"You are in integrity when the life you are living on the outside matches who you are on the inside." A brilliant and insightful comment by Alan Cohen.
I love this thought of Alan Cohen's and definitely aspire to live by it.
So the fact that last week was an intense one on many levels attests to what a challenge I actually have in fulfilling it!
I was on vacation on Cape Cod with my family for the week and had an awesome time, particularly with my two young nieces and nephew. In addition to enjoying the beach, swimming, lobster rolls, leisurely walks, ice cream cones, card games and exploring the towns of Osterville and Hyannis, I also found myself doing some heavy duty soul searching and writing a lot of random thoughts in my journal.
First big lesson of the week: Always one to believe that "the unexamined life is not worth living" (as Socrates would say), the first issue I tackled had to do with my family of origin and, specifically, my relationship with my father. Since he passed away when I was only fourteen years old, this occurrence always leers its ugly head as the "primary wound" that I have experienced in this life.
I won't go into the particulars here, but in the midst of my soul searching about this, I don't think it was an accident that I happened to come across the following quote during one of my beach reads:
"When it comes time to do your own life, you either perpetuate your childhood or you stand on it and finally kick it out from under."
HELLO! Are there no accidents in this life???
I finally got the lesson loud and clear...as my friend Victoria likes to say,"there should be a statute of limitations on blaming your parents"!!
We shall see how long this lasts, but I think I really did release a lot of the angst around my father's death - miracle of miracles! - and, instead of dwelling on the loss, was able to write in my journal a list of all the wonderful things that he brought into my life.
Second big lesson of the week: I was confronted with a situation that not only rang all my bells, but started revving up my Irish temper. I had a disagreement on the phone with a very close friend and felt my judgments coming up BIG TIME! Luckily, I'm a "closet bookworm" and happened to read the following from Marianne Williamson:
"Today I bless those I am tempted to judge. In denying love to anyone, I deny myself a miracle; in withholding forgiveness from anyone, I withhold it from myself." As Marianne Williamson -- one of my favorite spiritual writers and a gifted translator of A Course in Miracles -- is wont to do, she suggested a little prayer to say when we get "wound around the axle" and start condemning everyone in sight:
When I am tempted to judge,
You do not judge.
May I see them as You do,
That I might judge no more.
May I see beyond the veil of guilt,
Focusing no more on the mistakes of others.
May I see instead the light of innocence
That is the truth of who they are. Amen.
HELLO!! Are there no accidents in this life???
By the time I wrote in my journal some forgiveness affirmations about my friend (for my eyes only), I had absolutely no hard feelings left, all of my angry thoughts had dissipated and I felt no need to discuss the issue any further.
What a vacation!! Not only a good time all the way around, but a myriad of spiritual lessons and minor miracles galore.