The unholy monster. Do you know that one in yourself? Have you seen it in another? I'm pointing to the deep one. The dark one. The monster that wants to hurt another, that wants maim, the one that abuses children and then makes the child lie about it. These ones. The ones that murder.
Last spring I was on retreat with Sharon Landrith and she taught us the Hawaiian practice of Hoʻoponopono. The practice is simple. You invite a person to appear before you, and to that person you say
Please forgive me.
I love you.
That is it. You just say this over and over, directing it to the person's eyes. There is nothing more you have to do, the words themselves open the healing. They open the healing because they are True. The mind will fight this, so don't use it. Just use the words and look into the other's eyes.
I invited a person to appear. Straight away my great-grandfather was there. I never knew him in real life. He stood in the doorway of my grandmother's bedroom, his hand on the doorknob, opening it. He was going in to rape her, as he did every night of her childhood. Rape her and then punish her by taking way the blankets for the night if she did something "wrong". This started when she was 4 or 5 and lasted until the eve of her wedding day, the day she turned 18. The scene stood still.
I looked at his face and began to say the words.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
The mind will scream here and say no. It will say go to the child. In the real life moment I go to the child, I stop the man. In this practice of forgiveness I stay with the man. I trusted my teacher Sharon, so I stayed with this man and said the words.
My heart breaks watching the scene in my mind as I write. He rippled instantly from an adult body down into a little boy body, maybe 6 years old. I kept saying the words. He couldn't look at me. I said the words and as I did I looked at him. My heart could see. He was a little boy, with the devastatingly undefended heart of a young child. You know this heart if you take a moment to open to it.
This little boy knew everything that he had done to his daughter, knew it with the pure heart of a little boy. It shattered me. I cried and cried, somehow experiencing this burning ground through and with my grandfather. The pain of opening to every moment of the transgression, the years of it. The violence of it. He experienced it all, his heart relived it all from the position of utter feeling and zero defense.
It is the way of it, it is what must happen.
I witnessed perpetrators grief. The burning grief, the burning ground that every perpetrator will go through on the soul's journey. I cannot describe the depth of the gift I received in experiencing this utter burning grief through him.
By the end of that day with my grandfather he would sit with me, but he did not belief that he was worth the food I offered him. He had kept himself from entering life. Somehow I knew that he had kept himself out of reincarnation since he died because he could not risk that he would hurt again. He would keep himself from creation for eternity rather than risk hurting someone again.
I sat with him throughout that summer. In the fall I was on another retreat, this time with Adyashanti. A woman who had been sexually abused by her father stood up one evening, shaking and almost unable to bear being in her skin. She stood in front of Adayahsnti and spoke her story, how it impacted her every day of her life.
Adyashinti honored her courage the next day with a gift. As I watched him give her this gift something broke free in me and I cried. I understood something beyond words, beyond concept. I went to my little boy grandfather (by now he was 12 or 13) and told him that he could go back in. Go back into life. I knew that he was the exact person to go back into life, because now he is the stopper. What he lived though, what he did, and the absolute seeing of what he did equipped him to go back into life and stop the pattern. Stop the transmission of abuse.
I barely told him this and he jumped into the world. I cry writing this. I watched him completely grasp the truth of what I told him. And then NOTHING could stop him from going in and stopping it. He jumped without a backward look and no hesitation. Like a marine jumping from a plane into an utterly unknown jungle. Every cell of his being was ready for ANYTHING that he incarnated into. I wish I could put this experience directly into you so you could feel the power.
A bodhisattva was born. My heart shakes with the power and beauty.
That same night my mother was in her garden. He came to her, whole. She had never seen him whole before. He smiled at her with peace. She had only seen horrible smiles from him in life. Then he was gone.
I share this with you because I saw it. Because it makes my heart shake. And because I think we turn away from the unholy monsters too much.