Forgiveness (June 1st)

I did not understand true forgiveness until the pain of carrying hateful and unforgiving thoughts prompted me to seek a deeper appreciation of this art.  I was deeply shocked when I realized that true forgiveness had nothing to do with the harm committed by ‘that person’ and that my forgiveness did not endorse their behavior.  This is when I began to understand what true forgiveness actually IS and I discovered that my beliefs were bass-ackwards.

bass ackwards


A Lovely IDEA

I would like you to pause and ask yourself a simple question: How many times have you pretended you were fine with an incident simply to ‘keep the peace’ and ‘be reasonable’, only to discover that you continue to feel deeply hurt and/or resentful that ‘they got away with it?’  Once?  Twice?  Numerous times?!

forgivenesscslewis

I have personally been complicit in many false forgivenesses, yet I did not understand they were false, so I began to believe forgiveness was a sham, simply a lovely idea…


IS NOT & IS

The concepts of true forgiveness were new to me and it took me many readings before I was able to see how I had furthered my own suffering by holding onto the hate/memories/pain.  I wanted to hurt ‘that person’, but I only harmed myself.

forgivenessfragrance

True Forgiveness is NOT:

  • Endorsing the incident
  • Pretending the incident did not happen
  • Acting as though we are not deeply hurt
  • Sweeping the incident away without addressing it
  • Allowing them to hurt us again
  • Waiting for time to pass….

 True Forgiveness IS…

  • Accepting the incident happened
  • Choosing to view others mistakes as we view our own, with compassion
  • Dissolving our desire for ‘justice to be served’
  • Allowing ourselves to feel the hurt…and release
  • Embracing the future with new wisdom

Where to begin?

Start at the beginning; IT happened: that lousy, miserable, soul-wrenching, destructive, awful incident(s) happened.  And nothing can ever, ever, EVER change that fact.

Insert a full and lengthy exhale here…<<and begin to release the grip you have surrounding the grief and pain>>

Once more.  IT happened.

Insert a lengthier exhale here…<<and a smile, for we are all messy humans making messes in our own and others lives>>

After accepting that IT happened, the next important step is to understand Justice.  (In the following example I exclude cases where societal laws have been violated and the court system can bring some measure of justice) 

Let me start by saying that Justice rarely behaves the way we believe she should and furthermore, we have no control over her.  

Goddess-Lady-Justice-Statue

This was one of the most difficult aspects for me to accept because I so badly wanted ‘that person’ to hurt as much as I did, and I would fantasize about all the dreadful things which might befall their life so they would hurt as I!  I wanted Justice served, my way!  

But, this only left me hurting…and so I did the inconceivable.


Inconceivable!

I stood in the shoes of ‘that person’.  It took some practice before I could sincerely stand in the ‘hideous shoes of that person’ <<hideous as perceived by me!>>, but once I did, I discovered a humility that did not want to be judge nor jury of anyone’s actions, nor did I want others to be judge-and-jury of mine.  Instead, I chose to believe that Justice has a greater vantage point than I.

mlkarcofmoraluniverse


The unavoidable…

I will continue discussing the unavoidable aspect of true forgiveness next week but we have already traveled far into the mysterious and somewhat thorny realm of true forgiveness, so let us rest here and consider those spaces within us that are bound and knotted by anger, revenge, hate, pain, loss and a sense of betrayal.  

I encourage thoughtfulness on these questions:

  • Do I continue to bind myself with knotted memories?  
  • Have I falsely forgiven someone?  
  • Can I experience a more robust and healthier lifestyle if I unknot my anger, revenge, hate, pain, loss?

And remember that thoughtfulness… curiosity… kindness… and wonderment of a life beyond the one you currently know, are all great guides on this journey.

{ Read these words again…and again…because true forgiveness is an active process. }


meditation of love
All luck, all blessings, and a million tinkling bells of honey around your heart!

 

3 thoughts on “Forgiveness (June 1st)”

  1. I like this Shelly. I especially liked this:
    “I stood in the shoes of ‘that person’. It took some practice before I could sincerely stand in the ‘hideous shoes of that person’ , but once I did, I discovered a humility that did not want to be judge nor jury of anyone’s actions, nor did I want others to be judge-and-jury of mine. Instead, I chose to believe that Justice has a greater vantage point than I.”
    Thank you!

    Like

  2. Yet another excellent post, Shelly. It has a personal credibility which many prevailing (less-than-honest) voices on the subject of forgiveness lack.

    Bravo.

    Like

  3. “I discovered a humility that did not want to be judge nor jury of anyone’s actions, nor did I want others to be judge-and-jury of mine. Instead, I chose to believe that Justice has a greater vantage point than I.”

    Bull’s eye.

    Like

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