Saturday, December 6, 2014

About Forgiveness

                   

We all know the old saying "Forgive and forget."  Some believe you can forgive but should never forget.  Jesus tells us in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:22) that we should forgive "not seven times, but seventy-seven times."  In other words, we should continue being forgiving, and it should be innumerable, unending.  It is a simple concept, but not so easy to accomplish sometimes.

I personally struggle with forgiveness of those that commit heinous crimes, acts of violence, and most especially against children, elderly, or animals.  Don't even get me started on hate crimes!  Those are some of my biases.  It is good to know our own biases at any time, but especially helpful regarding forgiveness.  I have another personal statement in my head: Intolerance will not be tolerated!  :)  Yes, I know it is contradictory... maybe a paradox.  



Personally, I find it easiest to just realize that this is whom I have in my life when I have forgiven someone for wrongdoings.  Then I am free to choose whether they should remain in my life, and to what extent.  Sometimes we can forgive, but it is not so wise to keep them around once they have shown us who they are.  'Just goes to show you that forgiveness is really for the one doing the forgiving, and not necessarily for the transgressor.  

We all struggle from time to time with that person that continues to abuse the privilege of our forgiveness, or our kind nature.  On the other hand, perhaps we have been the one repeating a hurtful error on someone -- a loved one, teacher, workmate, etc.

This quote can mean something different depending on from which perspective you are reading.  It is actually for the one forgiving, as well as the one being forgiven.  It is helpful if you can read it both ways, as there is opportunity in there regardless of how this lands for you personally.

What does it mean for you?  I would love to hear!

About Forgiveness

Friday, November 14, 2014

Deb's Feed the Hungry Campaign -- Sacramento Loaves & Fishes

Deb's Feed the Hungry Campaign -- Sacramento Loaves & Fishes

Hello friends! 

It's that time of year and I'm at it again! This year I'm doing a fundraiser to provide hot meals for homeless men, women, and children. The last two years I ran my own sock drive, and last year was PHENOMENAL! I love Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, and have served there periodically over the years. In addition to food drives, sock drives, used book drives, and serving in the dining room, I have also made lunches for the precious ones at Mustard Seed School. I'm asking everyone I know to be a part of this, too! 

The Dining Room at Loaves & Fishes serves a full course, home-cooked, meal for over 600 people everyday! That's a lot of homeless men, women, and children who won't go hungry. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our community; homeless families with small children, veterans, and the mentally ill. These are our neighbors, our friends, our community. 

I'm really excited to be a part of this, and I hope I have provided a simple way for you to be a part of it too! 

My goal is to raise $1000 (AT LEAST!). Will you PLEASE join me? ANY amount helps SO much! 

In LOVE and LIGHT, 
- Debora

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

“There Is Never Nothing Going On” and “There Are No Ordinary Moments” (Way of the Peaceful Warrior)


Facebook and other social networking is like an out-of-body experience sometimes.  It is kind of like hovering over everyone's lives invisibly, and silently (or not) watching all the activities.  I am constantly amazed and reminded every day that no matter what goes on... well, it just keeps going round and round again.  Folks have family events, get married, loved ones transition from this world, we buy new homes, kids graduate, babies are born, meals are eaten, recipes shared, someone is injured or takes ill....  For some, an event is breathless, tragic, and time feels like it stops for a moment.  At the very same time somewhere else, someone is celebrating, and yet another is wishing time would stand still if only for a moment.  That person over there is wishing tomorrow would hurry up and come... and all the while we forget that we aren't alone in all this, that "my world" is really only a teeny-tiny part of the whole of it all.  Yet none of it would exist if we did not say it was so, if we were not all here cooperating in it - willingly or not, knowingly or not.

The last couple weeks have been kind of a blur... yet so much has gone on with all of you.  I may have missed your important "thing" while I was in the blur.  Please feel free to share it here.



It is all important.  “There Is Never Nothing Going On” and “There Are No Ordinary Moments."

One love.  Namasté.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Good Answer!

Sometimes there just is no good answer.  This is not when you throw your hands up in frustration or despair, but time for acceptance that it "is.”  Move past it.  If you cannot move past it, instead of asking "why" when there is no answer, ask yourself what there is for you to do.  Doing so may or may not change what "is," but it will change you.  You may find there is nothing at all for you to do; and that is okay.  That is a perfect discovery.

The only time I think “why” may be important is if you still find yourself stuck and unable to move past what happened.  I like this Mitch Albom quote about that:  In order to move on, you must understand why you felt what you did and why you no longer need to feel it.

This morning I found myself getting caught up in the never-ending cycle of asking "why" things happen, "why" people do the things they do, etc.  I had to reel myself in and remember that people do and things happen simply because they do <period>.  Even when there is an answer, it is not necessarily the most important part about it, and often makes no difference at all in "what's so" anyway.  I am not a big believer in "everything happens for a reason.”  However, I do believe that things happen and there is likely something there for me to see/learn/do something about.  Or not.  However, there is ALWAYS something for me to learn about myself around whatever it is.

Back to basics.  Thank you, Landmark Education.


(This does not express the views of Landmark Education, but rather my views of what I learned out of participating in its education.)



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Divide and Conquer

Do you think you are separate?
An island unto yourself.
Do you listen to your monkey mind
Telling you that you are different,
That you are inferior, superior, that you don’t belong?
That you belong over there with them…
With your own kind?

There you are standing alone
Pretending to be stronger for it.
Sticking with your look-alikes, your sound-alikes, your do-alikes.
Are you now stronger
Remaining stagnant in your space
Pretending to do good while judging how “they” are?
A do-gooder for self
A do-gooder for same
Fooled, foolish, and foolishly gained.

