Like many, I was saddened to learn of the passing of Wayne Dyer; a man who wrote many self-help books, appeared on hundreds of television shows and raised over 250 million dollars for public television through his lectures and presentations. But he was more than that to me. His books were literally life-changing and he was a source of quiet mentoring.
I was fortunate to see Wayne Dyer live for several presentations. I also spent a week with my family in Maui celebrating my 65th birthday – and my unexpected, unplanned, surprise gift was the opportunity to swim laps in the resort pool with him four mornings in a row. We greeted each other with a soft “Good morning” and respected the meditation that such silent early morning swims can create. On the fourth day, he asked me my name and, later, I found several of his books and CDs in a bag hanging on my doorknob.
Wayne Dyer wrote numerous books that inspired and motivated me, but it was Excuses Be Gone that really touched my soul and nudged me to accept and forgive my mother. It took me five years to understand that until I forgave and accepted the terms of my childhood, I couldn’t be the woman I wanted to be, and that the uneven relationship I had with her helped create the woman I am today.
Like many other spiritual teachers, Dr. Dyer subscribed to the theory that we must consciously “choose” our parents in order to truly experience all that we are meant to learn this time around and how to give back to others. I have come to wholeheartedly agree. I believe each of us comes here with a purpose; to teach, to learn, to sooth and comfort, to heal or to teach others how to heal.
What is the lesson or teaching for this earth cycle? Until we learn to forgive – the most important life lesson – we will never know our purpose. Until we learn to first forgive ourselves, we will never be able to move forward.
Forgiving yourself does not come easily, nor quickly, but it can happen. And when you experience true forgiveness, the ego begins to quiet a bit and you begin to understand the importance of forgiving others.
Rest in peace Wayne Dyer. Thank you for all that you shared. Know that there will be many of us who will continue to practice the art of meditation – and forgiveness – throughout our time on this earth.
Editor’s Note: In celebration of our first anniversary, 360Women is republishing a few of our favorite and/or most popular blogs from the past year; posts that you may have missed the first time around. This one was first published on September 3, 2015.