Sunday, June 6, 2010

Forgive us our trespasses

by Rick Hempy

“I got these lines in my face tryin’ to straighten out the wrinkles in my life” - Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

Once again, I’ve been less than diligent in contributing. I have been keeping up though... with the thread, with the direction, with the tapestry. Jo challenged us, early on, to create a masterpiece. Well, it’s coming together nicely from where I sit.

It has been a true pleasure to reconnect with you all, and a great joy to gain some insight into who you are now, some forty years later. Many of your posts have been spot-on, dealing with issues of diversity, acceptance, respect.

Personally, I’ve been working hard on the tolerance thing for some time now... understanding that not everyone in the world sees things quite the same as I. In fact, I doubt there are many at all, and that’s probably a good thing. It seems to be a concept all of us feel is important, as it’s gotten considerable attention, in one form or another, here in Smiling Heart. As Jo pointed out earlier, it’s a lot easier to talk about than to practice. That’s the part I am still working on..., a work in progress.

Recently, I realized something else I needed to add to the list. That would be forgiveness. I’m not good at multi-tasking, (what with the brain damage and all), and I figured trying to be tolerant was enough for anyone, but this thing wasn’t going away... this forgiveness thing.

I had a face-to-face confrontation, (both faces being mine), last weekend, over some bad shit that went down almost forty years ago. I had a realization... an epiphany. I love epiphanies, (I'm quoting Reya here). I even wrote a song about one. This particular epiphany was about coming to understand that I needed forgiveness... and not from those I had terribly wronged back in the day. They had forgiven me long ago. I needed to forgive myself.

They say confession is good for the soul. I know the Catholic religion puts a lot of stock in the notion. That may well be, but when you’re done confessing, don’t forget to forgive yourself. It’s amazing how much easier it is to forgive others once that’s done.

I thought it appropriate to wait until Sunday to post this, since it all sounds a bit "preachy". Purely unintentional. It's really more a personal thing, but like I said, the dog ate my blog, and I had to think of something, so... forgive me.

Love from the heart,


  1. Wow...that was worth waiting for :-) I love ephiphanies too! Isn't is odd how you seem to have more of them the older you get?

    Seems like I have light bulbs going off in my head frequently as I grow older.

    I wonder sometimes if you have to 'get over yourself' before you can get over the other things in life that used to seem so important or wrongs and slights we think we've suffered?

    We are all a work in progress I guess. You seem to me to be ahead of the curve.

    Love you man.

  2. Don't let anyone fool you, Rick. We're all a work in progress.

    I can't remember where I read this, but the sentiment has stayed with me for years... "Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past."

    There is not one second of our past that we can change. Give up on that. All we can change is our understanding of the past. With that comes accepting and forgiving the younger, more rash, and less wise people we were back then.

    This is a very beautiful, insightful post, Rick. You've shared something quite intimate with us...something that most of us can relate to. And it doesn't come off as preachy at all...just poetic, as always.

    big hug

  3. I'm with you Linda - the epiphanies make getting old a little more tolerable :-)

    Thanks Dub! I can always count on you.

    and thanks Jo... though I had so hoped for a better past. Guess I'll give up on that :-)

    abiding love to all of you,

  4. This post and comments seemed to call my name this morning. After going through a brutally painful divorce thirteen years ago and years of struggle sharing my two young daughters with the (in my mind) total cause of the collapse of my family, I thought I had finally let go of all of the bitterness and sorrow.

    My ex and I are now friendly (as long as the "cause" is not present), and share important times with our daughters - the eldest just graduated from college last week and we had a wonderful family weekend - the four of us. But in reading Rick's post, I know that I have not totally forgiven- others and myself - and let go, I've just been burying and ignoring for the most part.

    I still grieve that my family did not evolve the way I thought it was supposed to, but I also recognize that it is a bit of a miracle that after everything, Greg and I are able to work together to continue to be a family for our girls.

    Jo, your quote on forgiveness is priceless - thank you!

