Ho, Ho, Ho, give me your dough!
Before long we’ll be running through store aisles and cruising online past midnight for "perfect gifts" for loved ones. Merchants will try to convince us to also buy items for ourselves. Are we complicit to copping to the rationale "We're in a well-deserved shopping mood and deserve to be spoiled"? The season of giving has been replaced by the season of spending. Retailers will do whatever it takes to get their hungry hands on our open wallets.
So, why do we comply?
What if we placed a higher value on preserving the genuine spirit of the holiday? Why do we so easily opt for the quick sting of credit card bills and candy cane cheesecakes?
What's going on here?
Instead of buying stuff, what if we launch a spiritually-advanced store where virtual experiences lift and expand The Self?
What would you name your storefront? What would be stocked on the shelves? How would your product benefit the hearts and souls of all who enter?
My dream is to open “The Forgiveness Outlet.” All are welcome. No budgetary discrimination. This product even comes with a Happiness Guarantee stating: “Refunds are issued to customers who do not feel lighter and at ease after using a Forgiveness Experience.”
Read the item descriptions, then make a purchase based on current needs. After checkout, walk over to the virtual reality booth and input your current need code onto the screen. Upon processing, put on the virtual reality goggles and enter your pre-selected virtual world of forgiveness. You will be guided to participate in one of six optional simulations. Regardless of simulation choice, you are destined to become the hero protagonist in the forgiveness story.
Choose a forgiveness experience.
1. Worn-out wounds
The hero treks through the tangled and muddy Haunted Hangout jungle. Unknown ambushers linger in the shadows, intent to tangle bare feet and hoist their victim up in the trees. Your tired and bruised heart dangles on a fragile branch about to break and fall to the ground.
To rescue your bruised heart, navigate through hidden traps in the Haunted Hangout, and escape your distorted past to claim your awaiting jewel heart .
2. Fresh wounds
The hero heads straight to the Emergency Room for life-saving open-heart surgery. To move the heart from slime to shine, the Trust Team asks you to identify the root cause of your hurt. The Trust Team proceeds to accompany you to take measured steps to heal the wound. The steps may include taking responsibility and removing blame; letting go of resentments and anger; being kind rather than "right"; forgetting the past, and finally focusing on love not judgment.
To openly talk about your hurt to your Trust Team, complete the procedure according to vetted and well-worn steps to forgiveness, and finally to focus on the goal of thriving and seeing improvement right away in quality of life.
The hero buys a ticket to the Forgiveness Fun House where twisted mirrors, uneven floors and unpredictable attractions startle and shatter equilibrium. Which rooms are safe to enter? One of the rooms has a desk with a Forgiveness Contract the hero must sign to obtain the reward of inner peace. The contract requires one to figure out exactly how they feel about what has happened - to discuss the situation and what is not OK about it with people they trust - and commit to do whatever it takes to feel better, change the story and choose peace.
To locate safe rooms with sufficient capacity to stabilize the heart and spirit.
4. Other forgiveness
The hero is trapped in the basement with the person they haven't yet forgiven. They are given 48 hours to find the concealed Elements of Healing or die of broken hearts. The Healing Elements to be uncovered include: understanding - patience - curiosity - perspective - non-judgment - personal power - and kindness
To choose 3 Necessary Healing Elements to survive, and then escape the basement with a heart fulfilled and full of love.
5. Family wounds
You and your family is stuck on a roller coaster that whooshes on high speeds, twists and turns in multiple and unpredictable directions, halts for a few seconds at perilous heights, then rapidly plunges to low points.
To climb each track of the roller coaster as a group, then lead family members through the fearsome ride using trust, courage and honesty. The only way to get the ride to stop is to reach an agreement to forgive the wounds and hope for health, love and peace.
6. Global wounds
You discover a deadly disease called the Vengeance Virus in the Lab of Mistrust. The viral virus has slipped out of the lab and is uncontrollably spreading worldwide. Global destruction is imminent. Before the world collapses under the spell of hatred, instructions include tracking down and using the Super Tools: Forgive and be forgiven - set aside differences - move beyond grievances and hurts - and start afresh.
To create an antidote with the Super Tools to release the virus and open hearts across the globe.
Your virtual experience has ended. The shop keeper gives you tokens of forgiveness for every successful mission you complete. How many tokens did you earn today?
As you walk out of the booth you notice how you feel. Forgiveness may feel like this:
Freeing your mind to focus on what matters most
Joy in your spirit
Lifted in your heart
Moving forward in your life
Trusting yourself to be brave
Thriving from a place of peace
Uncovering a wound and healing it with love and openness
Forgiveness is truly the ultimate gift for you and the world! Pass it on!