Daily Life, Inspiration, Relationships, Self

A Little on Forgiveness

Forgiveness, if that is not key to living a beautiful life I don’t know what is.  For me, growing up, forgiveness always came from others.  I looked for forgiveness from others.  I was taught that way.  So whatever I did wrong it could not be made right until someone forgave me for it.  Forgiving myself was never mentioned.  And in turn, I could forgive others for whatever they did.  Say “I am sorry”, “Its okay, I forgive you”, how many times did we hear those things?  And I am not faulting my parents, they doing their best to raise a good girl. Basing my sense of self on whether someone did or did not forgive me gave away  my autonomy.  Of course when raising a “good girl” that may have been a goal.

But now I am grown and everything I knew when I was young had to be looked again.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

-Buddha

Forgiving someone, in the traditional “I forgive you” sense,  holds a certain power over the person.  It is a control issue,  Without someone’s forgiveness a wrong I have done is held over my head.  I cannot move on, because they don’t forgive me, they are still mad.  It is like holding a little piece of me hostage.  Same if I am holding out on forgiveness for someone else.  I am still mad at you, you can’t be happy.  I need you to feel bad until I am done being mad, and then I will forgive you.  Like I get to decide when you can be happy.  We see this all the time in relationships of all kinds.

It’s time to let those games go. That takes forgiveness and warps its true beauty and intent. Over and over these past years I have seen how forgiving is really about setting myself free. Its never really about the other person. I think the first time it really came home to me was in a relationship that had blown up.  You know, he done me wrong. And I was mad, for a long time. And I suffered.  And somehow in my little brain I thought he was suffering too.  I was mad at him, I did not forgive him, he must be miserable.  And then one day I ran into him, and he was fine. Not miserable, not suffering, fine. And I realized he did not need  my forgiveness to move forward.  I was the only one walking around with anger and hurt, holding on to those uncomfortable feelings.  Now whether he forgave himself, or simply never thought he was wrong, I don’t know. But he moved forward to live happy.  So I had to look at that.

Now over and over I have learned how forgiving really releases me from the situation.  Its not about condoning bad behavior.  Its not about saying it is okay.  We never have to accept that for ourselves or anyone. It is about not holding on to the anger that only poisons us. What do I  want in my body?  How do i want to feel?  I get to decide that.  Because really, if I am mad at you and holding on to that then I am the only one effected by my thoughts and feelings.  If you truly forgive yourself for your part, you do not need my forgiveness.  And when I can forgive myself for my wrongs, I am free.

A CSL minister whose name escapes me said “If I see you and I do not smile, I have work to do”

Another friend said just the other day “when I wake in the morning I think, who do I have to forgive today”.

This is all about setting ourselves free.  Free from holding on to unpleasant, uncomfortable and unhealthy feelings. Free from the false belief that we can (or need) to control others by bestowing or withholding our forgiveness.  It is hard enough to move through all of these thought and emotions that make up our lives without taking on someone else’s.

So what do you think? What anger can you let go of so your life can move forward.  Where can you forgive to free yourself?  It is never about them, it is always about you.  Remember that, they will move forward and your forgiveness it not needed for them, but it is needed for you.  Let us live happy, let us live free, let us forgive.

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Daily Life, Inspiration

Changing Roles

I have been thinking lately on how my roles and identity changes and shifts as my life moves forward.  So many of the roles I played during my life seemed have shifted and changed.   I am not sure what is left.  At some point does it get so stripped down that all you are is yourself. Am I almost there?

We identify ourselves often through others.  I have been a daughter, a sister, a mother, a wife, a friend, a lover, a co-worker.  Those are the big ones. And they have all changed.  My parents are gone, passed now. I am still my parents daughter, but not in a physical way that is active in my life. I am still a mother, my role is different now. My son is grown, he is a man with his own life and he needs me to mother from a distance. Thank the Beloved I am still a sister, that role has held my hand through both amazing and devastating times. But I am not really the big sister now, we are past those days.  I have not been a wife for a long time now, that piece is missing. Can it return, perhaps.  But it will be different. I am not a young woman wanting a family.  I am a grown woman wanting a mate.

And yes, I am still a friend, a lover, co-worker.  All of those morph also with time.  Friends change, move on. The same with lovers, boyfriends, co-workers.  You  still have love for them and a relationship but time changes your interactions with them.   It has to, life moves forward, life creates, that is what Spirit does. So new players come in, your role shifts a little.  Maybe you’re the older wiser friend this time, maybe the younger one.Perhaps you’re the crazy friend, or the one who keeps the balance.  Maybe you are the boss, maybe you are the new employee learning from the ground up.  And lovers, boyfriends, well each time it is brand new. Each relationship brings its own lessons and growth.

So where does that leave me now?  Who is this new person I am growing into?  What new roles are around the corner? Spirit always fills the voids.  The roles I have played have brought me far and taught me much, but there is more to learn and miles to go. So I am readying myself, recognizing the gifts I have been given along the way.  I feel hungry for the new,  Who and what are around the corner waiting on me to appear?

 

 

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