This morning I was thinking about how I have learned less about the importance of forgiveness from needing to forgive the mistakes of others than I have from needing it for myself and not knowing if I have it.
Most people can likely relate to what I’m saying, but I don’t know how many have experienced it to the degree I have in the past few years. Everybody has hurt somebody and sometimes we can really feel the weight of our decisions. In my quest to know myself and my relationship to the thing most people call God, people have been hurt. Some of them (my decisions) have been huge and unskillfully made. It saddens me sometimes when I see the effects of my mistakes.
In the past few years I have separated from every person I have ever been close to. Intentionally and unintentionally. It has been the most painful process and series of life lessons I have ever been through, but it needed to happen. Many lessons were learned about relationships and how the universe works. Right now I’m very cautiously considering adding new friends to my life and reestablishing some older connections.
I feel like I can do this now because I am interacting with people again through work and it feels like I am releasing bad karma and building up good. Spending too much time alone is not healthy long-term. Not for me anyway. It automatically encourages too much thinking of oneself. And life is about the other, I am convinced of it.
This is the lesson I have learned over the past couple of years of desolate solitude: My life isn’t about me. My life is about my interaction with the rest of reality. Even when I am alone for long periods of time, I cannot escape the fact that my thoughts determine many things, the impact of which is felt not just by me, but everyone I encounter, however briefly. It is absolutely my duty to cultivate a heart of compassion and forgiveness. We all deserve to be treated with respect, understanding and acceptance. And because we all deserve it, cultivating these qualities in myself is the highest calling to which I can aspire in this lifetime.
This is why I am living life the way I have chosen. Being present and aware is the only way to learn the lessons. Whatever life hands me, my job is to experience it, to learn from that experience, and with that knowledge, make the world a more loving place.
The really wonderful moments of my life often include these moments of insight. As the answers come to me and I am able to put them into practice, I experience moments of true peace and joy. No external thing can produce, describe or compare to this feeling.
I am doing my best to keep it real, which for me means staying aware, understanding myself and my motivations, and honoring the thing that unites us all. I am hoping that having come quite a distance in the process of holding myself accountable for my experience, I am able to have compassion for those who are still not quite able to. Life lessons come at a high price and I don’t blame anyone for being afraid of going there. Ultimately, my hope is that the quality of my relationships going forward will be much higher than it has been in the past.
The only person I will ever really need to forgive is me. Everyone is doing their best. Anyone I perceive as having harmed me in some way is no exception to that. There is nothing to forgive when you really think about it.
As for me, I have made a lot of mistakes, big ones. But I have never really held a desire to intentionally hurt anyone. My life has been way more about wanting to help than hurt. But I’m human and I have made decisions that have harmed others. I wish to be forgiven for those, especially those I have thus far been unable to correct. It’s never too late and I keep my mind and heart open to opportunities that will lead to neutralizing any negative effects of my actions and to spiritual reconciliation with anyone I have ever harmed. It’s not necessary to have all of these people become a part of my day-to-day life again, but it is necessary for the spiritual connections I have to be of the clearest, highest and most positive frequency.
I have been a bit uninspired to write lately. Fatigue from work combined with thinking hard about people and human nature left me more introspective than expressive for a while. Such are the cycles of life. Things have opened for the moment and there are things to share. This moment will give way to the next, which may again be a moment of contemplation and reflection with little expression. Both are equally valuable.
I have much gratitude for what I have gained through life’s difficulties. Insight is an amazing gift. Seeing more, seeing a grander picture. The world is so much bigger and richer coming from the perspective of awareness.
All the things I went looking for, unconditional love, acceptance, kindness, understanding, and compassion, I found them. Inside.
I am blessed.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ~Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ~Maya Angelou
“I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go ’round and ’round, I really love to watch them roll. No longer riding on the merry-go-round, I just had to let it go.” ~John Lennon