is OK to cry out loud, it is OK to feel victimized and shed some tears. It is better to let it out than holding it inside. However, sooner or later you will come to realize that it was a purpose for that pain. My ex and I did not agree in many things, and one of those things was the fact that my English was not good at that time to write books and becoming a public speaker to share my ideas with others. He never approved any of my ideas to start with, but that was OK, because not all couples agree with one another. However, in the process of disagreeing he could have hurt my feelings and myself-esteem, yet he didn’t. And he did not hurt me, not because he did not try, but because he couldn’t. I did not allow his remarks to affect me or slow me down. I remember telling him this one day, “I believe that God had a good reason for not allowing me to be rich and not giving me a perfect eloquence to speak up my mind.” He was surprised, because this was his argument on putting me down, that if God really wanted me to be that person of spreading those “crazy ideas of mine” about Jesus’ real mission on how forgiveness can take place and peace restored (trust me is not what Church tells you), then God would have put me in a better position. He insinuated that God would not have left me in the mercy of his monthly cheque to make my ends meet. To his argument I answered, “Imagine if I were able to express myself and my thoughts in an elaborate way like you do. Imagine if I were so rich that I would not depend on you or anyone else. Do you think I would still be sitting here with you and talking to you? Do you think I would have bothered much on reaching out to people in my position today in order to teach them how to forgive? In order to bring awareness that revenge based on some obvious facts is never the solution for peace?” He was speechless of course.
So my friends, I know why I am put in certain positions, painful but necessary. It is during these experiences that I learned to speak the language of humbleness, I learned to speak the language of pain, I learned to speak the language of one who was betrayed but realized that there is no point on payback. Instead, I learned that love can heal the wound, and only love. Yeah, it scares me when I try to imagine what I could have accomplished if I had an easy life instead. I don’t like pain and I am too logical, therefore, it would have been hard for me to learn to forgive by using love instead of having a reason to forgive. Only Athena could do that, but I am human. I needed to learn to forgive others from the ground, where all the wounded souls are, and this is how I healed myself from the past errors and pain. I did it by interacting with others, by being hurt by others over and over, and yet forgiving them. I did so, by forgiving myself first, and in this process I took the courage to write my books, despite of my imperfect English and the lack of financial support. I did that in order to teach others to do the same; to have a peace of mind in a crazy life like this, to love when there is so much hate, to heal when there is so much hurt going around.
Yes, you can criticize me about my English, my grammar, and my vocabulary that still needs improvements; And, I am not rich or famous, therefore, I am not successful, based on some people’s standards. I still struggle with my finances. I have to check my budget very carefully and count my pennies if I want to have some fun, like going on vacations for example. Just recently I went to Miami. What a retreat, right? Well, in reality I was stuck inside my hotel, miles away from the beach, because it was too expensive to take the taxi to get down to the beach. What a shame! Flying all the way from Toronto to Miami, but not having an extra 30 bucks to get to the beach. Hotel advertisement said that beach was within minutes. To this shock of mine the front desk answered, “Well, we did say within minutes, but we did not specify how many minutes.” I had to add, that not only minutes were not specified but they also “forgot” to mention the means of transportation one needs to use to get to the beach “within minutes.” But, as with every other disappointment in life, I did not let this one ruin my retreat and my moods. I did not let this “little detail” put me down. I enjoyed the process of relaxing and taking my day moment by moment, one step at a time.
Counting my blessings and loving what I have, instead of what I do not have or what I could have done had I had that extra 30 bucks, helps me leave in peace with myself and others. I often need those alone times to allow my emotions discharge rather than build up, to release my tears and my screams of pain, instead of holding them back for the fear that my children could see me. I do not want them to feel upset or worry about me or their future. I want them to feel safe and loved, and that’s why I allow this process to happen so I can build a better future for them. That is why I wrote my books, and I continue to write on my blog, so I can speak to those who suffer like me; who suffer from humiliation, suffer from injustice, from false advertisements, from people who make them feel guilty, and blame others, and so on. I want to tell these suffering souls the truth that life is not easy, life is hard indeed, and life will never get any better if we look for revenge, if we do not learn to heal and forgive the past as it happened, yet not to forget the past. It is hard to forgive but not forget, but it is all possible. I did it, and I am still doing it, day by day. We heal the past by understanding why mistakes happened, but not digging into every little detail of the past. Yes, we can do it. We can turn mistakes into lessons. And even if life may not get any easier for us, our consciousness, our souls will feel in peace, and we will feel better at living moment by moment with a peace of mind and a lighted heart. This way we will be securing the future for our children, so our children do not have to worry which side to take or which side they may end up on, the winners or the losers. We can stop revenge right now, and learn to forgive, for the sake of our children, our future.