Forgiveness always rests upon the one who offers it, until he sees himself as needing it no more. And thus is he returned to his real function of creating, which his forgiveness offers him again.-- A Course in Miracles, Text (chapter 26, section IV, sentences 7-8)
Rock-N-Roll Book Review Years ago, I met a woman at a psychic fair who was exploring her relationship to a rock band. The band’s members and music had enchanted her for decades. She was drawn to this band in the way that “parrot heads” flock to Jimmy Buffet. Now she has written a book chronicling the personal growth journey that was inspired by her attraction to this band. Her book includes insights from a diverse group of psychics, including myself.
Allow me to present my own review of “I Found All the Parts: Healing the Soul through Rock-N-Roll,” by Laura Faeth. This book, like rock music itself, is fun! Faeth stylistically replicates the enthusiastic tone of a concert with her campy, witty writing, making it a quick, engaging read. The reader is invited to accompany Faeth on her journey of associations and synchronicities as she attempts to understand her devotion to this group.
While there are many books of women who have been mesmerized by various musicians, this is a tell-all book of a different flavor. Faeth does not spare any juicy details; however, the details that she provides are those of her growth process, set in a mix of music venues and spiritual landscapes. It includes an eclectic array of personal insights, music history, and full-bodied seeking. Faeth involves diverse, ancient traditions, ranging from the Tarot to the teachings of the Rosicrucians, in her quest for self-knowledge. At the end of the day, she discovers her own rockin’ self, and the reader is left to appreciate the many similar journeys that he or she has taken towards self-actualization.
I recommend this book as a reminder that we are drawn into certain experiences in order to grow, and by accepting the challenge we enhance our ability to facilitate the growth of others. Thank you, Laura! And, should you, dear reader, decide to venture into the pages of this book, enjoy—it’s a total kick!
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Our senses, awareness, memories, challenges, aspirations, and current predicament are often heightened at this time of year. This season highlights the best and worst of our relationships, decisions, and circumstances.
In the name of peace, let us explore forgiveness. Forgiveness enables us to sustain the relationships that, in turn, sustain us. Forgiveness is one of the most rewarding gifts that we can give since, as we extend it to others, it returns to us.
Why do we have so much to forgive? Human beings have needs. While our social needs require that we play nicely with others, we discover that those with whom we are interacting mirror to us the places in which we carry judgments. We must choose continually between our judgments and our relationships, and this choice creates ripe opportunities to practice forgiveness—forgiveness of ourselves, of others, of our life experiences, of the human condition.
To find a strategy to cultivate satisfying relationships, we must explore the art of forgiveness—a practice that rests on our ability to release our judgments. Instead of playing the right/wrong game, releasing judgments delivers us gently into a state of grace. Forgiveness is a magic salve that unravels grievances, and, thereby, expands our ability to be present. It transports us into a new set of values, expressions, and experiences.
Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, says, “Forgiveness… is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy, not to hold the offense up against the offender. Forgiveness is an expression of love.” Forgiveness is not only an expression of love—in the sense that it is motivated by love—it is also a methodology for increasing one’s capacity for love.
Judgments are derived from our experience. Life experience enables us to cultivate values that guide our decision-making. However, viewing a current situation through a past experience does not clarify it. Our previous experience is unrelated to our current experience except to the extent that we force the present to conform to what we have known. Our demand to understand what is happening in any given situation interferes with our ability to be present with it. We often sacrifice our wonder and curiosity to a fear-based need to be an expert.
If we can open to what is unknown, we can experience the world afresh. We can bring repeating cycles of the past to completion, which will enable us to see our present circumstance clearly. In a state of forgiveness, possibilities open up, miracles happen, and we return to the wonder of being alive. We begin to create consciously what we desire to have in our lives—we move toward fulfillment, rather than moving away from pain. The process of forgiveness is necessary to embracing our dreams.
We can take a lesson from children. When children are upset, they may threaten to withdraw their friendship. However, once apologies are exchanged, play resumes. In general, children do not wield a hurt as a weapon of manipulation against their friends. What is done is done, and the child is free to decide what suits him or her now. In that instant, the world becomes new.
Let us close with a citation from, A Course in Miracles.
The real world is the state of mind in which the only purpose of the world is seen to be forgiveness… no rules are idly set, and no demands are made of anyone or anything to twist and fit into the dream of fear. Instead there is a wish to understand all things created as they really are. And it is recognized that all things must be first forgiven, and then understood. (ACIM, Text (chapter 30, section V, sentences 1-6)).
Heidi Szycher, PhD
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