Today’s blog explores the miraculous grace of forgiveness.
Listen to Your Teachers
When during the course of ten days, four of your spiritual teachers offer the same directive, maybe you should listen. The problem for me was that my inner-Irish wanted NOTHING to do with their unanimous advice. Instead, she stomped her feet, crossed her arms and sat in the corner pouting as she clung tightly to the grudges she had been harboring – the grudges which gave her the illusion of power and control, strength and courage, and most importantly….the belief that she was RIGHT and HE was wrong. The “He” that we are referring to here is my ex-husband. And the unanimous directive of my four spiritual teachers? FORGIVENESS. Can I hear a collective “ARGH!”?
The unanimous advice of these four spiritual teachers was this, “In order to move on with your life, in order to truly be open to love, you need to FORGIVE” – specifically, my ex-husband for all the things I perceived that he did “wrong,” all the ways I think he “hurt” me, etc. While I was enjoying all the perceived power in harboring resentment, etc. I knew that this advice was dead on correct and that in spite of all my protesting, I needed to give Forgiveness a chance. And I’m here to tell you that after only two weeks of holding forgiveness in my field of intentions, the results have been nothing short of miraculous.
Being Open to Forgive
Of course it is not only in the past two weeks that I have been open to forgiveness in regards to this relationship. But in the past two weeks, I have ramped up my efforts:
- Bringing this intention to prayer.
- Asking God for help.
- Incorporating ritual and affirmations.
- Praying mantras about forgiveness.
- Anointing myself with sacred oils that are said to facilitate forgiveness.
I have done all these things hoping to release the pain, hurt, resentment, etc. so that I can not only be free of the past, but so that I can be open to the future. I can’t receive healthy intimacy while dragging around the ball and chain of my past relationship. So I have entered into this process and I feel I need to share with you that apparently the kitchen has to get dirtier before it can be clean (as my mother used to say).
An Onslaught of Demons
Apparently forgiveness is not for the weak of heart….because as soon as I accepted this invitation to enter into the process of forgiveness, the demon dogs from hell were released. I soon found myself face to face with all the fears, pains, conflicts, projections, ego attachments, demons, etc. of that relationship. First my ex was the target, then other people, then my ex again, then I had to face the cold hard truth…..my part in all of this. ARGH!!!!!!!!!! So, as I was working on forgiving HIM I found the most important person I had to forgive was MYSELF. Who knew? I say forgiveness in not for the faint of heart because I surely could have high-tailed it out of this process and returned to my corner of grudge. Instead, I decided to JUST KEEP MOVING. I allowed myself to be present to all the pain, all the loss, all the shattered dreams, all the perceived betrayals (on both of our parts), etc. etc. etc. I felt a little like St. Margaret, trudging through the bowels of hell. I allowed myself to rage, I cried bitter tears of loss and regret and I let go. Then something amazing started to happen.
Wonder of Wonder, Miracle of Miracles
Here is where I was reminded to believe in miracles. Of course my ex had no idea that I had accepted forgiveness as my personal intention. And yet, somewhere in the midst of all of this, my ex and I started talking and in the talking, I found release from things of the past, I began to let go of pain and found consolation for the hurts and perceived betrayals, AND I think he experienced some of this as well (although he has always been better at forgiveness than I am…and probably was long past needing this exercise). And…..I know that as I continue to hold this intention, that forgiveness will contine to be realized and I will be more free to receive healthy intimacy, unencumbered by the pain of the past.
But the miracles don’t stop there. In the midst of struggling with forgiveness, I invoked my favorite mantra on forgiveness and in my meditation heard the following words, “Forgiveness is ultimately about releasing judgment.” I felt as if the universe had just hit me across the head with a two by four. Of course forgiveness is about releasing judgment….and who most needs to learn that lesson but ME……the judger of all judges. I haven’t quite gotten my perfectionistic head around that idea yet, but I feel within it an opportunity, an invitation and a promise…and I know that if I can get my little pea brain around the idea of non-judgment that I will be open to knowing, being and sharing love in ways that I cannot yet even possibly imagine. On that one, I will keep you posted.
What things of your past are in need of the grace of forgiveness?
How might you accept the invitation to allow forgiveness?
Where do you want to be more free to know and be love?
Authentic Freedom Ministries