Posts Tagged ‘healing’

Violence, 911, and War: There’s a Better Way

Since the beginning of time, wars have been fought in an effort to bring about peace. Have we accomplished that yet? Maybe violence isn’t the answer.

I am a peace lover. Not only do I promote peaceful coexistence but I also live peacefully with others. I do not argue or fight; I do not promote or instigate dissension between family or friends; I am careful never to offend anyone and apologize quickly if I do. I have yet to meet anyone who loves brutality or war yet I continually encounter those who live violent lives.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “It is not enough to say, ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace.” But how is that possible in a world filled with terrorists determined to annihilate all those who oppose their radical ways? Lawfully, we have a right to defend ourselves against those who pose a threat to us. We may use reasonable force in the face of peril. Therefore, if someone endangers my life, I may have a legal right to take theirs.
But my religious beliefs tell me hurting and killing others is wrong. The Sixth Commandment clearly states “Thou shalt not kill.” To the best of my knowledge, there is no amendment which states, “with the following exceptions.” All human life is sacred and I firmly believe in the preservation of such. But do I have a moral right to extinguish the light of another in order to protect mine? Herein lies my quandary.

In my latest book, The Great Truth, I speak of a great Spiritual Truth which redefines the meaning of our existence. Life is not about my experiences nor my relationships nor being happy. I firmly believe that in each human encounter God expects us to respond in accordance with Divine Law. Do I make decisions that are in my best interest or do I obey my Heavenly Father? As in war, a soldier may be given a command by his/her superior but feels their way is a better one. Yet, the soldier is obligated to obey the commanding officer not only for the soldier’s best interest but for the safety and benefit of the entire unit and ultimately their country as well. One arrogant act of disobedience can prove catastrophic.
So it is with God’s Command. We may not always be privy to the bigger picture. Yet if we are true disciples of the Lord God, then we must obey each of His Laws without question, trusting that His Way is the right way. We do not hand-pick those teachings which momentarily suit our needs.

In a recent statement regarding the latest terrorist attacks in Seria, Pope Francis calls for a peaceful response: “Violence and war are never the way to peace… War always marks the failure of peace; it is always a defeat for humanity.” Godly words, for sure.

The human side of me struggles with the dilemma of how I would respond should someone attack one of my children or grandchildren. Would I use deadly force to protect them or would I relinquish my human rights to Divine Decree?
Matthew 16:24 ~ Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Maybe there is a higher purpose to not waging war or fighting back. After all, this world and all its events are but a moment in time. It’s the next life that is eternal. I pray that I am a true disciple of the Lord and will faithfully follow His teachings. “Peace is the way, not a goal.” ~ Janet Pfeiffer

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Spiritual Healing Throught Forgiveness

We have all been hurt by the things others have said or done (notice I didn’t include “to me/us” at the end of that sentence).* Very often, we say or do things that are inconsiderate or hurtful to the other party. Sometimes, we commit an offense by failing to do what we need to. Whether intentional or not, our actions, or lack of, can cause considerable suffering to another.

How often are you willing to forgive the imperfections of others? Do you choose to let go of past offenses or do you hold on to your anger? Are you understanding of their weaknesses or do you hold them hostage to their bad behavior? Have you ever sought revenge or chosen to “get even” for what they’ve said or done?

Many don’t realize that forgiveness is a choice. It is a conscious decision to be understanding of another,s imperfections. Each of us has inflicted pain on another: we lash out in anger or fail to be patient when necessary; we take advantage of another,s generous spirit rather than show them appreciation; we are disrespectful or argumentative instead of honoring each individual and their opinions.

Forgiveness does not release one from being held accountable for an offense. Rather, it recognizes that each of us behaves poorly at times because we are all imperfect. Forgiveness is a choice I make for my own well-being. It is not contingent upon whether or not the other admits to any wrongdoing or if they even apologize. To hold on to anger long after the offense has been committed only hurts me. It holds me hostage to the past and inhibits me from fully enjoying the present.

Twenty years ago I fell and broke my elbow. I remember the circumstances of the fall and the intense pain I experienced. The bone gradually healed and I regained full use of my arm. There is not more pain. Forgiveness is the spiritual equivalent to healing a physical injury: I remember the event but I no longer feel the anger, bitterness or resentment. All negative emotions have healed. I am free to experience the joy and wonder of living in the moment.

While it is not wise to “forgive and forget” (to forget carries the risk of the offense repeating itself), forgiveness is the ultimate act of self-love. Forgiveness is the path to inner peace and when you have inner peace you have it all.

Watch a very powerful 3 minute video on forgiveness @

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Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Saying, “I’m sorry” doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people. For some, it’s viewed as a sign of weakness putting them in a vulnerable position. Yet apologizing is anything but weak. It is actually a sign of great strength. Imagine the risk of acknowledging that we have done something wrong without knowing how the other person may react? They could easily reject us and not accept our admission of guilt. Or they could attempt to inflict guilt or shame on us for our incompetency. Some may choose to manipulate us by conveniently referring to the transgression when seeking to obtain something.

Yet in reality, apologizing is first-and-for-most a sign of intelligence. I as wise enough to recognize that what I said/did was insensitive, rude, mean-spirited, and such. Secondly, it takes great courage to openly admit our wrongdoing, for the reasons stated above. Third, it shows sensitivity and compassion. I am aware of how damaging or hurtful my actions have been to the other person and on some level I want to alleviate their pain. And lastly, it shows concern for their well-being. In my sincere desire to right a wrong, I am motivated to do so out of love (concern) for the one I wounded.

Yet sometimes, even when we feel compelled to ask for forgiveness, we try to justify our actions thereby alleviating us from following through. “He got what he deserved!” “If she hadn’t criticized me I never would have cursed at her.” Yet in God’s eyes, there is never justification for hurting any of His children.

Remember when you were a child and you and your younger brother got into a fight? Mom came along and made you both say you were sorry. At the risk of a more severe punishment, you complied with her demands. With a look of disdain and refusal to make eye contact, you begrudgingly mumbled under your breath, “Sorry,” then quickly made your get-away before being told you had to kiss and make up.

The key to a successful expression of remorse is sincerity and personal responsibility. It must come from a place of genuine concern so that the other party understands your intent. Secondly, an apology filled with excuses and blame (examples above) are lame and disingenuous. Many years ago, I went through a long and painful estrangement from three of my adult children. I was not always the best mother when I was raising them and they had just cause to be angry with me. This separation, however, was due in part to some fabricated lies concocted by a vindictive and jealous person. Every attempt I made to reconcile went unacknowledged by my children. They were not interested in hearing my explanations, excuses, or truths about who was/wasn’t responsible for what. Five and a half painful years passed before I finally realized that what I owed my children was a pure and sincere apology for the times I failed them. This is the letter that finally reconciled us:

“Dear _____, For anything I have ever said or done that has hurt or offended you, please know that I am truly sorry. That was never my intention. In whatever ways I failed you as a mother, please accept my apology. I know I let you down. If I ever did anything that made you feel unloved or unwanted, I can’t even begin to tell you how saddened I am by that. I wish I had known because I have never loved anyone as deeply as I have loved you. Love, Mom.”

Don’t hesitate to offer an apology. It is the first step to emotional healing and a possible reconciliation of the relationship. “It matters not who caused the problem. It only matters who initiates the healing.”*

*The Great Truth

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