What does the word “redemption” imply? Is it salvation through the sacrifices of a redeemer? Is it forgiveness for ourselves and for others? What is this act of grace? To many, the crucifixion of Jesus symbolizes the purging of sins, past and present, and, therefore, salvation. But is this taking spiritual responsibility for ourselves, or is it justification for future behaviors, believing if we place our faith in an external redeemer we shall be saved?
We all make mistakes. Who has not created suffering to another and to oneself by inexcusable actions or malicious words? It seems to be humans’ second nature. The concept of “cause and effect” is for every cause we make, which includes our thoughts and intentions, there is an equal effect. If we judge another, we shall be judged just as harshly, if not more so. Should we participate in an act that creates bodily harm to any human or animal, in some manner it shall be brought back onto us. How the effect manifests varies. It does not always present in an equal fashion. However, some way….some how, whether it be mental anguish, physical discomfort or a myriad of unfortunate events in our lives, it will manifest.
That said, is it fair to shift the burden and responsibility onto another to suffer the consequences of our causes? We all know someone in our lives who fulfills that role. Someone we shift our shame to in order to justify our actions. Jesus shed his blood for us sinners, but was it to save us, or was it to symbolize that through acceptance, forgiveness and following a doctrine that teaches us to live with integrity, righteousness, responsibility and love, we can be our own redeemers.
It does not matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu or of any other school of thought, we all seek to be liberated from our suffering. This is particularly true after we have undergone a traumatic event or an illness or in the natural, yet complicated, process of aging. When we are faced with mortality, our own or another’s, past ill wills or actions we buried into our subconscious and chosen to forget begin to resurface. We feel shame for an action, word, intent or how we made someone feel. It eats at the very pit of our stomach. “How could I have done that,” is the question we so painfully pose to ourselves. The more it surfaces….the more we feel the effect of a cause made. So how do we make peace with ourselves? How do we release this suffering?
Meditation, reflection, contemplation brings us to that sacred space within that is so often referred to as the “Christ Consciousness,” which may be the symbolism of the Cross upon which Christ died. It is through him that we are redeemed, but not as an external savior, rather as the archetype of that which we ourselves possess. Meditation connects us to that energy. Does it conjure up uncomfortable, shameful and terrifying memories and emotions? You bet! Do we feel remorseful? No question. What do we do with it? Do we run, hide, confront?
“We can be redeemed only to the extent to which we see ourselves.” (Martin Buber) As painful memories resurface, we have the opportunity to understand our own identity in relation to the suffering. A Christian doctrine speaks to, “we come to know who we are in Christ.” Yes, we do. The Christ Consciousness within us connects to our identity, (spiritual and physical) and, therefore, to those areas of our life where we have not lived in integrity and love allowing us the opportunity to seek redemption. How? The answer is not to bury it further into our subconscious out of fear of facing ourselves, but rather to look at ourselves…see our reflection in the mirror of our consciousness finding acceptance and responsibility, purging ourselves, asking forgiveness and liberation. Possible affirmations we could say could be “I ask to be forgiven and to find redemption for any suffering I may have caused another.” Or, you may find that as you delve into the refrigerator of your subconscious, you need to forgive someone else. “I forgive so and so (fill in the blank) for any suffering they may have caused me and may they find redemption and love in their lives.”
Redemption is not a ‘bad’ word or a presumptuous word. It is a noun that speaks to forgiveness for ourselves and others for actions of ill will committed. It speaks to regaining possession of our future by truly being repentant and clearing away negative effects of causes made, living out our lives with compassion, honor and integrity for ourselves and towards others. We can chant mantras; we can meditate; we can pray; we can ask. It matters not, but what does matter is taking responsibility for own spirituality and actions and sincerely desiring clearing of all karma.
Debbie Peluso obtained her Bachelors degree from the University of Metaphysics in association with the University of Sedona in Arizona. She is a certified practitioner in Meditation, metaphysical/spiritual counseling, and is a working astrologer and co-owner of Zion Yoga Studio in the Washington, D.C. area. Debbie is also a facilitator of and teaches the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.