As I prepared for the birth of my first child over forty years ago, one of the things I knew I needed to deal with was my long-standing conflict with my parents. Ever since my husband, Dean Evenson, and I had been living together and growing our hair out and expressing our controversial ideas against war and for civil rights issues, we had an uncomfortable relationship with my parents. Since I had begun to see the world differently from my parents and develop a more free spirited lifestyle in keeping with my true nature, we had not been able to see eye to eye and I had felt terribly judged by them. It hurt me deeply. As I approached my own parenthood, I decided to thoughtfully look at what was going on.
One day, I had the startling realization that I had equally strong judgments about my parents as they did of me. I judged their judgments, their prejudices, their conservatism, their materialism, and their affluent lifestyle. It occurred to me, on the eve of my becoming a mother, that I couldn’t change them, but I could change myself. I could let go of my judgments and love them unconditionally. With some effort, but also with a great feeling of relief I did just that. I let the love return that I had felt in my earlier years, and I just appreciated my parents as who they are, not who I thought they should be. Interestingly, within a few weeks, we had the first real communication in years. I hadn’t sent them a letter or called to announce my change of heart, but somehow, it had gotten through, and we renewed our family ties.
Years later I took a workshop that introduced the idea of ‘Changing Your Telepathic Agreement’ with someone you are in conflict with. The way it works is this – you bring that person into your consciousness and in a meditative state you speak to their ‘higher self’. At the beginning, you let them have it. In other words, you say all the things that are bothering you about that person, words that you might not want to say in person but what you are truly feeling. By the end of the first session you shift and begin to say things like ‘but I understand how you may have become this way’…or ‘I know you are trying to change.’ You do the meditation day after day with each day having less of the first part (‘you make me mad, you hurt me’) and more of the second part (‘we are getting closer to understanding, I forgive, etc.). You can also create a forgiveness mantra and sing it to yourself. It could be something simple like ‘I forgive you and you forgive me.’ Give it a melody and sing it whenever the person comes to mind. If you do this practice with conviction and repetition, you will find that soon, your projection of the conflict is changing and no matter how much they may have harmed you, when you think of that person, your thoughts won’t carry as much charge, and eventually you will find a peaceful resolution of the conflict with them. In any event, you will have more inner peace and isn’t that what forgiveness is all about?