Last week i wrote a piece about seeking opportunities to fail brilliantly. This week, the musings on “failure” continued into the realm of interpersonal relationships.
Have you ever seriously fucked up? Or, experienced someone you trusted and loved fucking up to a possibly unforgivable extent? In the last year, i’ve been on both sides. It sucks. It hurts. And…
I’ve come to understand that we can’t hold onto the pain forever. It will exhaust and deplete our resources, leaving us sick and alone. Instead, we can attend to the painful processes and feelings with eyes and heart wide open.
As Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, the wounds (when explored consciously) open doorways of perception. They scrape away the grimy film of projections, so we see ourselves and others more clearly, and hopefully more compassionately.
With time and care, eventually the alchemical balms of forgiveness and gratitude arise, healing the wounds with scars that make us stronger.
The balm of forgiveness: In _The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace_, Jack Kornfield writes: “Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” Forgiveness is for-giving - choosing generosity over bitter resentment, over wistfully holding onto an alternate path that could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been. With true forgiveness, we move from longing for something else to being with what is and feeling grateful for what was.
The balm of gratitude: Personally, the daily gratitude journaling never worked. Gratitude cannot be contrived by the mind - at least not my mind! “I am grateful” is not an affirmation crafted to make the uncomfortable feelings go away. Gratitude arises spontaneously, freely, without obligation, from Source.
Feel and write and speak from that space of the Heart of hearts, Source without source: Thank you for… (fill in the blank with what arises from the depth of you and continue until you have poured your precious heart out)…
_Thank you all, including me, for breaking my heart…because as this heart broke, so did the infantile behaviors that entrapped me in childish ways. And, as these behaviors broke, i became the strong woman, embracing her inner child, feeling her emotions, hearing her pain, seeing her vulnerability, giving her the support she needed all along. _
You see, a strong man or woman is not made of immovable, unbreakable stone. We are woven into the very fabric of Love and Life through relationships. Our strength is in being and living together, here, now - making an offering of our blood, sweat and tears to this world.
Our failures, our fractures, our falls from grace pave the way for our deepest healing. After the heart breaks, after the exhalation of rage and descent into grief, we journey further along the journey of healing and wholeness with gentleness, with kindness, with compassion.
We then have new potential: To put into order and bring into balance that which is disordered and disharmonious. To pick up the scattered, shattered pieces and create a new order, a new harmony. To do the work. To sing the songs. To pray the prayers. To serve the highest and deepest good.
When we do our work all the way through, our eyes are opened to the flow of emotion and energy within and on a global scale. All around us, near and far, we are witnessing apparently unforgivable acts of violence, terror and hatred. This is personal. This is collective. _As above, so below; as within, so without; as the soul, so the universe._
Do we have the courage to look into the mirror and face the reflections and projections - to experience the anger and hurt - to forgive with compassion - to feel gratitude?
Don’t rush it. Don’t push it. Don’t force it on yourself or anyone else. Remember that true forgiveness is for-giving. Give time. Give space. Give big fat alligator teardrops of love.
In service of all that is Holy, Source without source, time everlasting,
* The Guided Meditation this week is a sweet balm for your precious hearts. Available for the Beauty, Love & Magic Makers on Patreon.