  5. Beautiful post, great point ... about forgiveness which I believe is divinely bestowed because anytime it arrives in my heart, it's like a miracle! Forgiveness is completely and utterly healing.


    Grieving is such a different process (at least I think so) than holding on to bitterness and regret. Well done, you (Kathylg24)!

    As for tolerance for those who have different takes on "reality" - yeah! Jo is correct we are all works in progress. But everything here and on FB is putting his/her best foot forward. Like I said on FB, I think this is the peace process. I do. It is evolutionary. Wow.

    Rick that quote about the wrinkles? Fabulous.

  6. EveryONE, not everything ... hate almost all typos. Sorry Miss Searcy!

  7. Kathy - et al - I have learned that forgiveness seems to be 'spring loaded' forgive, you tell God you forgive that person and release all of that anger...then one fine day you are walking - not thinking of anything in particular....BOING.....all of the sudden you are SCREAMING at the top of your inside mind about that same thing you forgave YEARS ago. Was it something subliminal that brought it to the foreground....I doubt it...I look around and don't see I call it spring loaded. My prayers end up like 'sorry Lord, me again....ONCE again, I forgive this person....' and later 'Hate to be boring here, but ONCE again I forgive this person....'.....and so on and so on and so on...I think it is part of our human nature wiring. We want to be liked, we want to be accepted, we want to be RIGHT, we want to show THAT OTHER PERSON THAT THEY WERE WRONG......and off we go again! So dont be so hard on yourself and recognize that it takes a lot of time. Also, it just hurts US to walk around growling and spitting....or holding in rage - whichever comes first. I am also glad for this conversation, thanks!

  8. danny apologized on a recent post comment about "hijacking" the thread. as far as i'm concerned, dan the man can hijack, lojack, play black jack, anything but hit the road jack, here or anywhere on or within my circles of community, especially here. which is so like a home i've hoped to find of friends...forever.

    me on the other hand, i know i'm a blabber, so my apology is well placed. sorry for my devotion to step center stage and blah, blah, blah.

    but here goes. at the moment, i can use some of my own medicine i'm about to prescribe but i think anytime anyone will try this or similar techniques about releasing harmful emotions, it will certainly return benefits. reya is a body worker (among other healing arts skills she subtlely can dispense--even with words--oh yeah!). i'm just a student and besides that, this isn't MY technique although i did take a hand at recording it and setting it to some slides. It is called Inner Smile and for Kathy or anyone dealing with emotions which are "pressing" against organs, this little baby is a powerhouse.

    buried deep in this blog, it sits happily as a 20 minute meditation. the first part is just relaxation technique. the real "cycle" through the five primary organs is probably less than 10 minutes.

    i'm going to go do it now because as i've said, my own demons are barking again. i know jo is a practitioner and honestly once i shared it with her months ago, just on the phone, she asked if i could record it somehow so she could practice it more methodically.

    this blog is really named in jo's honor. the five places were named to represent the five leaves of a flower. the picture you see on the blog is a composite i made to represent the traditional chinese medicine approach to healing, overlaid on the five points of flowers, respresenting all things of the sacred five. one of the five places was reserved for her. one for me. i knew we'd find three others but as in the ten thousand things of the Tao, i meant five and beyond.

    Smiling Heart is the approach of healing by incorporating a smile from our hearts as we approach each other and the rest of the world.

    i'm sure you all can tell how much i love jo and i'm so thankful that the rest of you have welcomed me back in to your heart or if you're sort of new to me are opening your heart now and allowing me in.

    again, i apologize for all my yackity yack. some day i hope to be as still as the best smile you'll ever want to have--in your heart

  9. You yack all you want, darling. Seriously. You're the best.

  10. Ohmygoodnessgracious! I leave for the day and look what happens...Rick's post produces one of the most beautiful scenes yet in our tapestry!

    This post and it's comments are so beautiful when woven together into a conversation it seems sacred to read it. I have learned so much today. Thank you.

    Each and every one of you is an artisan of great skill and expression. I am so very happy to know you all, and my life is further enriched with each encounter.

    This tapestry is beginning to glow with golden beautiful!


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