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making friends with forgiveness

December 28, 2016 , , , , , ,


“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” [Elizabeth Kubler-Ross]


When you forgive, it is for yourself, to release you. Every moment has compassion embedded. I think some of my journeys toward forgiveness have come from walking away from the hurt and the best work, the best living, and the best loving that I am able, with all that I have at that exact moment in time. And then I look back at that snapshot in time and realise the sting has gone out of it, or that things look so very different, and there is understanding borne of time and living life. That I am different, and more emotionally travelled.


The more I live life, the more I realise how unpractised I am at forgiving. I am very curious about it now, because I don’t want it to be an accidental thing; I’d like to have the courage, humanity, and curiosity to consciously walk that path of forgiveness, no matter what the outcome is, for myself and for those I love. For the greater shared humanity. I realise this lack of experience comes from fear, that I am so quick to protect myself from hurt because I am afraid. But I am also too interested and invested in living a good life to NOT want to know how to travel the path of forgiveness more ably. I WONDER about the other side, the crossing over into forgiveness, and realise more and more that it is neither easy, pain-free, or forgetful. It is personal freedom, measured thought, and pure grace.

The older I get, the more deeply human I realise I am, how vulnerable, imperfect, and fallible! How perfectly wondrous, and beautiful I am, too! So when I am confronted with humanity of any kind, I am confronted with the searing and uncomfortable shared humanness of myself and others. How will I react? Differently, I hope, from how I used to.


I do not have to forgive immediately; I certainly cannot forgive if I am in pain. But that I FEEL that pain, and want so very much to walk through it, figure it out, sit with it though it causes me discomfort, knowing that is surely the first step toward loving forgiveness. The other epiphany is that forgiveness is not always gentle; forgiveness can mean boundaries that are protective and unmoving in order to be truly compassionate, and they can mean that the harsh blunt blow of reality is there everyday. It can mean forgiving over and over, even when you think you are done. But that these places of understanding have been arrived at through careful examination? They are the alcoves of grace created by forgiveness.


I am allowed to be tender with myself, to cocoon myself up gently and hold my heart like a candle against a storm, with fierce command and care. But eventually, I must walk the path of forgiveness, have the conversations, and I must unfurl. So, let me keep questioning and examining all of my thoughts, and actions, and be aware of the the times my heart is in discomfort, there is learning to be done. The more that I realise I am so very imperfect, the more free I am to live, and live fully. To live more engrossingly, arms-akimbo, and completely! Whole-heartedly! Let me do the best I am able with the resources I have at that exact moment in time; and if it is not enough, let me try again. For when I own my imperfect humanity, the freedom to my soul is extraordinary. And my will to live is impossible to contain.


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