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Alex Douglas-Kane shares her experiences and understanding of Discover Nature Awareness

Monday, 17 January 2011

Forgiveness: The Little Soul and The Sun: A Children's Parable by Neale Donald Walsch.

While attending a counselling course at the end of last year we were asked to write about our feelings for a favourite book. This book came straight into my mind, it's a story I really like and I thought that I would share this with you, it is personal in places but hey, trust, risk and share.

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This book is about a little soul who wanted to know what it means to be forgiveness while another soul chose to become the darkness, so that the first little soul could understand what it meant to be forgiveness. The story starts with the words “Once upon no time, there was a little Soul who said to God, "I know who I am." And God said, "That's wonderful! Who are you?"

What a great question: ‘Who are you’, indeed who am I? I really love this story.

Why?

Well when I read this story it brings up feelings of joy and at the end it nearly always leaves me with intense feelings deep inside and I feel like I want to cry and sometimes do. This story excites me, and lights me up inside when I think about it, it feels like the truth, my truth.

I would like to share with you some of these feelings that it stirs up inside me. For a very long time now I never believed in people, let alone in a creator. I grew up in Belfast, surrounded by religious hatred and I served in the Army for 22 years, having seen service in Northern Ireland, the first Gulf war and Bosnia. I have seen what people are really capable of, the hatred they show towards their fellow human beings, is at times indescribable. I disliked people for a long time, yes I got on with them but I would not trust them. In my world people were not to be trusted. Since childhood I have found peace in Nature, for me Nature is like a world where love exists without conditions.

While serving in Bosnia I had an experience which caused me to return to the UK and soon afterwards I found what I can only describe as my ‘Higher Power’. This discovery came with many challenges and unanswered questions, questions which I felt the need to seek the answers to. I spent a lot of time reflecting on many things in my life and still do, looking at why I think and behave in the way that I do.

Then one day in the early part of my spiritual growth I discovered ‘Conversations with God’, written by Neale Donald Walsh. This book took me a very long time to read - years in fact. However, when I came across the children’s version called the ‘Little Soul and the Sun’, I have to tell you, I found that it brought joy to my heart and tears to my eyes. As a child I never wanted to be here - I was always crying and telling my mum that I “want to go home”. Home to me I recently discovered, is what others know as heaven. I can’t call it heaven, because it reminds me of what certain people do in the name of it.

As a child the very people who were there to protect me, could not. When I needed their protection and understanding they would not always believe the child when the child spoke, but they would force their faith down the child’s throat - my throat, of course these are only words after all, but it’s the feelings that I attached to these words that impacted on my life and it’s my awareness of myself now, that helps me to remove these barriers to my life, which has come about through the discovery of my creator and this story allows me to become that innocent child once again and to see my world in a completely different way.

“Who are you said God? I'm the Light replied the Little Soul!" God smiled a big smile. "That's right!" God exclaimed. "You are the Light."

When I read these words they help me to understand my place in the world, interestingly I now believe that inside every person there is a light is waiting to get out. When I say this to other people I am challenged with the words ‘so do you believe the same is true for paedophiles or rapists?’ I gave that question a lot of thought, how did I feel about these people? At first I did not know how to answer it, and there was a time I agreed with them - so why would I believe differently now?

Well, there’s a part of me that wants to be accepted for who I am, this is difficult to achieve; mainly because I tend not to conform to what we perceive as the norm. Over the years I learnt that if I can accept others I might be more able to accept myself, then I found out that it is not really about others liking me, it’s more about - can I like myself, and can I accept myself for who I really am?

God said. "Since you cannot see yourself as the Light when you are in the Light, we'll surround you with darkness." "What's darkness?" the Little Soul asked. God replied, "It is that which you are not." "Will I be afraid of the dark?" cried the Little Soul. "Only if you choose to be," God answered. "There is nothing, really, to be afraid of, unless you decide that there is."

In the early days of exploring my spiritually, I found this book to be a useful tool in helping me to understand myself. I decided to invite my shadow self to help me in this process of self discovery. I asked my shadow self not to walk in front or to even walk behind me but to walk by my side and to show me who I am by exploring my dark side.

I found this an interesting way of doing things, because it meant that I had to take responsibility for myself and not blame others for the pain I was feeling, yes others were responsible for their actions but I chose to be in pain, my feelings of hatred and anger are not affecting them.

In the book there is another soul that chooses to come back to earth as the darkness to help teach the little soul what it means to be forgiveness, however this soul had one condition, which was that the little soul should not let this soul forget where it came from otherwise it would become consumed by the darkness.

What if this really is true? What if we are all here to teach each other about who we truly are? Then there has to be darkness, one cannot exist without the other, to know left is to know right, up goes with down, can we truly know good without bad, man surely cannot exist without woman? And having discovered my light through my darkness, I feel this must be true and I am still learning to see the beauty in ugly. I have seen so many souls consumed by their darkness.

I felt confused by this at first.

"And so," God concluded, "when you are surrounded with darkness, do not shake your fist and raise your voice and curse the darkness. Rather be a Light unto the darkness, and don't be mad about it. Then you will know Who You Really Are, and all others will know, too. Let your Light shine so that everyone will know how special you are!"

I try to be that light, at times its hard work, only because I make it that way. I felt a new confidence in myself and I have become much more open and feel comfortable with who I am. I have come to recognise that I cannot hold one group of people responsible for what one person did or even for how I feel. Now, I am at peace with this group and surprise, surprise they are no different from me, they too have feelings.

I am a very slow reader perhaps because I didn’t learn to read until I was twelve, so I do not read that often and I never once thought that I would find a book that could take me on such journey of self-discovery as this book did. Perhaps it is because it is aimed at children and as such takes a different approach, which allows me to engage with it in that way. Certainly when I was asked the question “think of a book to write about your feelings to” there was no time delay in my head, it was without doubt the only book to write about. As I said it brings me joy and I am sure I could write much more than I have and even as I write this I feel excited inside. I have even become emotional without even knowing why - why would that happen? Because the feelings it stirs inside are my feelings of my truth, here I am writing about my feelings - opening myself up for others to see who I am. Why would I do that when I have protected myself for so long - perhaps it is because I feel I can now trust and forgive?

Forgiveness, I am still working with it, I have found that the only limitation in my life is, ME. Why would there not be a light trying to find its way out of others, when I can feel my light looking for its way out and to be who I truly am. All I have to do is feel the forgiveness for myself and others, as we are all special.

"I know what I want to be, I know what I want to be!" the Little Soul announced with great excitement. "I want to be the part of special called 'forgiving'. Isn't it special to be forgiving?" "Oh, yes," God assured the Little Soul. "That is very special”.

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