City of Angels

City of Angels

I was on vacation with my family in the Caribbean last week. While sitting on the beach I looked out at the hundreds of people enjoying themselves and it occurred to me that this is how I imagine heaven – a beautiful place with a bunch of souls just hanging out having a good time. The next thought that occurred to me was this: why is it so difficult for us to live our lives in a state of mutual respect and enjoyment in each other’s company? We are capable of simulating the angelic at times – on vacations or in glimpses, yet we so easily revert to our human side in displays of righteous rage at the motorist who just cut us off or the jerk who screwed up our order. It’s ridiculous to think those draining negative emotions flow freely in heaven (or whatever word resonates with you) so why are they so rampant down here?

I asked the guides for an image to really understand this more. They showed me an airport. They said that we are all here on a journey and that we’re each traveling toward enlightenment whether we know it or not. They said we fly on different airlines and our travel times vary, but we’re all headed toward a common final destination…and it’s heavenly.

They explained that we are all souls (angels, in fact) but for this part of the journey we’re in physical bodies. These vessels come equipped with tongues that can speak angry words and eyes that can cast critical glances. At times these bodies make it harder for us to see the light that we truly are.

I can’t help but laugh when I try to imagine a beach full of angels yelling at one another or rushing to the front of the line and pushing others out of the way. It still seems funny this is how we live, especially knowing that we are all equal and heading to the same place, eventually.

I have been a critical and judgmental person for the past 10 years. Life events hardened my heart and the compassionate person I once was diminished. I criticized myself the harshest, but I also understood the Law of Oneness and knew that in my judgment of others what I really saw was a reflection of my own faults. Either way, I was the target.

I decided awhile back that I wanted to re-engage the Frances I once was – the compassionate, loving person who always found the best in others, not the worst. When I started working with my chakras I learned that the fourth chakra is the center of forgiveness and love and connection to Spirit. My readings are best when connected from the fourth chakra. So if I find myself nervous or scared that a reading will go wrong, I drift down into the fourth chakra and suddenly the ego disappears and love takes over. The true spirit shines and the reading occurs as it was meant to. I know that if I can find my way to my fourth chakra that I can communicate love without even saying a word. I started a sadhana (spiritual practice) of saying “compassion and grace” silently in my head as I listen to others. I use this as a method to keep me in my fourth chakra and to avoid judging others by instead send love to them energetically. The more I do this, the better I feel.
As I did this, I noticed that more gossip and criticism came into my life when I spoke to others. I didn’t always find it easy to not participate in the gossip or the criticism no matter how hard I tried. I would find myself saying something in agreement and then beat myself up after the conversation ended. I asked God to help me with this aspect of myself. He heard me and proposed a challenge.

This week while I was away I heard various criticisms about the wait staff, amenities not being available and other silly inconveniences we typically complain about while on vacation. It was nothing terrible but I was anxious to practice and win at the challenge. I heard about a practice called Ho’oponopono about a year ago. I was intrigued by the story of a Hawaiian man who cured severely mentally ill patients with this practice, having never met them or laid a finger on them. The premise is that if we take responsibility for anything that enters our life we can begin to heal the world. What Hew Len did was take their medical file, hold it and repeat “I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me; I love you, Thank you”. The more he repeated this mantra the more he healed himself and as a result the mentally ill patients. The story goes that after 4 years they shut down the mental hospital because all of the patients had been healed by this method. I decided that I would use this same technique to heal myself from the complaining and negative comments we find ourselves saying without even noticing. I am a firm believer that our thoughts (and words) are our prayers and that these negative thoughts and words carry energy.

So the challenge was that every time someone said something negative, criticized or complained I would just nod and listen while I said “I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, I love you, Thank you” to myself. I did it all week and still at times found myself about to say something before catching myself. The more I did this, the less things bothered me. Now the true test will come when I try to bring my stress-free Caribbean vacation frame of my mind back into my daily life, the goal is to remain centered and remember that all of us are angels on our journey.

I am by no means at my destination and surely I have a long way to go, but if this technique helps anyone gossip less, say one less negative comment about themselves, or bring one less ray of negative energy into the world then…. “I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, I love you, Thank you”.

Remember we are all angels in disguise – let’s band together and enjoy the ride.

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2 thoughts on “City of Angels

  1. PS That reminds me of Ira Byock’s 4 things to say before you die: “Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you.” And also Goodbye as in God be with you. Very appropriate right now. Have a wonderful time – will talk to you when you return to the land of the gossiping, infighting, lane cutting, intolerant masses! But we try!

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