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In honor or Rev. Jack Poole
I had a vision at a very young age of two gigantic keys. These images were keys larger than a skyscraper. Larger even than the beanstalk, in Jack and the Beanstalk, extending into the sky, into infinity. One of the keys was Forgiveness and the other was Gratitude. I took this as my path for my life. Keys to the Kingdom, if you will.
I’ve treasured and practiced these values purposely and intentionally most of my life. Most often through a DAILY, yes, daily practice of looking back into my day and seeing where I took offense or put someone out of my heart. I practice surrender and accept that, even though I cannot know how or why things happen, that these situations are serving my salvation, in ways I cannot understand from a limited human perspective. When I don’t practice, I am tormented through thought streams, an ambush of negative reactions, blaming, righteous indignation, and an exponential leaking of energy and life force. I’m aware that Forgiveness is a process—not a “thing”. It is a direction not a destination—a path to go forward in my life, not somewhere I arrive. Jesus’ teachings include how many times to forgive? Infinity—not 7 x 7 times a day, but 70 x 7 daily.
As a stockpile of hurts, offenses, affronts, and judgments came into my awareness, I realized I was out of practice. It is way too heavy to bear and shocking too just how quickly they magnetize to one situation, person, occurrence, or idea.
The last time I saw Rev. Jack alive, he was quite sick and had just received news of metastatic kidney cancer with prognosis of a few months to live. He was very loving, present, willing, and his normal hard-headed self about following directions.
Most importantly though, Jack was apparently free of any unforgiveness and was participating in a 40-day process of spiritual transformation through nonjudgment. During this process, Jack was actively and consciously clearing any threads, remnants and even slight barnacles of judgments holding onto him. He spent time daily, even in his final days, looking, seeing, and telling the truth to himself, teaching himself and others through practice, what living is about. Jack didn’t enjoy having nurses go with him to pee, and they insisted on being with him due to believing he was a “fall risk”. After one occasion when the nurse was standing by him for support, Jack admitted he was having “unloving” thoughts toward her. Once he observed this in him, he quickly shifted to loving her. Wow! Who can switch that quickly when not getting what you want… especially having to pee with someone watching? I experienced a renewed compassion for my own mother and father as they navigated very similar winds of non-privacy during their last weeks.
I was blessed to lead Rev. Jack’s celebration of life service and contribute to carrying out his wishes to have a FUNeral. I feel as though Rev. Jack is really working with me closely since his passing, to support my 40-day spiritual transformation too. I am actively aware of many episodes of righteous indignation, offenses, and deeply rooted wanting in me. I’m working daily again to clear these, to make amends, and set my thinking heart and mind “right” again. Understanding that my forgiveness does not condone anyone’s behavior or actions, but removes me from the energetic bind of judgments. As I practice, I am aware of the subtleties of the judgments and also gratefully aware of the power of letting them go, surrendering, and accepting what I cannot change.
It seems that the anger and grief I was holding about the death of friends, momma, and Rev. Jack this year had compounded my right to judge and be upset. What’s harder than letting them go? Not letting them go! Upon reflection, truth telling and examination—anger and upset is highly overrated. It is a real damper on my spirit and such a heavy load that I simply don’t have the stamina to continue fighting that current. It is just enough suffering for me to “snap out of it” and get back on my path of Forgiveness, daily practice, and a much “easier flow”. Oh, and when I do, Gratitude is readily available. One path is the other path. Gratitude and forgiveness will lead us to peace.
Inviting you to find your GIANT keys and open the door that has been wide open all along. Out of the prison of heart and mind we go. Check on out of that Hell Hotel and enjoy, with Gratitude, what you have. Courage I have. Courage you have. Today, Tomorrow, and Again.
I love you and send you love. My birthday is Feb 5th. I feel like I am being born again. Join me in celebrating your own life, liberation, and tools for the journey. Feel free to send me a note, email, sing a song, voicemail, pray for me, FORGIVE ME, and keep me close in heart. With a love too big to bear and an arrow piercing my heart in the BEST of ways.
“Unforgiveness is the heaviest load we can choose not to carry.”
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