The break. The misunderstandings. The wounding. The forgiveness. The freedom.

I had been staying at the Temple of the Universe, a temple that Michael Singer, author of Untethered Soul, started 45 years ago. My fingers fumbled for my cell phone in my pocket. 6:15am. Grateful for the lighting along the path I reached the simple, wooden temple door and entered. Morning chanting started at 6:30.

In the dim light, I found a place to sit on the floor, arranged 2 cushions under me and closed my eyes. My attention went to the sore dryness under my lids. The tension in my forehead weighed heavy.

My head was in turmoil and my heart was troubled.

When relationships break up and the heart is hurting, the ground for misunderstandings and assumptions is very fertile. Such was what happened when I separated and left New Zealand. Things turned very dark. I tried to right the situation but that only made it worse. I was contemplating taking further action with legal authorities, even though I knew this would make things even bleaker, but I couldn’t see what else to do.

“What do I do? How do I handle this horrible situation with my ex-partner?” I squeezed my eyes and prayed as the chanting began.

The answer was immediate. I heard these words in my head.

“Do nothing. You don’t need to reply to another email. You don’t need to get involved any further.”

On one hand this answer made sense because my getting involved was making it worse. But…

I turned my attention back to the voice and said, “That’s all fine to ‘do nothing’, but what about protection?” In the darkness of the situation, I was experiencing, what I called, emotional abuse and had blocked all means of communication.

I was then shown an image of Jesus on the cross being crucified. To me, Jesus was one of the many enlightened beings who walked this planet and I didn’t often have this image of him come to mind but that morning I did.

I thought about the message Jesus shared which was all about love and transforming the human spirit. Then when people began to turn their backs on him, he continued his message of love and transformation, and when people made up stories and slandered him, he kept walking his talk, and when people betrayed him he still continued, and when he was being killed, it was recorded that he said, “Father, please forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

He didn’t protect himself!

Warm tears rolled down my cheeks. My breath began to catch as sobs were coming faster. All I could think of was the courage it must have taken Jesus to live as he did, to keep walking, talking and loving even when people threatened him, even when they started to hate him, even when they hurled stones at him, and even when he knew they would kill him.

Then I recalled a teaching from Mickey (as Michael Singer prefers to be called) the day before. Mickey said something like (me paraphrasing here), “If you understand these two things, you will get the truth of you being here on this planet earth: firstly, you are a tiny speck among the billions of galaxies in the universe and if you think what you are about to say or do is really really important then think again. And the second thing is that you will die. The statistics are pretty clear on this one.”

My thoughts came back to myself and what I had been experiencing and for the first time I realized, “I am going to die one day and how do I want to spend this time between this moment and that moment? Protecting myself?! Not in my life! I don’t need to protect myself! Not now. Not ever.”

Someone shared with me a phrase Byron Katie had said, “Protection is the first act of war.” And I could see that.

As soon as I got back to my camper I unblocked communications from my ex-partner. It no longer mattered to me what he said or did, or anyone else. Then I called him and forgave him – everything. And I apologized for all actions I did intentionally, unintentionally, in this lifetime and in any other lifetime, that caused him any pain or suffering.

We ended our call. I sat there not moving. Everything was still. Then a bird chirped outside and I smiled. The fighting was over. All I could feel was love.

I blinked. My lids were no longer dry. My eyes felt clear. My brow was warm and relaxed. My heart felt light and wide open.

I was free.