Three years ago, our collective family lost a nephew, 13 years old, to a encounter with a train. Matt was walking along an active track wearing the headphones of his CD player, probably thinking about the loss of his grandmother that morning. The engineer, doing all he could to warn Matt, simply could not get his attention in time.In the course of all the trauma and drama that unfolds in the aftermath of such a tragedy, it only took the distant sound of a train whistle, or the sight of a train passing by to set off all the emotion and painbody that such an event produces. Even the word "train" sets off the chemistry that was produced by the initial shock of the original event, and the emotions and pain returns.
I imagine that those who have lost family in plane crashes experience the same pain and emotional responses whenever they see a plane overhead, or have to make a trip to the airport. I imagine that some never look up or ever go to the airport again. Ah.
I hear a train in the distance as I write this, but it does not set off the pain that my sister and her daughter and immediate family of Matt would feel. I might not even hear it, but they would pick that sound out of a busy rush hour and feel the pain all over again. In time, they will have to make peace with trains and all things associated with them.An so it is with all perceived painful and emotional experiences in life.
All it takes is a word, or a sound, a title or a face, and the same chemistry that the original pain caused to course into our blood and set off those portions of the brain that experience and deal with such things, are ignited again. That chemistry gives one that kicked in the stomach feeling that lasts for hours. In short, we relive the pain or we experience again the anger, guilt, shame, fear or embarassment that those original chemicals, now again released by merely thinking or hearing or seeing that which reminds us of a past event.
It's drama and pain through the miracle of chemistry. Can you imagine how different our lives would be if we were simply unable to recall events that traumatised, hurt or angered us? I suppose we would never learn anything from such events without the memory and feel of them. Sometimes I get jealous of my cat, because somehow I know that they simply don't care about the events of the past, or even remember them.
I get sharp with the cat for taking a bite of me, and four seconds later I get the look."what?" from the creature. As somone once said, "everything spiritual teacher I ever had in life was a cat.".
I have words in my mind that set off my drama/trauma chemistry and cause me to have to deal with anxiety, which is a fear of what the future will bring or perhaps mild depression, which seems to be caused by repression of anger that we feel we should not express, or have no productive outlet for. All the words that provoke my brain chemistry to bless me with sometimes minutes and sometimes hours of anxiety, anger, fear, guilt and such are generally related to the topics of organized religion and fundamentalist and literalist Christianity. I have a small pill I can take when I simply do not wish to deal with those emotions. It races to the receptors those emotions want to attach to and blocks them.
Thus it prevents the drama/trama event for now. Cool stuff! Isn't it amazing that another chemical can derail a negative emotion caused by chemicals released in the brain by the mind! But I'd rather have the mental perspectives that accept the feelings for the moment, an act which also can disarm them. Deep belly breathing, I have found sends the message to the brain that all is well and there is no need for the molecules of emotion carnage to be released at this time. Shallow high chest breathing or even breath holding, which many people do when concentrating, sends the message that something is wrong and there is stress and so the brain sends out the fight or flight chemistry and we experience stress and anxiety. See what I mean! We are a spirit trapped in limited five sensed, carbon based, chemical soup based wetsuit!.My choice to pursue what at one time I felt must be the only way to be, way to think and message to encourage humans with, has blessed me with a need to recover from it all.
There are Biblical concepts that, when I hear of them, set off emotions I then have to deal with. There are human names that set off my resentment and anger. There are ideas that, when I hear them repeated, set off my sarcastic, hurt self. None of this serves me very well, but in the past, I lacked the skills to divert the chemistry the original events, people, faces and ideas are set off. I don't like how it feels. When you fight life, life fights you.
When we embrace it, somehow it flows better, even the unpleasant parts.There is one solution that seems to be the last one we really want to employ. Somehow, we inherently know that if we apply it and mean it, it will free us from all the drama/trauma. Mostly we don't know how to do it and find that what we intend to be a permanent solution to the painful life experiences we have, is merely temporary. The ultimate solution to our perverse chemistry of reliving, over and over the negative emotions that hurt mainly ourselves is FORGIVENESS.
