Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Our Authentic Heart

Margot Sluytman with Glen Flett, the man who killed her father

Margot Sluytman when she talks about the authenticity of heart, it deeply resonates with me in many ways. It releases me from obligation and allows me to exercise my free will.

I believe the Creator gives us this great gift and in turn we can demonstrate and reflect authenticity of heart in our own lives by letting go, and actualizing the slogan, live and let live. This is such an important lesson I learned when I got into my own recovery from the effects of addiction.

Working professionally in the correctional field and as a volunteer, I met several incarcerated individuals that were serving life long sentences for murder and became close to some of them on the level playing field of recovery from addiction.

 I can't imagine what it would be like to ever experience such a violent crime against someone I loved like Margot Sluytman did when Glen Flett shot her father Theodore. What I can say is that I do know after having met those who have perpetrated this crime, it's given me some insight, not too many people experience.

Having the knowledge that a fellow human being has taken another person's life, we choose to do one of two things I think. We either hold on to our resentment and even hate, or we face the reality of what's happened, when coming to grips with whatever the situation. I strongly agree with Margot Sluytman when she says all have to follow our discerning authentic heart in deciding whether to react or respond. Not unlike the prisoner, we are left with coming to reconciliation with ourselves and what we have done.

We can sit in judgement of how Margot Sluytman and others like her respond, or we can choose to look at this reality regardless of how uncomfortable it is.

Years ago I read the non-fiction and very powerful book Dead Man Walking, about Sister Helen Prejean and her friendship with Elmo Patrick Sonnier, who was on Death Row, in Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola. As well, I saw the fictional depiction of the book based on Sister Prejean  and the death row prisoner Matthew Poncelett.

 Both the book and the movie that was reviewed by the late Rodger Ebert who said it enables "thinking beyond the boundaries of what is comfortable."

 We can sit in judgement of how Margot Sluytman and others like her respond, or we can choose to look at  reality regardless of how uncomfortable it is. Whatever we choose we ultimately have to find reconciliation with what we do with our authentic heart.

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