By Reggie Smith
"Where have all the flowers gone; long time passing...long ago. Where have all the flowers gone; the graveyards?
Earth, Wind & Fire
I recently saw a story about a grandson who has publicly forgiven a woman who is on death row for brutally murdering his grandmother almost 30 years ago. It caught my attention because my father was murdered 35 years ago, and I often wish that he were here to share the last 28 years that I have lived without drugs and alcohol. Dad was a problem drinker, like me, so it would have been interesting to see if he would have been blessed to experience this way of life without alcohol. Dad was a policeman, so you would have thought his killer would be severely punished, but his sentence was 3-5 years. My father was 47 at the time of his death. I'd say he was gone too soon, but when your time comes, you go. No one is gonna get out of here alive.
Many of us, though, have lived through experiences that others have not survived. In my family alone we have me, a long term survivor of HIV, my 80 something year old mother is a cancer survivor, my sister is a recipient of a double lung transplant, my daughter has boy/girl twins, my 33 year old son was born prematurely at 2 pounds, and my godmother has a heart so filled with love, she has gone through two heart pacemakers. I said years ago that if you could survive until now, we would have replacement body parts to keep us alive for a long time. That time has come, but only God's grace can determine who gets to stay alive, and who gets to go to the other side. With the advance of stem cell science, we are able to grow our own body parts, if you can afford to. Of course, money won't save our lives, but lack of money certainly could be the death of us. Thank God for the miracles of medicine, but we have to live long enough to be eligible to take advantage of them, right? I hope to live to see the day we truly have free or affordable healthcare for all.
Part of participating in our own survival means complimenting our medical care with the effort it takes to be well. Medical science and pharmaceutical pills seem like the easy way to go, but even taking them takes discipline. Three things that help me to be more disciplined and compliment the medical treatment I am getting are drinking plenty of water, remembering to breathe deeply, and regularly take time to do some kind of meditative practice. The meditation can be yoga, walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, or simply sitting still for a period of time. Whatever I can do to quiet my mind and focus on the darkness at the third eye within (until it turns into light) helps to raise my vibration. When we are operating at those higher frequencies, we are able to create with less effort. For me, it is at those frequencies that time seems to collapse and I attract what I am focused on in less time than it would take with much more physical effort. That is where my synchronicities seem to live.
Grace is the only explanation for why some of us still alive and others have gone on. I'm grateful for everyday that I can be of service to humanity. I pray to be an instrument of God's will, and a vessel of His/Her word. The body and mind are our temples, and the vehicle with which our spirits operate on this plane. When forgetting is not an option or the thing to do, forgiveness may prove more difficult, but resentments destroy our spirits and cause stress and disease. We are more than capable of seeking and giving forgiveness. To err is human, but to forgive is divine. Today I pray for forgiveness, and extend the same to all; including the man who murdered my father.
The act of forgiveness is the act of returning to present time.
And that's why when one has become a forgiving person,
and has managed to let go of the past, what they've really done is they've shifted their relationship with time.