You speak of changing the world,
Of how awful the world is.
You have travelled the world
Know your community inside and out
Yet remain stuck in your spot
Stuck in the same circle.
A circle with no end
That repeats itself with no break
A never-ending cycle that goes nowhere.
You can’t fly if you don’t spread your wings.
You can’t see newly if you don’t move.
Move over, move up, but move!

You are complaining about how “they” are.
Judging and insisting on change
While you stand with your ilk and remain paralyzed on the spot.
You don’t like the view “over there”
On the other side
Where “they” are.

Have you looked at you from over there?
Your own mire is so comfortable
You don’t see the division within it too.
You’re wide-eyed looking over there to claim to see
But really to examine all the failures and point
While you have your blinders on inside your circle.

Yeah, keep yourself separate, divided.
Keep telling yourself you are doing good
Making things better, a better life
For you and yours
While you divide and conquer….

                                                 Conquered and divided.

by Debora Lynn Garcia


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Forgive and Forget

This subject was heavy on my mind this morning as I listened to Joel Osteen speak about how God forgives always, and how His forgiveness is always greater than any error one could ever commit.  I got to thinking about a couple of people I have chosen not to forgive and whose transgressions I refuse to forget.  What would it mean for me to forgive these people?  I am a forgiving person, and have long understood that “forgive and forget” does not translate into allowing harmful or toxic people to continue in my life.  So why have I chosen, knowingly, to hang onto the pains caused by these people?  They are not still doing anything to me, and this allows them to continue in my life in a toxic way.  This is my self-examination today.

From Dictionary.com
Word Origin & History
FORGIVE
O.E. forgiefan "give, grant, allow," also "to give up" and "to give in marriage;" from for- "completely" + giefan "give" (see give). The modern sense of "to give up desire or power to punish" is from use of the compound as a Gmc. loan-translation of L. perdonare (cf. Du. vergeven, Ger. vergeben; see pardon).

From Merriam-Webster.com
Full Definition of FORGIVE
transitive verb
1          a :  to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult>
            b :  to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>
2          :  to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :  pardon <forgive one's enemies>



From Dictionary.com
Word Origin & History
FORGET
O.E. forgytan, from for- "passing by, letting go" (cf. forbear, forgo) + gietan "to grasp" (see get). A common Gmc. construction (cf. O.S. fargetan, Du. vergeten, Ger. vergessen "to forget"). The literal sense would be "to lose (one's) grip on," but that is not recorded in any
Germanic language.
  
From Merriam-Webster.com
Full Definition of FORGET
transitive verb
1          a :  to lose the remembrance of :  be unable to think of or recall <I forget his name>
            b obsolete :  to cease from doing
2          :  to treat with inattention or disregard <forgot their old friends>
3          a :  to disregard intentionally :  overlook —usually used in the imperative <I shouldn't have said that, so just forget it>
            b :  to give up hope for or expectation of —usually used in the imperative <as for        prompt service, forget it>
intransitive verb
1          :  to cease remembering or noticing <forgive and forget>
2          :  to fail to become mindful at the proper time <forgot about paying the bill>


So… to completely give a let-go!  This is why it is a gift to oneself.  

“Forgive and forget” is made a difficult practice by the confusion that it means to release another from his or her transgressions and allow them back – back in one’s life, back home, back in a group, etc.  This is faulty thinking and leads only to heartache and often bitterness of the one preoccupied and determined not to forgive.  That takes effort, but forgiveness actually takes far less effort!  Every action receives a reaction from the universe.  So consider if we forgive, we receive a certain path to take, and if we do not, we receive another.  Which would you have – one chosen for you, or one that you choose freely and with far less effort?

One can find many Bible verses about forgiveness.  Whether you claim a religion or not, they are all good advice, and worthy of much consideration and action.  However, I have yet to find a verse that says we should forgive AND forget.  I think forgetting, as in something being involuntarily or voluntarily wiped from one’s memory is impossible – at least in a force-it-out kind of way. 

As used in the context of forgive and forget, the forgetting is in letting go; it is a ceasing of purposely and purposefully recalling.  Let go of the attachment you have to the error.  Let go of the emotion you have attached to the error.  Most importantly, let go of how right you are about the error.  Whether you are right or not about the error, it is still the error.  Just let it gooooooo...   and let the universe swallow it up for you.  It is just as simple (or difficult, depending on one’s outlook) to practice letting go as it is to practice harboring the judgment and anger.  Yes, it is a practice.  We become better at that which we focus – positive or negative.  Much like forgiveness, there is another choice about direction here.  Which will you choose?

Forgiving and forgetting is not releasing the one (or ones) who hurt you.  To the contrary, it is about releasing yourself from the hurt.  The life path of the person who hurt you does not change whether you choose to forgive and forget, or not.  But yours DOES!  We choose our own paths, even when we are asleep at the wheel, and inaction is still an action. 

Wake up!  Pay attention!  Turn on your conscious GPS!  If you could draw out your choices over your lifetime as a map, how would those twists and turns look?  Where have they taken you, and what journey are you still on?  Are you progressing?  Do you feel good about your direction?  Are you going in circles only to end up in the same spot all the time?  Are you lost – wandering aimlessly?  Each choice takes a particular path.  Each choice rewards us with something.  We each created our own maps, life journeys, and painted ourselves into a particular picture.  Where are you headed?

(It is important to remember that transgressions, whether real or perceived, are always real to the one who owns the experience.)
  

References
Forget. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Forget
Forget. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forget
Forgive. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Forgive

Forgive. Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Retrieved January 19, 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/forgive