The Freedom of Forgiveness
If there is one thing I am good at, it’s hanging on. Now, this can be a good thing, like, when you are dangling off a cliff, or when things get hard. It can also be a very bad thing, like when you get pissed off, hurt, or think you’ve been wronged.
Yes, things happen and like the humans we are, we spin stories about the events, then we believe the stories, and we hold on for dear life to our version. Well, at least I do.
I had a huge epiphany this morning while doing my daily forgiveness mediation. I was thinking about a woman who thought I was so negative, so hostile, so angry, ( just in general) that she refused to room with me at a retreat, and I had never even met her.
So for years guess what I did? Because I was hurt, and I took it personally, I judged her. Goodie goodie, judgemental, small minded twat; yup, that is her. I know this to be true, because she judged me, and tattled on me, and gossiped.
Pretty open minded of me, don’t you think?
The first problem with my approach was this. I felt separate from her. Somehow, I didn’t feel our sameness ( fear ) but felt she was lesser, and I was better. This morning I got it; we are the same. All the hurt I felt from being judged and dismissed, she must have felt pretty crappy herself. Something triggered fear and how good could that have felt? Answer, bad enough for her to act like a twat. 🙂 ( Kidding!)
Obviously, the second problem is that I am condemning her for doing exactly what I am doing to her. I have carried such anger and judgement around. I had a story, I spun it, I stuck to it.
This morning, I let go of the story. I have no idea what happened in her heart to make her never want to be in my presence. I can’t care. I can’t know. There is no story. There is just me and what kind of person I want to be. Being open feels better than being closed. Being uncertain feels better than clinging to my version of the truth. Just acknowledging that it hurt, and working through it in my own way, is the way to peace.
And I want peace. I understand that forgiveness is a practice and it begins with seeing each person as ourselves, feeling compassion, and just being curious.
That is what I want to hang on to!