Monday, January 21, 2013

What haunts us...

In the middle of the day, I feel a momentary nudge in my chest. I try to feel it again to see what the nudge is all about, but, like a ghost, it is gone. It does haunt me every now and then. Consciously, I ignore it. In my heart, though, I know what it is. It is what haunts us.

What haunts us manifests itself differently in everyone. Nightmares, sleeping difficulties, addictions, compulsions, illness, obsessions, inability to focus and negative karmic effects are among the many ways ghosts have a way of showing up in our lives.

What haunts us? The mistakes we have made, our regrets, the missed opportunities, our concern for what others think of us, the damage we have done, what we ignore, what we neglect, the pain we have caused, the secrets we keep, what we have not forgiven and our lack of compassion. What haunts us will continue to haunt us until we forgive...and until we atone.

Atoning is not merely apologizing for something we have done, it is committing to not making the same choice again. Atonement requires that we make amends, when possible. In atonement, we ask for transformation of whatever it is within us that caused us to behave in such a way. In atonement, we release the ghosts that shadow us.

Today is a good day to start the atonement process. Take a moment of quiet contemplation and say I'm sorry. Start by forgiving yourself and then pray for those you have hurt.

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