What We Can Learn About Forgiveness From Paula Deen?

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Let’s imagine who she used to be was someone operating at a lower vibration or consciousness than who she is now. And now, although she still must do a lot of self work, she is operating at a higher consciousness than in the past. Her heart has changed. So she has asked for forgiveness, but those two Paula Deens must merge. It’s like rearranging a room when new furniture arrives and yet the old furniture hasn’t been picked up or discarded. Chaos ensues until all of the rearranging and discarding and arrangement of the new is in place.

This public forgiveness Deen is seeking will not happen overnight, because the pain and hurt she has caused—the old furniture she has collected and allowed to get dusty—was not created overnight either.

In a way Deen’s original confession opened the spiritual door for the chaos and thus, the healing. But we have seen that the celebrity chef was startled and unprepared to be dumped and rejected. Aren’t we generally unprepared for such backlashes when we are sincerely apologetic? Yet, the healing has begun!

Unfortunately for those of us watching, the media covers the sensational and what will fit into a tiny, tiny sound bite. We are told of the racial epithet uttered years ago, but we are left to dig through our own spirits for the deeper meaning.

Let this be a cautionary tale for us all. For one, when you ask for forgiveness, you are asking God to align the old you with the new you. In other words, to heal everything that separates the old you from the person you are trying to be today. Expect some chaos! Don’t assume you will be immediately forgiven.


Second, asking to be healed may mean the release of a lot of people and circumstances you see as good, but that may actually not at all support your divine healing. Deen’s sponsors have in the past supported this person who was not really the Southern “mama” who comforted everyone with her actions and her food. In some ways, they helped create that false image, the image that does not support her higher self. And they were comfortable doing it as long as it supported their bottom line: profit.

Third, forgiveness is a process. Healing takes time, especially when we are dealing with so many elements. In this case the issue of racial healing alone is a mammoth request. When you add in the media, corporate sponsors, money—and so forth—you have a situation that will take time to resolve. When we ask for forgiveness, we may be dealing with family dynamics and history, or with corporate culture, or with race—in addition to our personal act of wrongdoing. But our request for healing includes coming to an understanding of what each of these elements has to do with our spiritual growth. Did we add to the lower vibration of negative images? Did we give into impulses or what has been historically comfortable for us, not pushing ourselves to go against the grain, which might mean going against loved ones or a culture?

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Patrice Gaines
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