On my walk through the woods this morning due east, the sun shone straight into my eyes, blinding me, until the path curved and the low winter sun was hidden behind trees. The path wound alongside a stand of white pine. They grew tall with a dense under story of dead branches at odd angles. Impassable.

We are all born into this world with our personal unconscious memories of unresolved suffering. It doesn’t matter if we understand the specifics or if we believe in past lives and reincarnation. Life will show us. It all happens here and now.

While working as an Intuitive, I was given the opportunity to see the details of the past lives I’ve brought in with me. Each life entailed archetypal trauma that I was unable to, or unwilling to, resolve in the lifetimes when they occurred. These very different lives followed a theme from lifetime to lifetime. Although the circumstances of their occurrence came as a surprise to me, their reality was as intimate and known to me as saliva or blood. I recognized the weight they gave to my considerations, my persuasions, my weaknesses, my fears. Altering this depth of conditioning takes effort and I was assured that the first step is simply acknowledgement.

I understood that asking forgiveness and forgiving is the path to reconciliation and wholeness.  You don’t even need to know the specific details. It is a process that unfolds uniquely for each of us. We are held in the arms of a world that loves us.

The asking forgiveness part was to life itself and any way that I had resisted, given up on, or diminished in some way for myself or another. This is a wide category.  It’s not just about the human community. There is no separation between what we do and the rest of organic life.

To forgive just took the understanding of the necessity to forgive. Simple. The spiritual assistance follows. But forgive who? It is not difficult to forgive an unknown antagonist from some other lifetime totally divorced from anything real in this one. My tendency was to hold a grudge against something more immediately controlling… like culture or religion.

I was assured that this is the process to reconcile karma…that karma is not only the bad, nasty things I’d done to others, but the offenses that had been done to me that I had been unable to forgive.

Even with a detailed map I could feel the old familiar weight. It still puzzled me.  And then one day in conversation with a friend the subject of forgiveness came up. The topic under discussion was ex-husbands. My friend was saying that she’d accomplished resolution of the anger, forgiven any wounds and understood their mutuality, done the work, but that the last step for her was forgiving herself…… Bingo.

Her words reverberated through me with absolute clarity. Like the low sun in the winter sky, I’d been blinded. The answer lay in forgiving myself…. for carrying the weight of my own suffering for so long.

I see now that there is a difference between bearing witness to suffering and carrying it as a personal, empathetic unconscious weight.  When we empathetically reinforce our own personal wounds with each other, we stay in a human loop, reinforcing the wound of the world.

It’s not that much of a stretch then, to understand that when we personally heal, when we do the deep work, the brave work on ourselves… the world reciprocally heals.

Understanding and becoming the difference between empathy and compassion, we are free then to see and respond to the world, and our own life, as it presents itself.  No one can do this for us, despite our love of “saviors and heroes”. Our saviors and heroes can inspire us though, to make the journey, as they have, alone, into the mountain of our being. And there we find our heart, and we find that it is the heart of the world. 

The world is fragile right now. We all know this, but we are not helpless. For each of us has lived forever.

I have always been.

Through my own choice I have created stories that have kept me in time.

But I have always been.

I am

I am in relationship with All that Is….

Original art © J.H. White 2008


6 responses

  1. I used to think it was simply the “stuff of being human”…. a rather myopic view. Now I understand that in healing myself, that this “work in progress” as you say, that takes so much raw courage, contributes reciprocally to the healing of the world…to the balancing of everything. Thanks for commenting, Patricia.


  2. “The answer lay in forgiving myself…. for carrying the weight of my own suffering for so long.”


    that says so much.

    It’s hard to let go of the blame

    the guilt

    in tragedies


    so hard

    to accept



  3. Wow. This is one powerful, thoughtful, deeply textured oeuvre. I will need to sit with this wisdom and eloquence for awhile to allow for the deeper response your work deserves, inspires. In the meantime, thank you so much for your generosity, tenacity and considerable effort in doing the work and sharing the wisdom, and redemption, born therefrom. You have helped me, and I’m grateful. xo


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