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The Art of Atonement; Making Amends

By October 29, 2012 Uncategorized


I heard a story on NPR’s Fresh Air last week based on an article in the New Yorker, titled, Atonement. It involved a story of a US Marine who shot and killed several innocent people caught in an ambush in Iraq. Learning the survivors of the incident had moved to California, not far from where he lived, he made an effort to contact and eventually meet the surviving members to make amends. Making amends begins with an apology to others, but includes an apology to yourself. More than just seeking forgiveness, making amends is an exercise in seeking inner peace. Making amends is one of the hallmarks of the AA program, and in fact, a hallmark of most addiction and recovery programs. Atonement is also the hallmark of a great many religions. As one of my Jewish friends described to me, “Atonement is returning to the SOURCE… at-one-ment., but you can only do this once you have cleansed through the shower of forgiveness.”
Stress Tip for The Day:
Is there someone whom you need to make amends? Now is the time. One of the best ways to start the process is to write a letter (even if you never mail it). Peace on earth first begins with making peace with yourself. Even if the person with whom you wish to reach out to is out of reach, begin with a letter and trust that the message will be delivered heart to heart. Life is short. The time is now. Time to enter the shower of forgiveness.
Links and Books of Note:
Here is the link to the Fresh Air interview…
PS. Last night I went to see the movie Cloud Atlas. It’s about the topic of reincarnation, with a subtext that until we work toward resolutions, we keep spinning our wheels on the wheel of life. I highly recommend the movie!
Quotes of the Day:
“I want to try making things right because picking up the pieces is way better than leaving them the way they are.”— Simone Elkeless
“Making amends with some people just for the sake of it is a sign of maturity.” — Anonymous
Photo of the Day:
Today’s photo of the day was taken in Death Valley. I took this photo in the early morning light, reflected in the stillness of dawn.  It seems to fit the theme of today’s blog. Enjoy!
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 12 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (7e) and the newly released, A Beautiful World: The Earth Song Journals. He can be reached through his website: www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.
Brian Luke Seaward

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