One of the things we are expected to do in this world is to learn to get along. We will always have problems and difficulties, likes and dislikes, but as thinking, reasoning individuals we strive to find a way to make peace and play nicely together. Setting aside our wants and desires helps us achieve that goal, but if we bury our feelings it often comes out in not-so-nice ways. Verbal and sometimes physical fights erupt and we are left angry, defensive, and often ashamed.
Getting along is not as easy as it sounds. Certainly our nations have shown how difficult it is, and so have our religions. For all our religious similarities, you’d think we could bury the hatchet and learn to cooperate for the betterment of all mankind. It hasn’t always been the case, but, at times, people do set aside their differences and work together.
The key is to change our thinking. Instead of seeing the other person as different, we focus on the ways we are similar. Instead of looking at the darkness in them—darkness that we fear—we choose to look at the light in them that has the power to dispel our darkness and bring us closer. Getting along together shouldn’t be any more difficult than learning to play nicely together when we were kids at the playground. Take turns and share.
Braving the darkness is more difficult than walking in the light, or so it would seem. If walking in the light is so easy, why do so many people choose to stay in the dark? Why do they shun the light of spiritual illumination? And, why do they close their eyes to views that would bring new light into their world?
I suppose it’s not that we want to walk in the darkness; it’s simply a matter of being comfortable there. Our spiritual vision adjusts to what we see and interprets things in the limited spiritual vision we possess. If another comes our way shining their light onto our path, we may hide or walk away from that light because it’s too bright or because it’s not “our light.”
The light can come from a multitude of sources: sunlight, moonlight, a candle, a match, a gas lantern, and among other sources are the light bulbs that brighten our homes. Whether the spiritual light comes from Eastern religions, Western religions, or from a different religious source doesn’t change the fact that it is light. We do not need to shun it or hide from it.
Anger is a response to an external stimulus that brings up areas in our past that need to be healed. The more anger we experience the more we are living in the past and allowing old scripts to rule our lives. By healing the past through love, forgiveness, and rewriting our scripts we can remove the majority of our anger issues. Once removed, we can concentrate on living in peace and being at one with the world.
Another method that can be used to work through forgiveness is music. Not all music has this healing ability, but some musical compositions lend themselves to reaching into the heart and pulling out the best in us—which is love and forgiveness. One song that has been particularly helpful to me and also to a few that I’ve shared it with is titled “Kiss the Rain” by Yiruma.
The song soothes me, and after a short while into the song the musician repeats three notes in descending order that reminds me of falling rain. The artist repeats these three cascading notes thirty times before transitioning back into the soothing sounds that give the listener a break from the musical rain. Then those three notes repeat for a second series of thirty, and at the end it repeats one more time for forty repetitions before fading into silence.
Each time I hear those three notes that remind me of falling rain, I say or sing a three syllable phrase like, “I am safe,” or “all is well.” But when I use this song for the purpose of healing, I say the words, “I-for-give,” over and over. On the next set I may change it to, “I’m-for-given.” The words become a gentle mantra that reinforces the need to forgive and also the need to accept forgiveness.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.