Forgiveness was undoubtedly the most difficult belief for me to question and dare to surrender to grace and open to Love. My educated narrative on forgiveness was entrenched in judgment of self or others, supported by a fear narrative and an arrogant ego.
How often have you heard or said yourself;
- “Even though I was right and my friend was wrong, I forgive him/her,” or
- “I forgive my friend for what she did because I am a good person, but I want nothing more to do with her.”
Be it the egotistical voice as demonstrated in the first example (the devil in red) or the voice of false humility (the devil in sheep’s clothing) as in the second example, both ways of being are judgmental and self-righteous and do not come from the Spirit of Love / Truth. All too often there is an element of taking the moral high-ground when we say we forgive someone for what they did.
So, what do I mean when I say LOVE is more powerful than Forgiveness?
In short, through LOVE, the ego’s self-righteous desire to grant forgiveness to another becomes redundant as we soften into acceptance of the experience, free from judgment. Through this act of courage, we can open to grace (gratitude) with Love for the experience and the other person, gifting us the ability to accept What Is.
Let me open this thinking by way of a story.
In my last blog, I shared my fear that I might cry in public on seeing my ex-husband, Russell, at a function I was to attend. Many have asked why I still shed a tear or feel so much for him since we are now divorced.
There are two main reasons:
- The first is because our divorce was extremely painful as we shared both Love / Truth and romantic love/attachment in our marriage.
- But mostly because when I am in Russell’s presence, I am reminded of the power of Love, a Love that we held beyond romantic love, a Love that we still hold for each other even as we continue our individual journeys apart.
BUT, what does this Love mean and how does it make forgiveness redundant?
For me it is as simple as this. When we saw each other at the function we engaged in an honest conversation as we always do.
We shared the Truth of our individual journeys since we last spoke. We openly shared what we miss about each other, and were also comfortable to share our pain due to our divorce and individual ways of being, all of which can still bring tears, anger and frustration at times.
At a deeper level, we still marvel that despite having lived through the same shared experience, we each experienced it differently. I believe that we have managed to keep communicating so honestly because we’ve held a powerful space of Love for ourselves and each other. Russell and I have both been openly questioned, judged and/or criticized by friends and family for choosing to continue to hold this space for each other. While some hold the view that we should hate each other, others feel we should have no contact and yet others believe we should hold love back from the other and so the list goes on……
Aware of this difference in beliefs, I can only assume that these people who care for us, understand Love / God / Truth / Universal Wisdom differently from us. For me Love / God is so powerful there are no limitations or boundaries to kindness and Being.
And so, Russell and I laugh and cry – together and apart – knowing that through Love / God we are free to feel happiness for the things we enjoyed together and sorrow for the part of the journey that we did not enjoy. In the presence of Love / Joy, we surrender to acceptance.
In our acceptance of all that is we don’t feel a need to judge each other and hence don’t have an unhealthy forgiveness narrative going on in the background. It simply dissolves through Love in the moment of complete acceptance. In this space of Love, I see all that is human in me in Russell, and all that is human in Russell in me, making it available to me to Love him just for who he is and Love myself just for who I am.
With Love present, I can see that in moments of pain I am merely wishing for a different experience. But when I can FORGIVE myself for wanting a different experience and accept the experience I have had or am having, even the painful ones, then I can soften and open to Love for What Is. In this space of courage, beyond any judgment, I open to learning and can grow and flourish.
Mark Nepo says it so eloquently, “Only love, with no thought of return, can soften the point of suffering.
Water in its clear softness fills whatever hole it finds. It is not skeptical or distrusting. It does not say this gully is too deep or that field is too open. Like water, the miracle of love is that it covers whatever it touches, making the touched thing grow while leaving no trace of its touch. True, the faces of shores and the arms of cliffs are worn to bone. But this is beyond the water’s doing. This is the progress of life, of which water is but an element. Most things break instead of transform because they resist. The quiet miracle of love is that without our interference, it, like water, accepts whatever is tossed or dropped or placed into it, embracing it completely.”
Acceptance is the opposite of resistance and therefore with acceptance I transform and come back to the Spirit of who I am, again and again. Beyond the pain of our parting, Russell and I have shared how we have had so many amazing life experiences. Experiences that have brought other people into our lives whom we have loved and learned from. Experiences we would not want to give up. Experiences we celebrate. Experiences that have transformed us.
I feel lucky to experience a Love so meaningful. The more I meditate and listen to Universal Spirit, the easier the process of questioning my beliefs has become. I have found it is in the courage to hold space between myself and any other human being that Love / God / Peace can open us to acceptance and dissolve any divide.
Forgiveness infused with fear, judgment or the unhealthy ego is profitless in the face of the courage of acceptance and the grace to open to Love.
Until next month, stay courageous and keep challenging your Self, the Spirit of who you are to open to Love with all your thoughts, words and deeds.
Warm love to you all.