I feel like I could write a bazillion posts on forgiveness. It’s an elusive enigma for me. Every time I see it nudging it’s way back in to my life I just think, “oh great, here we go again.” Anyone else with me? I think that I have learned. I think that I have forgiven. I think that I have moved on. Next thing I know BAM. Crap. What’s that thing doing there again?
How do you forgive a perceived wrongdoing? There are lots of ways that we are taught.
Let go and let God. Yeah, that one didn’t work for me.
Forgive in your heart. No need to let them know. So far, no good.
Practice. Totally still working on that one.
A new way of approaching it occurred to me the other day. If the things we get aggravated about are the things we often don’t like in ourselves, then what if I went there first? Psshh… but I would never do what (insert name here) did. Ok, but what if I am jealous they felt they could? What if they are reflecting a deep down truth in myself that I have been denying? What if there was nothing they did to hurt us. Only the perception of how I received a message, but it was actually meant in a completely different way. What if I actually hurt them? And here we are in the same boat of wondering how to forgive the other person for the hurt they caused? Crap.
That’s been a really tough place for me to go. My ego is screaming, “NO! You were wronged. Don’t think you can just let them walk all over you! What are you a doormat? When will you ever stick up for yourself if you don’t do it now? It’s so obvious you were in the right, just ask your friends that are always by your side (notice how it doesn’t ask you to ask everyone). What if they do it again? People will think you are a fool. People will judge you as naive.”
Wow, those are some harsh words, ego. Let’s dissect that a little, shall we?
I was wronged? Perhaps, but have I attempted to hear their side of the story? Could it have been just a misunderstanding of epic proportion?
Are they really walking all over me? No one can walk all over me without my permission. As long as I am willing to continue looking at this with an open heart and make decisions from that place I will not allow for that to happen.
Am I not sticking up for myself by looking at this from a place of love? That is the place that I want to live from. So, in that case, wouldn’t forgiveness be the ultimate way to stick up for myself?
Was I really in the right? Aren’t there always 2 sides to everything? Have I been open enough to try to see things from their perspective? Their life experiences are different than mine. Their perception of things will be different than mine. Have I considered this?
If they do it again, it’s because I chose to love, forgive and remain in their life. What a gift that would be for us both. Perhaps by continuing to love through these perceived hurts there could be potential space for us both to change and grow. How beautifully loving would that be?
People will think I am a fool or judge me as naive? Ok, this one is two fold. First of all, if I am living in my truth and from a place of love, I won’t care what others think of me. I will love them anyway. I will love me anyway. Second, could it be me that is judging me? Do I think I am a fool or naive? Am I thinking that I won’t ever change those behaviors that I clearly dislike about myself if I forgive? Woah.
What if I forgive and that opens space to love myself more? To see that I am not a fool or naive but a strong, beautiful, loving, forgiving person that is a gift to this world?
I don’t believe that forgiveness needs to be shared with the person I am struggling to forgive. I would eventually like to be strong enough to do that, but I know I am not strong enough to remain in my Truth if they begin to attack my character in the midst of my forgiveness. I hope to be there one day, but that is not today. Forgiveness is a practice. I can begin that practice with me. Do I forgive myself? Do I love myself? These are great questions.