Lesson 3: part 2
Today’s forgiveness exercise has been very difficult for me. I have grappled with so many feelings and thoughts and so much resistance. I asked myself many times today, “Why would I resist this? Am I attached to these bad feelings?
This evening, feeling totally depleted emotionally, I decided to stay in and have, for the most part, successfully staved off the urge to feel like I let down the people I was supposed to see. I have also opted not to turn on the television or fall asleep or listen to the radio. I feel pretty clear that those activities would be a way of numbing out. I looked a couple of healing websites all promising to have the secret that will “change your life!!” and I caught myself. I said to myself, “All of these things probably work, if you DO THE WORK”, instead of getting ready to do the work, shopping for what kind of work I’m going to do, thinking about doing the work, imagining what it would be like to do the work… you get the idea.
Then I went on facebook and looked at a friend’s blog.
This is a person who has done a lot of healing work. When she and I worked together, we had nothing to say or explain because we were twin souls. We just shook our heads and laughed about it. (Of course I still catch myself thinking she’s the better version of me– what I would be if I wasn’t so small minded and did the work, or what I would be if I came from a bonded family.)
Her entries were about her process and all the tools she keeps at the ready to help her to remember to stay IN LOVE. It gave me a lot of insight and also led me to a Byron Katie worksheet called “Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet”. I grappled with that too. (Did I mention how stubborn my mind is?) But I sat with it. And I took a step back. And I saw my (self-)righteous indignation and then I thought:
JESUS CHRIST, EVERYTHING IS NOT ABOUT ME!
What I heard today about the person I’m trying to forgive was confirmation of how terribly mean this person has been and continues to be to me. I heard validation that he wasn’t willing to do the work. I heard validation that he hadn’t taken responsibility. I heard validation that, while I have issues too, unlike him, I am willing to bring all of myself to a situation and to learn! I heard that he’s not even capable of commitment, let alone understanding what that means.
What I didn’t hear was that this person is terrified of opening himself up. That he is terrified of the pain and emotional flooding. That he would rather stay closed off and guarded from intimacy than face the terror of the alternative…breaking open, letting someone in, needing, being seen (or “found out”). That for him, tapping into lost or repressed parts of himself doesn’t sound empowering or like a potential encounter with inner riches and beauty, it looks feels, smells and tastes like breaking. That he doesn’t have the capacity to commit, to bring 100% of himself to anything. That a part of him is always quartered off, so much so that he doesn’t even realize it most of the time. That he lives with perpetual anxiety, stomach problems, restless sleep. That this person is…suffering.
Now, am I to sit here and throw anger at him for this? Am I to sit here and dismiss him? Good Lord, no. This person is suffering. He needs love, guidance, compassion…FORGIVENESS.
Boy, do I feel like a cad. But better late than never.
So, my exercise:
In this situation, I forgive you, dear one, so that I am free. In this situation of heartbreak, mis-connection and lost opportunity, I forgive the heartbreak, I forgive this mis-connection, I forgive this lost opportunity, so that I am free.
I am sorry, forgive me, thank you.