In this, our creative edition of Moonshine Ink, I would like to share some powerful creative tools which are inside each and every single one of us, available whenever we want or need them. All we have to do is be willing to pick them up.
Prayer is creative – unique to each person – and has the power to change our lives. It can be a request for strength, for help, for miracles big and small, or simply for a conversation with a higher power.
Mediation is the stillness in which we can connect to our innermost selves and find our truth. In that stillness we can find intuitive answers to our problems and know the right actions to take. It is the break we need from our ego-driven desires and power struggles.
Visualization is seeing our hearts’ desire and putting the energy of positive thinking to work in the universe.
Many people don’t have faith in a higher power and this may deter them from using these creative tools. I asked Immaculee Ilibagiza, author of ‘Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust’ how these people can access the strength she found.
‘We all know love. When you connect with another Human Being – that is love. That power is love. Love is God.’
In the spring of 1994, Immaculee Ilibagiza spent 91 days hiding in a four by three foot tile bathroom with seven other women while they were hunted by savage killers. Her country went mad with fear and racism and the Hutus were determined to kill every last Tutsi in Rwanda lest the Tutsi take over control of the country. Her friends and neighbors turned against her, burned her home to the ground and mercilessly butchered her family – her mother, her father and two of her three brothers. While she hid she lived on table scraps and her faith in God. The only weapons she had against the fear, rage and hopelessness that tormented her every waking moment were prayer, meditation and visualization.
Immaculee struggled with violent hatred until it felt like it would consume her. She wanted to spring from that bathroom, machete in hand, and rage against the killers who had destroyed the life she knew. She says she learned hatred can only be fought with love. ‘I had to find a way to get the hatred from my heart, but that was beyond me. I turned to God and asked Him to help, and He did. He touched my heart and taught me how to forgive those I hated.’
People’s minds may be sick, but their souls are not evil. She prayed for the murderers, that they would see the evil of their ways and that they would be forgiven and she, herself, was transformed. (Try praying for someone towards whom you feel hatred, every day, for two weeks. Pray that they receive the peace you want and the things you desire. See what happens.)
I asked Immaculee ‘How does one forgive such atrocities? How can one really take it to heart?’ Realize that you need to forgive for your own inner peace, she said. Surrender and humbly ask God for help and be willing to forgive. Those are three very powerful steps that many may recognize as honesty, open-mindedness and willingness. They are a great start to a more peaceful existence.
Now, most of us are not experiencing the horrors of genocide, but we are Human and there is always fear and divisiveness between each other. I asked Immaculee what she thought would help to strengthen a sense of connection.
‘Believe that you are a full person with a purpose,’ she said. She believes that she survived her ordeal so that she could carry the message that love and forgiveness are the only way to combat the damage caused by hatred and mistrust.
I asked her if there was a vision she would like us to meditate on for the world.
‘Envisioning the world with peace. Skip the bad. See the goodness like a flower opening, like the petals of a rose.’
Ilibagiza means ‘shining in body and soul,’ and Immaculee’s father portentously gave her that surname when he first laid eyes on her. Humility, love and light radiate from this amazing woman.
For Goodness Sake has arranged for Immaculee Ilibagiza to speak at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach on Friday, June 15 at 7 p.m. The book, published by Hay House, is her personal story of the tragic events she survived and the miracles that transpired and transformed her life. Tickets are $30 for general public and $15 for students under 18, and are available at For Goodness Sake.
Call 550-8981 for information or visit goodnesssake.org.