For all of us who each day continue to struggle to forgive.
Today as I was teaching in the heart centre I had an epiphany, one of those moments when something you know logically or theoretically makes it way into experiential awareness. We were resting in Pigeon Posture gently breathing into any physical resistance we were experiencing around the hips, and inviting it to all just let go and soften up, when I thought for a moment about the resistance I feel towards letting go and forgiving from time to time.
Instead of the usual, “I should forgive them, it will be better for us both in the long run,” Type conversation I often have with myself I felt a much deeper level of understanding. I had the clearest vision of someone I love dearly but who is estranged from me covered in wounds, in deep and unbearable pain. I remembered how those wounds had been inflicted throughout their whole life and are the result of their own pain and suffering. In that moment I no longer felt anger or resentment, rather a deep love and empathy and I was inspired to make the following contemplation.
The change in language from blame to forgiveness has opened a whole new door in my heart I hope it resonates with you to.
Contemplation on Forgiveness.
“I forgive you for your wounds. Each and every one of them, I forgive you that your wounds caused you to lash out and harm those that love you. I forgive you for not treating me with honour, kindness or love, I forgive you.”
Forgiving others for their wounds is an incredibly powerful healing tool. When we stop being angry and needing to forgive them for hurting US or for being selfish, and cruel and instead go so much deeper and truly forgive the causes of the behaviour, remembering that they are wounded and in terrible pain, then the vibrational shift is enormous.
Instead of seeing the perpetrator, the villain, the absent parent, the wicked ex husband or wife, the person so stuck in their own belief system that they are unable to look left or right, or the stroppy teenager instead we see the wounded soul who is cowering behind a mask of pain.
Sometimes the mask is so stuck the beautiful perfect soul who is inherent within each of us can’t shine through. In fact sometimes we begin to believe that we are that mask! That we are pain, we are suffering, we are hate and anger, that the world we inhabit is a harsh and cold place which we must protect ourselves from. That the people we encounter are so hostile we need to put on our armour and assume the worst, hide behind the castle gates and pull up the draw bridge. The mask, the false self seems to become stronger than the true loving, compassionate honourable you, your truly abundant wondrous nature.
How do we ever step out from behind the mask if we believe in fact that the mask is us?
Forgive. Truly forgive. Truly see what is behind the actions of this wounded being, see beyond the actions to the truth. Forgiveness on this level comes from the heart from the highest self from your true self and has no place in the land of the ego.
Can you forgive? Can you forgive those wounds? Can you see beyond the mask? Can you remember that we are all wounded, we are all suffering and we all at times make mistakes? Can you forgive those wounded souls and listen very, very carefully for the whisper of the scared frightened being who is lashing out, busy, protecting themselves from experiencing the pain and fear that the mask is covering?
I forgive you, I forgive you each one who is wounded, who failed to see me, who projected their own insecurities onto me, who labelled me, who behaved violently towards me, in word, thought or deed, I forgive you.
And perhaps more importantly, I forgive myself, for all the times I failed to remember that you are wounded, that you are in pain and lashing out and believing that your behaviour was about me. I forgive myself for not remembering that you needed me to just reflect your story back. That I did not need to take ownership of it or suffer your wounds as if they where my own. I forgive myself for not taking the time to see it was really about you! And you needed care, kindness, understanding and love. And sometimes you needed boundaries, you needed me to step back and say “Enough.” Say “No more.” Say “I love you but this is not ok!” I forgive myself.
I forgive myself for all the times I spoke harshly to myself for believing that I was not enough. I was somehow failing for not being good enough, clever enough, slim enough, tall enough, rich enough, compassionate enough. I forgive myself and see that in fact I too am wounded, I too am afraid, I too have a mask that day by day I practise taking off, holding in my hands and looking out at the world from that part of me that day by day grows stronger as she learns to forgive. Forgive herself and others. And to see the true nature of all beings in their full and natural beauty.
And today I learn that there is strength in forgiveness, strength in letting go and putting down my need to hold your pain as if it were my wound. I gently and with love see you as a perfect expression of divine love that like me is busy, busy, busy, working on healing our wounds.