We were asked to create a list of people we needed to forgive and then burn it.
I resisted. I cannot tell you how many lists like that I’ve created and burned or some other significant ritual act signifying that it is gone and over with. I’ve felt the relief when I did it. Until the next layer rose up to meet me.
And not just lists of people I need to forgive.
Lists and lists and lists of ways I needed to be forgiven. By some source outside of me, by “other”. All in the name of clearing out “demons”. Long “deliverance” sessions with “deliverance” experts. In the name of confessing my sins so that they could be forgiven and I could live free.
Mind bending. Mind blowing that I could (again) fall into the vice grip of I’m wrong. There is something terribly wrong with me because I’ve done ___ and ___ and ___, because I’ve failed to measure up, just be being born into a body.
I’ve learned that none of the twisting and turning complete with requisite guilt and shame over anything is ever necessary.
And sometimes the processes are. They help us let go of what was never ours to hold onto begin with.
All of this is about me trying to convince myself of the inherent worth of me, about me jumping through hoops to feel worthy.
Every major (and not so major) religion has a process for this. In the Eastern religions, it is Karma and paying off karmic debt. In Christianity …it has to do with an innocent someone or something taking the punishment for our “sins” so we can let it go.
This (for now) is where I’m at with this subject:
Forgiveness is not what it used to be for me. It used to be this thing that I got all wrapped around my axle about because “they” didn’t deserve it and if I let it go, who would make sure “they” got what’s coming to them.
Or this thing I did to make sure that everything was good with god. It never felt fully ok with that one.
The thing is, it bound me to “them”. Holding onto that need for revenge of some sort. Even by “god” whatever that is.
My commitment has become to myself, to feeling good, no matter what. I can’t do that holding onto the lower frequencies. It has become about letting go of my justification for pain, anger, depression, resentment, blame, revenge, all of the emotional states that I’ve used to keep myself victimized again and again and again.
It really has zero to do with any “other” and everything to do with how willing I am to camp out in spaces that simply don’t feel good. It is physically painful to hold onto those emotions that keep me bound to the person I am blaming for the emotions of pain, anger, depression etc.
It is physically painful to talk trash about someone. It constricts emotionally, and that constricts physically. My body feels it.
I’ve learned and continue to learn to strip the story from the negative sensation I’m associating with it and look directly at the sensation. Do I really want to feel this? Could I let the sensation go and allow something that feels a little bit better to come?
Eventually this allows me to come to a place of feeling appreciation for the one who in my perception offended or wronged me.
The question always comes down to this: Am I willing to use the emotions that I attribute to the “wrong” done to me by the other to pinch myself off from my Source?
No. Not so much anymore.
So there’s no outstanding person or thing that I’m “working” at forgiving. No lists. Simply an ongoing noticing of what shows up when I think about specific people, situations, responses and the primary questions that ensue when I notice a hardening: Where am I holding myself hostage? Do I want to continue that?
Where am I holding myself apart from the Whole of Me? That is all the feeling of hardening is telling me. Plain and simple. Many flavors of hardening, many nuances, all the same predominant message.
Where am I holding myself apart from Me?
Could I make a different choice in this moment?
No more holding onto a story about how awful I am or how awful they are.
And no more one and done lists. It simply is not that way for most of us.