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Quote over top of green mandala - “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” ~ Mark Twain

Have you ever had a song get stuck in your head that you just can’t stop playing over and over again in your mind?   They call it an earworm or sometimes referred to as brainworm. I have one that has become a reoccurring backdrop over these past few weeks.  Now I know why.

You see, as I’ve been writing my blogs for this month’s joy habit of forgiveness, this song has shown up as an important message for this month’s final blog and the last step on the path to unconditional forgiveness. But before I share the lyrics to a song that you may also have been hearing lately, let me tell you about this final forgiveness step.  It’s about showing your love through mercy.

In a great book I read over the holidays co-authored by The Dalai Lama and Victor Chan called The Wisdom of Forgiveness, there is a story that Archbishop Desmond Tutu relayed during a dialogue he had with His Holiness at a conference in Vancouver a few years ago.

He said, “In our country, we speak of something called ubuuntu.  When I want to praise you, the highest praise I can give you is to say, you have ubuuntu – this person has what it takes to be a human being.  This is a person who recognized that he exists only because others exist: a person is a person through other persons.  When we say you have ubuuntu, we mean you are gentle, you are compassionate, you are hospitable, you want to share, and you care about the welfare of others.  This is because my humanity is caught up in your humanity.  So when I dehumanize others, whether I like it or not, inexorably, I dehumanize myself.  For we can only be human, we can only be free, together.  To forgive is actually the best form of self-interest.”

three hands nesting on top of each other

At the core of this powerful message is the understanding that because we are all connected, when you harm someone else, you actually harm yourself.  And as The Dalai Lama put it, “Because revenge harms the other person, therefore it is a form of violence.  With violence, there is usually counterviolence.  This generates even more violence – the problem never goes away.”   

The solution?  Show mercy instead of revenge. 

Another way to look at this comes from Wayne Dyer’s book, 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace.  In Chapter Seven titled There are no justified resentments, Wayne explores the topic of resentment and why blame and revenge hold us back from moving forward.  He illustrates his point by sharing this story.

“The story is told of the enlightened master who always responded to outbursts of criticism, judgement and ridicule with love, kindness, and peace.  One of his devotees asked him how he could possibly be so kind and peaceful in the face of tough disparaging invective.  His response to the devotee was this question, ‘If someone offers you a gift, and you do not accept that gift, to whom does that gift belong?’” 

Wayne concludes by asking why would you allow something that belongs to someone else (i.e., their hatred, intolerance, or judgement) to be the source of your own resentment?

So again, the message is to show love instead of hate and mercy instead of revenge. For as Mark Nepo says in the Book of Awakening, “Hate eats up the heart.”

Here is one more story before I reveal the song lyrics that have become resident as an earworm in my consciousness of late.  And this one comes from the story of Miao Shan, the Chinese Princess of Mercy who was believed to have lived during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and to have been the incarnation of the goddess Quan Yin.

Taro card of Miao Shan, the princess of mercy

In Meggan Watterson’s guidebook to the Divine Feminine Oracle Cards, she says that Miao Shan was the daughter of a king who wanted her to marry a wealthy man in order to secure more wealth and power for himself. But she refused and the king exiled her to a monastery on a barren and secluded island.  But she transformed it into a beautiful paradise which so infuriated the king that he burned it to the ground.  She then magically summoned a storm that put out the fire. Outraged, the king ordered her execution however no blade or sword could kill her.

As the story goes, a white tiger appeared and took her away to meet Yama, the ruler of hell. Hearing the suffering of the souls in hell, she liberated them with the fierce power of her empathy. Yama sent her away and she went to live on an island for many years until word reached her that the king was dying and needed the eyes and arms of a person without anger in order to live.  You guessed it.  Miao Shan gave him her eyes and arms and the king fell to his knees, humbled by the grace of her mercy.

I love that story.  Although a tale from long ago, there are many accounts of people who have demonstrated profound acts of unconditional forgiveness after having been subjected to violence and abuse over the years.  As my friend Matt Landsiedel says in his book Be the Space, “We are not perfect and neither are the people who acted from their pain to cause us pain.”

Yes, we are only human.  Time to forgive.

Okay, now for my earworm song.  It’s called Human and is performed by Ragn’n’Bone Man and written by Jamie Hartman and Rory Graham.  It’s a long one but worth quoting here in its entirety as every time I read and listen to it, something new pops out for me. It’s sticky that way – hence why its my earworm.  Sing along with me if you know it.

Human

I’m only human
I’m only, I’m only
I’m only human, human

Maybe I’m foolish
Maybe I’m blind
Thinking I can see through this
And see what’s behind
Got no way to prove it
So maybe I’m blind
But I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put your blame on me
Don’t put your blame on me.

Take a look in the mirror
And what do you see
Do you see it clearer
Or are you deceived
In what you believe
‘Cause I’m only human after all
You’re only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put your blame on me.

Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me.

Don’t ask my opinion
Don’t ask me to lie
Then beg for forgiveness
For making you cry
Making you cry
‘Cause I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put your blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me.

Oh, some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me.

I’m only human
I make mistakes
I’m only human
That’s all it takes
To put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me.

I’m no prophet or Messiah
Should go looking somewhere higher
I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me.

I’m only human
I do what I can
I’m just a man
I do what I can
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put your blame on me.

I hope you’ve found this month’s blog posts about forgiveness helpful along your own journey of self-absolution or forgiveness of others.  And until next week, honour yourself by showing love and mercy to your fellow humans.  It will help keep your frequency high, your mind open and your joy ever expanding!

Love from your Joy Mama,

Gloria Stewart signature

P.S.    If you haven’t already read my book Being Joy™, it’s a simple 40-day practice of replacing old self-defeating beliefs with new empowering joy habits. As your vibrational frequency increases, you’ll not only experience more joy, but you’ll also be a beacon of hope for others who have forgotten their own joy.  Please join me on this important mission by ordering your copy today!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like these:

Self forgiveness is self-love
Accepting the past, embracing the future.
Letting go is like a purge

 

Images courtesy of Pixabay.

Lyrics Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jamie Hartman/ Rory Graham.
Human lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Reservoir 416, Songs With A Pure Tone, Askia Worldwide Publishing, Maxwell And Carter Global Publishing

 

 

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