Today I explore the topic of forgiveness and ask the question….whose job is it really?
Each day that I come to my yoga mat at Inner Sun Yoga Studio in Oshkosh, we are invited to silently state an intention for our yoga practice. Perhaps our intention is something for ourselves, a prayer of sorts, or maybe it is an intention for somebody else, or for the world at large. I love this part of the practice because it reminds me that yoga (for me anyway) is prayer through movement and in participating in this movement, good things are being made manifest in my own life and in the lives of others. I am grateful for Deb and the other teachers at Inner Sun for inviting us into this practice.
One day last week when Deb invited us to silently state our intention for our yoga practice, I closed my eyes and holding my hands in prayer position, began to explore the inner recesses of my mind for the intention of the day. I was surprised by what showed up because I can most certainly say that this was not an intention of my own making. As I was flipping through the cerebral file cabinet, there suddenly appeared, floating through conscious space the word FORGIVE! “Forgive” had quietly pushed its way past the files of other potential intentions and now stood up loud and proud, front and center, not willing to be ignored. “Really?” I asked. “Yep! FORGIVE,” is what she said.
Now, as a card-carrying Irish Catholic, forgiveness has never been an easy task. Like my ancestors before me, I have made the cultivation of resentment and the harboring of ill-will an artform. In developing this artform, I can now completely understand why a dear Irish woman of my acquaintance (who is now deceased and who by the way is a second-generation immigrant), contributed funds, until the day of her death to the IRA. For her entire life, she harbored ill-will against the British with whom she has never even had direct contact, but who have “done harm” (in her words) to her family of origin. I can honestly say that I have never felt compelled to fund military interests due to my harbored resentments, but I know the power of those feelings and how they may drive you to do strange and irrational things.
So, when the invitation arrived to accept forgiveness as my intention for my yoga practice, I heard my ego scream at the top of her lungs, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.” To make matters worse, along with the invitation to FORGIVE, came the image of the person to whom I was to direct this forgiveness. With this awareness, my ego screamed even louder. The good news is that no matter how much my ego thinks she is in charge…..SHE IS NOT! Following close upon the heels of my ego came the still small voice of the true self. Peeking around the giant of my ego, the small and vulnerable true self whispered in humility, “I can’t forgive this person. They have hurt me too much. I do not have it in me to accept this task.” Then she offered a prayerful plea to the Divine, “God, I know that I do not have the power within me to forgive this person. As such, I give it back to you.” I then saw the small, wounded part of myself gather the intention for forgiveness into her hands and give it to God. It was only in surrendering this invitation to FORGIVE into the hands of the Divine that I was able to agree to this intention and hold it in my mind and my heart during my yoga practice, knowing that God could accomplish what I alone could not.
This experience provided me with a powerful lesson. There are intentions in our lives that we are invited to accept so that we can grow spiritually and sometimes these intentions are beyond our capability. Forgiveness is often one of those intentions that are simply too difficult to accomplish on our own. It is here that the awareness of a loving, caring and nurturing Divine Source becomes helpful. When we surrender our journey into the hands of the Divine……ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. So today, I offer the intention of Forgiveness and surrender all those past hurts, betrayals, disappointments, etc. into the hands of God and trust that God will work forgiveness on my behalf.
- What are you being invited to Forgive?
- What invitations to forgiveness are beyond your personal capabilities?
- What intentions are you being invited to surrender to the Divine for assistance and accomplishment?
Authentic Freedom Ministries/YourSpiritualTruth