Forgiveness (June 29th)

Perhaps I am the only person which has such complex relationships that I need to spend an entire month being thoughtful about forgiveness…or, perhaps I am not alone?  

It matters not, for this endeavor has taught me more than I imagined, namely, that relationships are a dynamic interplay of energies which are created when two people engage with each other.  This is an important aspect of relationship so I will say it another way to make sure you ‘got it’; when two people engage, a third, and unique!, energy is created by their combination.

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Interplay of Two creates a Third

Why is this important?  Because we often confuse what happens in relationships with US or THEM: we blame ourselves or others, when in fact, what is created within a relationship is both ours and not ours.  Finger-pointing is not useful within a relationship because relationships have far more facets than any one finger can point at…but, this does not release us from responsibility.


RESPONSIBILITY

We are responsible for our responses, our thoughts, words and actions, yet we do not have full control over them because our responses are often limited, due to our past experiences/trauma…which is why thoughtfulness and meditation are important endeavors for every individual, so we increase our available responses by learning to breathe before we act/speak.

While we are always responsible for our responses…we are not fully responsible for the energies created in a relationship for we can not control the other person, nor the energies, words and actions they bring into the relationship.  

Last week in my blog, Forgiveness ≠ Trust, I mentioned the traits of people who may cause damage to our heart’s sanctuary. I have discovered that they generally fall into three categories: unconscious, incapable or destructive.  

Why did I mention these differences?  Because once we stand in their shoes and seek to understand why they behave the way they do,  then we can decide how we are going to respond to them and the relationship.


Unconscious Folk

Let’s start with the unconscious folk.  Young children/teenagers often fall into this category for they have not had the life experiences, nor mature brain networks, necessary to understand the nuances of a healthy relationship, plus, it is normal for children to grow through periods of selfishness, meanness or anger.  As a parent, it is wise to remain patient as our children experience different phases of life <<and offer guidance, when the child is willing to listen 😉 >>.  

But what about the adult that never outgrew these childhood phases and has not learned to be kind, respectful and honest? If you realize you are in a relationship with someone who is unconscious about their behavior, you can curiously ask them a few questions to determine if they are willing to become conscious about their behavior.

For example, a question for someone who is dishonest might be; “Is honesty an important aspect of your relationships?”  Their answer will tell you plenty. <<or their lack of an answer 😉 >>

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The Unconscious Folk

Your relationship continuing with an unconscious person is not based on whether they choose to become conscious or not, you are free to remain in relationship with them, but it will be important for you to understand this aspect of their current personality so that you can more easily forgive their trespasses and shield those fragile aspects of yourself that they may unconsciously harm.

I have comrades who are good-hearted people and very dear to me, and I experience them as being unconscious in relationship, yet I have chosen to remain comrades with them…but I set a wary guard upon the threshold of my sanctuary and choose not to reveal certain aspects of myself. 

<<i know, i know! i cringe when i impose my judgements upon others, but i have found no better way…so i cast my judgements gently, knowing they are from my limited view>>


Incapable Soul

If you realize you are in a relationship with a person who is incapable of recognizing their behavior, and incapable of changing their behavior, than you can make personal adjustments for the relationship, or leave.  This situation is not a simple one, and the decision to stay or go is often painful.  

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The Incapable Soul

My mother is incapable of a trusting relationship and yet, I have chosen to include her in my life.  It took me many decades to understand why my mother is incapable of a trusting relationship and to learn that I am never safe with her.  So, how do I engage with her when I know she is incapable?  Slowly.  Very, very slowly.  

I have learned that very firm boundaries are always necessary with my mother.  Always.  I cannot let my guard down.  And yes, she is often hurtful with her words and actions…but I forgive her, for she knows not what she does…the harm inflicted upon her as a small child was so severe that she will never experience the joy that comes from trusting relationships…this saddens me greatly.  I forgive her, and myself, and I do the best I can to keep myself safe, while loving her.


