There are many areas of my life where I continue to learn more deeply about what really matters, about what is truly important to me. Each day, I expand my learning and before long, I look back and realize that looking back is not necessary. Forgiveness continues to be something that I gain more understanding about, and with which I am gifted continuously with opportunities to test my mad skills. Forgiving others has come to mean for me not just a concept, but an active state of being in which I learn deeply about myself and others. It is about what I do, and more importantly, what I don’t do. It brings healing and peace in a way like nothing else I have ever known. Over the last several years, I have written about forgiveness multiple times, and each writing brings with it a new level of understanding and simplicity.
Forgiveness can best be defined as release and acceptance, such as letting go of judgment of others. At first glance, it seems as if that could be difficult, or a lot of work to achieve. In actuality, forgiveness, I believe, is quite simple. We just have to bring our willingness for forgiveness in order to allow it to happen. I know it might sound strange, to say something that seems so distant from our understanding and capability, to be simple. Yet, it is. I can think of dozens of reasons each and every day, for why I cannot forgive a person or myself, for a transgression. Yet, the fact remains, I will not forgive that person or myself. I am always capable of doing so. I just don’t want to.
Simply put, from my perspective, forgiveness encompasses two things. Firstly, I forgive you for not being who I think you are, or want you to be. I always have expectations of others and situations, in terms of how I want them to think, feel, behave, or turn out. ALWAYS. There are moments when my expectations are less prominent, but I even have expectations about how long it will take me to get home from a trip, whether or not I will find my desired items at a grocery store, or whether or not a friend or family member will call me back. Groceries or commutes might not seem worthy of forgiveness, yet it might be the case. Understanding can come from a space of forgiving people and situations for not being what I expect them to be. I can release life and outside circumstances from my grip, and I can stop taking the world so damned personally. I can just allow people, places, and situations to simply be as they are.
Secondly, I get to forgive myself for having any expectations of others. I get to keep forgiving myself for judging others, getting disappointed, or wanting things my own way. Let’s face it: I am an Ego. I am well aware of my being more than that also, and my Oneness with everyone and everything. However, my Ego always wants to be recognized, listened to, and acknowledged. So, by forgiving myself, I get to constantly remind myself that I am much more than my Ego would have me believe. And, in that forgiveness of myself, I get to grow in my love of myself. While forgiveness of others is a challenge for me, forgiving myself has bigger challenges. I am always willing to find myself guilty of one thing or another, and punish or ridicule myself. By showing myself deep forgiveness, I am allowing love to flow through rather than fear, conflict, and darkness.
I get practice every day in strengthening this muscle. I do much better on some days than others. Yet, it is the ever present awareness, the catching myself in the moment, that brings the deepest riches and the greatest truth. It is my reminder that I am always capable of choosing something different, if what I am choosing doesn’t feel good. Forgiveness, when given to me, and given to others, brings deep peace, and a freedom like I have never known.