October 5, 2012 by blogmasterjdeam
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.” ~ Jack Kornfield
Every time I remove another layer of the onion, I find a small piece of something from the past, something that still irks me, something I have hung on to, for whatever reason.
Oddly (yes, that is the correct word,) I want this work of forgiveness to be over. I don’t want to spend the time it actually takes to forgive, so I write it off to “what’s done is done” (This is a concept from very long ago. It works on the apathetic part of us that believes there is nothing we can do about the past, so we might as well accept it and move on.)
It may be “done” but it is not forgotten, and certainly not forgiven. My impatience with forgiveness is more than just impatience. It is ideological as well. My teachings are from the school of: everything happens exactly the way it is supposed to.
Although I have taken the leap to the “exactly as it is supposed to be” part, my brain, or knowing part, has become disconnected from my body, or feeling part. In other words, I can intellectualize something, but not actually “get” it. That is the problem with accepting someone else’s doctrine. All the great teachers make a point of saying (and I paraphrase): don’t take my word for it, go and find out for yourself. But they don’t really tell me how.
This is where “faith” falls apart for me. I am literally “ye of little faith.” (Matthew 8:26) I often wish I could just go through life on blind faith, with someone else telling me — believe this, don’t believe that — but I am not that person.
So how do I go about really getting to this forgiveness thing?
From the Buddha:
“Develop a mind that is vast like the water, where experiences both pleasant and unpleasant can appear and disappear without conflict, struggle, or harm. Rest in the mind like vast water.”
Perhaps here is, at least part, of the answer. What IS done is done. Each time I peel off another layer of the onion and find something for which I’ve either not forgiven another or not forgiven myself, I want to embrace that part of me, as a mother loves a child, and know that, yes, this too is part of my tapestry. It, too, is the part of me I must learn how to accept wholeheartedly, with or without understanding it.
Love is what brings me full circle. I forgive myself and others, because to not do so causes me harm. Love for this entire, whole life is so much more important than the parts of it. Forgiveness is a choice. Each time I find another crag in my journey up the mountain, I need to honor it, make sure my stomach agrees with my decision to let it go, and then gently step over it and keep climbing.
“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.”
Now, I go back over the above quote and replace “the other person” with “I” and then back to the original quote, and then back to the part where it applies to forgiving myself, back and forth, back and forth, until it gets a little further inside my psyche.
This path toward the state of contentment is like trying to walk across the Grand Canyon: it is not easy, but the view is spectacular.
Here is a guided meditation on self-forgiveness:
With infinite love for all beings, Chris