By Cheryl Oreglia
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2
Our thoughts are enormously powerful, sacramental on occasion, but always efficacious.
What we believe about ourselves affects our motivation, our response to new opportunities, even the way we allow others to treat us. I no longer accept that a single incident is culpable for the way things turn out; it appears the innocent and the guilty are so intertwined as to be unidentifiable. I’ve learned the hard way that deep-seated feelings of envy, anger, and fear have a way of corroding our relationships with self, God, and others. These are the stories we carry to the detriment of our souls.
I’ve learned a lot about myself while in prison, the alibi of my soul, the stories I keep, and the delusions I harbor. When we hurt each other, we hurt ourselves; often the breach is unintentional, sometimes it is not. The result is the same.
I keep stories locked inside for far too long, it’s as if I’ve become a human penitentiary, my thoughts acting as abusive guards, beating me down when I’m vulnerable, or alone. I’m the criminal who keeps professing my innocence, shocked about the conditions in which I must live, and wondering if I will ever be released from this confinement.
I want to know who the hell is responsible?
“When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.” ~David Icke
When our families are a place of refuge and sanctuary we feel connected, loved, and treasured (this includes our family of choice – friendships). According to the latest research this is the best defense against addiction, depression, and feelings of isolation. This is our shelter from the storms in life.
We cannot predict the future, but years of drought followed by torrential downpours can all be endured if you have a strong tribe.
“We do not heal the past by dwelling there; we heal the past by living fully in the present.” ~Marianne Williamson
It is usually an event of no account that sets off a fire storm in our relationships. All it takes is one vengeful act to light the dry timber. Inequitable collations only serve to fuel the fire. The damage is done; the structure irreparably desecrated, allowing common memories to go up in smoke.
There is no coming back from such a destructive blaze. The relationship endures a time of diaspora, old practices can be salvaged, but over time new ones emerge. These must be formed of love, carefully protected, like new growth in a garden.
Norman Cousins says, “Man (woman) is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him (her) can be wrought by crisis – once that crisis can be recognized and understood.”
We are an Easter people, the stone which kept us entombed has been rolled away. Who can confine me when the barrier is removed? I will no longer be a prisoner of my own thoughts. Life is too short, too precious, too miraculous to live with the restraints of guilt and regret.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my people.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my people.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
This is a beautiful story of Jesus allowing Peter to repair a relationship damaged by an earlier betrayal. God does not shame Peter and guilt is not a life sentence. His last words spoken on the cross are ones of forgiveness,
“Forgive them for they know not what they do.”
We are released from the burdens that bind us to the past. The most powerful words in the English language according to Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, are: “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.”
This is how we move the stone.
Who the hell is responsible? That would be me and I am ready for parole.