Destructive Personalities

Do people with destructive personalities really exist?  I once believed they did not, I thought that what one person perceived as destructive was simply a misperception of another’s actions…until someone with a destructive personality entered my life.  

If you realize you are in a relationship with a destructive personality, be very careful with your inner sanctuary.  I’ll not give more advice here, it is for each person to choose what is most healthful, within this very difficult situation.

{My heart does not forgot those of you who have reached out and shared your experience of love as it relates to a destructive personality…especially those of you who continue to live with that person, through the daily struggles…because it is not always as simple as ‘walking away’.  I do not forget…I send you love, courage, and faith…may your heart guide you through this journey.}

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May Your Heart Guide Your Journey

In general, I choose to peacefully (and quickly!) end relationships if we are not both committed to creating a trusting environment, for I have learned that I am not capable of cultivating a loving relationship without trust. <<unless, unless, unless…there is always an unless! 🙂  unless the relationship is familial; with family, I have chosen to continue to engage, while setting my own boundaries-of-safety>>


Faith in the Small

The art of forgiveness was once far, far beyond my wildest imaginings.  So, I share these words with great humility because it took me many dark days, many lonely paths, and a great number of failed attempts before I could forgive one person for the smallest infraction of trust.  Today, I can and do forgive…and I find great joy in continually practicing this art, for it is an essential aspect of Love.

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Faith in the Small

Do not mistake forgiveness, trust and love for a grand gesture or monumental act…they are simple…genuine…quiet…and the most powerful gifts, to give and to receive.


Beautiful Jaybird

I would like to give a quick note of thanks to the jaybird in my life who wrote me a lovely response to last week’s blog on Forgiveness, his words reminded me that I had forgotten to mention an important aspect of Forgiveness.  Jaybird said it so beautifully that I will simply pass on a few of his words to you:

While I agree that forgiveness is definitely a gift to oneself, I have found that being forgiven is also a tremendous gift. And to be trusted, to be given entrance into the sanctuary of ones heart, that is also a tremendous gift.

 In fact, I don’t think we can fully be satisfied without feeling the reciprocal side of forgiveness and trust. That is part of being fully vulnerable.

 ~ Jaybird

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Beautiful Jaybird

 


Evening Clouds

Many of us are not drawn to power, money nor fame…instead we seek connection, with ourselves, others and the natural world.  <<i find the wild and natural world a wonderful place to connect and find inner solace, when my life goes awry>>  

If you are one of those drawn toward meaningful connections in your life, I hope this month of thoughtfulness on Forgiveness has given you better tools in which to authentically and safely connect, with all beings.  

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“They recognized me.”


Be Thoughtful

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After a month of Forgiveness and the many layers and nuances involved…whew!…so much to be thunk about!  Here are a few thoughtful-thoughts to encourage you to continue diving into the vast expanse of Forgiveness.

  • What do I need in order to feel safe to practice the art of Forgiveness? Trust? Love?  
  • Have I misunderstood someone’s words/actions in my life?
    • If yes, by re-evaluating (unconscious, incapable, destructive) could I release any ill-will or negativity that resides within me?
  • Has someone given me the gift of Forgiveness, Trust or Love, in a manner that has changed me for the better?  
    • If yes, have I shared with them the impact of their gift?
  • Do I seek to connect (to myself, others, nature) in healthy ways, through the small, genuine, quiet moments which are the groundwork of all connection?
  • Does my loving or being loved exhaust me?  
    • If yes, what is missing, or needs to be omitted, to keep me steadfast in Love?
  • Have I solely blamed myself or another for a negative event which happened between the two of us?  
    • If yes, do I understand how our combined energies created a space for the event….and can I modify my behavior/responses so it does not happen again? (Be VERY careful with this final question because it only pertains to what happens between two people; if someone in the relationship has chosen to engage with a third person/drug/habit, this question is inappropriate.)

 


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

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