Retribution and Restoration
As we enter the first week of June, we are hopefully celebrating the warm weather, leafing trees, flowers and plants that have come to help us awaken to the wonders of life. This season of soul is that of restoration, transformation and enlightenment for new ways of being and becoming. The restoration comes as we overcome the separation we may have experienced from a difficult winter and failed spring. This season of soul invites us to engage the many opportunities we have for a new creation that’s within and all around us. Restoration becomes the economy of grace.
Restoration is a means of getting back to the original blessing of what’s been diminished or lost. We’ve all experienced separation that’s disconnected us from what we loved. We’ve also experienced failure and disappointment in small and large ways. We’ve lost our tempers, our loves, our civility, our stability, our possessions and even our faith. These separations and failures, however, can be opportunities for transformation and enlightenment. They can help us awaken to a Goding process of grace, forgiveness, love and reconciliation when we choose them.
Retribution on the other hand is a reward and punishment strategy. It’s connected to the original sin of separation that comes from an either/or mindset. It’s a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong depending on who’s doing the judging. It uses the economy of repression and oppression on oneself and others. The Goding process here is punishment, judgement, blame, fragmentation and condemnation when we choose not to listen to the inner promptings of a higher level of Being. There is no healing and reconciliation here, just crime and punishment.
Guilt, fear and anger are on the lower end of the map of the scale of consciousness– see David R. Hawkins M.D., Ph.D.- Power vs. Force – They register at a level of 30, 100 and 150 while grace, forgiveness, love and reconciliation register at a level of 250, 350 and 500 on a scale of 0 to 700. The difference here is stark and contrasting. When we use retribution on ourselves and others, we create alienation and disconnection, fear and aggression. When we use restoration, we create trust, acceptance and lovingkindness. Awakening to this awareness inspires us to change.
As I woke up to the news today, I felt a heaviness, a disorientation, a sadness. As is my custom, I opened my journal and began writing. “The trees rest gently in the stillness of the morning without a breeze to tease. The birds sing to greet the day while fires burn in the city streets and mothers mourn the loss of their children. Welcome to another season of soul filled with darkness and light.” These words brought me to the above quote by Alan Cohen that speaks of that calm center within each of us that waits patiently to be accessed in love rather than proceeding from fear, guilt or anger.
It’s our choice to proceed in thought, word and deed either with retribution or restoration. It’s a choice we make not only for ourselves but for everyone and everything we see, hear, taste, touch, smell, know and don’t know. Thoughts create things and they’re filled with affirmation and condemnation, restoration and retribution, separation and unity, fear and love, despair and joy. The choice in ours every moment of every day and I wonder, if in discovering this inner treasure, we might awaken to the Divine light within that helps us walk continuously in the Way of Love.
- Ponder how the retributive way might help you follow the path of the restorative way. Give attention to your thoughts, words and actions that flow each way.
- Focus on the calm center in the depths of your Being. Cultivate this garden and enter into it daily for the next seven days. Breathe in the fragrance of the flowers, the humus of the soil, the song of the birds. Awaken to the wonder that lives here and let it inform you.
- As you notice your thoughts today, become aware of the retribution and the restoration that shows up. Become aware of the negative and positive energies they generate. Become aware of the differences and how your thoughts, words and deeds respond.