Forgiveness is either the easiest thing on earth to do and we just don't get it, or it is the most difficult. I sometimes feel that if I forgive whoever or whatever it is that still plagues my mind at times, they or it will be getting away with something. If I forgive them, they will for sure! If I FORGIVE, they will win. So not forgiving ensures they don't.
My ego, my "little self" will want to get even, or be right, or get an apology or just keep on fighting on and on what is or was. On the other hand, allowing things to be as they are is really what we call GRACE. The rest is all just memories and chemistry in MY head. It is not real.I remember when a past Pope forgave, very publically, the man who put a near fatal bullet in him.
I remember thinking that since the Pope is a professional forgiver, or has to be, it was not the magnificient example it was meant to be. The Pope has to forgive you! Now if the father of Nick Berg, the first American beheaded in Iraq, forgives that evil act done by those evil men, that is real! I undestand that Mr. Berg is just such a remarkable person, or wants to be inspite of the pain of those events.
If you offend your pastor , or friends in the church in some way, just tell them "well forgive me." They have to.hehe.
I want to forgive for my sake. Of course, there are a few things in life I want to be forgiven for as well as there is a chemistry of guilt or shame set off when I think of those things and don't stop and accept myself as just human like everyone else. Many ministers feel they have to give the impression they are past all that and do no wrong, or admit to little wrongs to appear human, but everyone has "the other side.
" Every minister I know wears at least one mask.Forgiving comes in stages. I suppose it can be instant and final but mostly it comes in increments in practical fact. We forgive so that what eats us doesn't destroy us.
We forgive because somehow we know that we all can be just as foolish or hurtful as we feel others have been towards us. We forgive because what else is there is to do and have a real life. We forgive to see how life can bless us for doing so and that things do work out exactly as they should for us.Forgiving has to be specific and not generic. You can't forgive an organization or an all encompassing Church denomination. Abused Catholics can't forgive the Catholic Church or even the Pope.
They must forgive the specific abuse, priest or member. I can't forgive the Worldwide Church of God. I have to forgive the players who created it, took advantage of my good intentions and spiritual seeking and changed it from something I could relate to, when I took the Bible as literally true, and returned me to a theology I found wanting as I grew up with it. I have to forigve them for the idea that reinventing the wheel, for me, was new and exciting.
It was not and I lost my heart for it all.Our forgiving others cannot depend on whether others forgive us first. If that is true, then we are at the mercy of others and probably dead in the water on this topic until others give us permission to forgive and move ahead in life. We can only do our part and we can only do it when we are able and understand deeply the benefit of forgiving to all concerned. That can take time, or not, depending on how willing we are to let it go and get out of the past into a more real and loving present.
So here goes.again, with a bit more understanding than the last time!.I forgive The World Wide Church of God, past and present and Herbert W. Armstrong for his perspectives, ideas, feelings, needs, abuses real or imagined, ignorance and loss of touch with how things really are in the lives of real people who trust those who take authority upon themselves in the name of God, Jesus and the Bible.
I forgive Garner Ted Armstrong for the same.I forgive Joseph W. Tkach Sr.
for the same.I forgive Joseph W. Tkach Jr. for the same.I forgive ________________ for the same.
I forive myself for being a butt a times too.I have needed my pain for some perverse reason along with the anger at myself for making poor choices which at the time seemed so right. I realize I had to be there and I am sorry it took so long for me to realize that I really didn't. I do believe that nothing is for nothing. Everything is always as it should be for our ultimate good and that my ego needs give it's self preservation a rest.
I"m tired of opinions, ideas, squawking and complaining about how things were or even how that how things that were have now influenced how things are. I'm tired of my day being disrupted by DEAD people or the living who don' care. I forgive, again at a little deeper level than the last time, so I can be content again with life as it is and not as I thought or think is should be. I don't want the sound of trains to resurrect the pain body over and over. I like the sound of trains in the night.
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By: Dennis Diehl