Living in Forgiveness
Living In Forgiveness
Finally, “love endures all things.” . . . Everything that is tough and brittle shatters; everything that is cynical rots. The only way to endure is to forgive, over and over, to give back that openness and possibility for new beginning which is the very essence of love itself. And in such a way love comes full circle and can fully “sustain and make fruitful,” and the cycle begins again, at a deeper place. And conscious love deepens and becomes more and more rooted. . . . ~Cynthia Bourgeault
I have spent the last year, off and on, and then the last few weeks intensely, contemplating the idea and process of forgiveness. I was asked to lead a retreat this summer in the style of Courage and Renewal – a way of being together in a Circle of Trust that Parker Palmer and a few brave colleagues created in the 90’s. Courage work was designed first for teachers and then it evolved into a form used for many giving professions. I am using the theme of Forgiveness. By the time you read this blog, I will have new insights from having been with a group of people from Eagle River. The richness of sharing is always a gift and brings new growth. For this blog, I will be sharing some of the thoughts I have prepared.
Forgiveness is a big topic! Often the need for forgiveness begins when one experiences a situation where there is a disagreement and one or two people – or a group “fly off the handle.” At this point they have “lost it!” We are human. It happens to all of us. There are minor such occurrences, others are major. Such situations can be devastating both emotionally and spiritually. Over time, if unaddressed, the body’s health can break down.
Trust between the people involved has been broken. Sanaya, via Suzanne Giesemann, recently suggested that, “You become so embroiled in the role that you are playing, so completely caught up in the drama, that emotions and their subsequent chemical reactions in the physical body take over, completely masking the real you, the soul, the eternal part of you, lying ever so peacefully beneath all of those waves.“ That is quite an accurate description.
However, much of our culture does not recognize that the soul is involved. As I was preparing, I wrote a poem describing what much of our culture experiences when up against such a situation.
I’ve been hurt, can I forgive, that’s not fair, I deserve not to forgive, get this person out of my life, end the relationship, I will be free…
But I feel bitterness in my heart, anger is my companion, I slug uphill, through dense mud and thick trees, getting nowhere…
I’m confused, where is relief from this pain, my energy is drained, will I be free, Is there another way…
I have learned that chaos is one of our best teachers. In general, we don’t want to face things we know need changing, we avoid change, and we put off integrating new, insightful ways of living – bang – now we have no choice. The death of my daughter was a time that I was thrown into major chaos. We all want to be in charge of our lives. It was immediately apparent that I was not in charge! We think we know the answers, but now I had no answers, even why this accident Anne had happened. How can such an event be a gift…but it was. You can read in Terry’s and my book The Light Gap: God’s Amazing Presence about the LIGHT that came to start me on a new path. My STE (Spiritually Transformative Experience) produced indescribable peace, joy and love at a time I was in total chaos. I now know how powerful the connection is to God, Source, or Spirit – whatever name works for you. This connection is vital to embrace forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness seems counter-intuitive. Everyday things you have to work to achieve, the extraordinary things come to you without effort when you are in the flow of God’s Love. I learned to meditate and discovered the world within each one of us. From within, where the soul is connected to it’s source, comes new thoughts, new choices, courage, strength to journey on, and the path to reconnection. Listen to those small voices! God’s promise became real – Christ’s too – “I am with you always. Fear not!”
Preparing to share, I touched base with many of my ‘go-to’ authors to help me think.
Wayne Dyer in his book I Can See Clearly Now, reminded me that forgiveness is a matter of connecting to love. “For Rumi, love is the urge to rejoin Spirit, the divinity, and the goal toward which all things move. The illusion is that we are apart from this Divine Source of ours. All of our efforts at love, according to Rumi, are to come closer and closer to that which is our original nature
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan monk, speaking at the Conspire 2018 conference the end of August, suggests that life moves from order to disorder to reorder. He suggests this is the natural pattern of life. If all was smooth, we would never grow. We need to understand and allow the flow; “Let it bubble up from within. We are made up of the Divine.” Meditate everyday. Meditation helps to break apart all the human and cultural thoughts we have, making room for the Divine to enter.
Lack of forgiveness carries with it a weight that blocks you from feeling and giving love. We are all a work in progress. But, love is our foundation and our destiny. It is where we came from and where we are headed. Once we realize that we ARE love, the weight is lifted. Forgiveness flows freely from the soul. Forgiveness is a gift of love we can give ourselves and all those we encounter.