My teacher shared a story with us about forgiveness before beginning our practice today, which got me thinking. Often that word can seem extremely heavy, I know it did for me today. So much baggage can come along with it. It is seen as an outward expression or act, usually towards someone or something that in our minds did wrong to us. Allowing yourself to go through the process of forgiveness can have a felt sense of an inner lightening, as if a weight is released from your being. I love this quote:
“Forgiveness means letting go of the hope that your past could have been any different.”
I got this one from Oprah but I believe Jack Cornfield might be the original source. Once that hope is let go, so much space is created. A hold that one can grip for years on end, sometimes for the simple fear that well if I let it go, then what? I’m uncomfortable with letting it go because of the unknown. When the grip begins to loosen, a new kind of space is created, a fresh, calm space where there is room for joy to grow.
It is also interesting to think about forgiveness in a way that is directed towards the self. We sometimes forget that we have the power to forgive ourselves. For saying something too harshly, or acting in a way that we know did not reflect our best self. I know myself I can carry these thoughts with me for days, months!! There is such humanity in the idea that one time or another we have all been in that place, where we are not proud of our action, or a message we conveyed. I try to forgive myself and also learn from the experience. To look at the situation honestly, and know that next time you will make a different choice. There is always possibility for clean up. Might not happen overnight, or on our schedule but the possibility is always there waiting. Even if it means forgiving yourself for something that happened with someone you can no longer communicate with, we still have the power to make the shift in our selves. A choice we can make to live a healthy, free, light life!
Would love to hear any comments on the topic!