Photograph by Fredrik Lonnqvist, My Shot – National Geographic
Each year in Thailand, there is a festival in which thousands of lanterns are released into the sky and onto the water. The floating lantern symbolizes letting go of all one’s hatred, anger, and defilements. I believe that these monks are showing us the need to make peace with the past.
A few months ago, I made a decision to practice peace in my thoughts and emotions.
The first few days were incredible… I saw the beauty of life available to me wherever I looked. It was as if I were looking at the world through new eyes. Things were bright and beautiful.
After a couple of weeks, I noticed that deep emotions and troubling thoughts were trying to invade my newfound utopia. At first, I thought I must be doing something wrong… peace is available in every moment, right? Why was I experiencing such turmoil?
What I have come to understand is that in order to be at peace in the present, I had to do some work with my past. I had been trying whole heartedly to delve into the beauty of the present moment, but I couldn’t access it because I kept being pulled back into the past.
I realized that I had to take a deep look at my life. It required taking stock in my thoughts, my actions, my beliefs. I had to be honest, fearless and thorough. I needed to acknowledge situations that had caused me harm or pain. I needed to purge and purify my past.
I put in writing everything that I could think of that was still taking up space in my heart and mind. When I did that, I noticed that my perspective began to shift…. I was starting to take responsibility for my life. I was owning up to my part of each situation. I was looking at the harm I may have caused. I was seeing things in an entirely new light.
Where there had been resentment, anger, hurt… I noticed compassion and forgiveness were taking their place. I have heard it said that forgiveness is the act of letting go of the notion that you can change the past. It is acceptance.
This was not necessarily a pleasant process… it was intense and painful. It was the fire of transformation. For something to transmute and change form – you must apply heat. I was burning away that which no longer served me.
I had let go – Just as the lanterns are lifted to the sky
Life Coach ~ Vedic Astrology ~ Meditation ~ Sanskrit ~ Mantra ~ Yoga
Delray Beach, Florida