Sometimes, there are words of inspiration we need to read many times, because they hold a lesson or some knowledge that needs the passing of time in order for the teaching to really sink in.
For me, the words “Forgive yourself. Not just once—but again, and again, and again. As many times as it takes to find peace,” are the words that I need. They are the words my heart needs to hear many times.
This is what I need to hear, because this reminder to continually forgive myself touches a place inside of me that makes it feel like, just maybe, this path is doable. That maybe, this opportunity to forgive myself through dropping into the increasingly riskier territory of just being “me” with nothing to do, or fix, or become, or apologize for is enough.
But the truth is that these words reminding me to forgive myself hurt. They hurt because they cut me to the bone with the knowledge that more often than not, I don’t forgive myself.
Most of the time, I beat myself up. I am sure I am not good enough, and I’m even at fault for every woe that is manifested every second of every day.
Do you know that feeling?
The feeling that somehow we are causing all the pain in the world?
So the reminder that every little bit of meanness I express to myself can be forgiven in any individual moment lifts me up to a love higher then my own source. And from this level of forgiveness, a freedom opens up inside of me and all around me.
A freedom sprouting from the visceral knowledge that no one has to be judged, no one has to be wrong, and everything that has happened that has created this dam of regret and pain in my being can be dissolved through the balm of forgiveness and become a flowing river once again.
Maybe this is what mindfulness really is? Forgiving every moment that has ever come before, and also forgiving every future moment that is presently causing us fear or distress.
Through this liberating movement of forgiveness, peace starts to grow in our heart and in our daily experience. We start to see that feeling the peace is something that happens now. Now being the only place we can feel peace.
Are you ready to forgive? Are you ready to pick up every stone of regret and disappointment, throw them back into the sea of infinite life, and just say now is enough?
Now is where I am—and where I am loving and living—and it is enough.
Forgiveness isn’t something we can conceptualize. Instead, we melt into forgiveness. We let ourselves become soft and vulnerable. We just accept that everything that has happened is what happened. We see that we can keep hurting ourselves with the past, or we can let the sharp edges get rubbed smooth.
Today, I forgive and let go of the anger I held in my heart yesterday. Because right now, a trickle of sun is saying hello to me through the window, and that sting of anger from yesterday distracts me from the abundant love that is available to me now.
What little wound are you ready to forgive in this moment? How much room can you create right now to let that flicker of love that is trying to get your attention right in this moment fill you even fuller?
This is what the gift of forgiveness offers us.
Author: Ruth Lera
Image: Flickr/Julie Jordan Scott
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina