|Posted by Kimaya Crolla-Younger on December 19, 2016 at 4:10 AM|
Give a gift of authentic wealth to your family and loved ones this Xmas.
In my own experience, the concept of ‘forgiveness’ was for so long, somehow too big; I couldn’t digest it. The word seemed to oversimplify the terrain required…such were the perceived injustices that befell me throughout my young life. Every time the ‘F’ word would be mentioned, I would silently scream ‘No!’
In approaching forgiveness, I discovered I had to drop the word entirely. And look elsewhere.
Like love, for example. I began to look at the kind of words I was saying to myself about love. Then, I went deeper. What was my knowing about love?
Much later, during my 12 years in psychotherapy, I could see that my therapist had an agenda for me to forgive… and this seemed to block the deep exploration, unfolding and unbinding of this particular life. Still I kept going.
Poet David Whyte writes on the subject “…the identity of the one who must forgive is actually founded on the very fact of having been wounded…Stranger still, it is that wounded, branded, un-forgetting part of us that eventually makes forgiveness an act of compassion rather than one of simple forgetting. To forgive is to assume a larger identity than the person who was first hurt, to mature and bring to fruition an identity that can put its arm, not only around the afflicted one within, but also around the memories seared within us by the original blow…we reimagine the past in the light of our new identity, we allow ourselves to be gifted by a story larger than the story that first hurt us and left us bereft".
Forgiveness is nuanced. It can take time; it did for me in my particular story. In the context of this article, gifting our family or loved ones; a gift of authentic wealth. Authentic wealth cannot be bought on-line. And when received, it is deeply nourishing. And yet it doesn't cost any money. It's cost is to be willing to be real. To perhaps be vulnerable. To accept that the past is over. Acceptance is one of the nuances of the 'F' word. Allowing the person or situation to be as it is. No different. Not how we want them to be.
One of the most common conversations I find myself engaging in socially, is how to be with parents and loved ones in a way that is meaningful. Surprisingly not easy it would seem.
Even in the most ordinary of lives, it is vital to reach inside ourselves, beyond what happened; or beyond needing or wanting some form of love or approval. Particularly in terms of being with, and sometimes looking after, parents who are getting older. Patterns, both in the personality and emotionally, become entrenched, and it can feel neigh on impossible to ‘meet’ our loved one in any meaningful way, particularly when we keep getting hooked in the patterns! So how can we show that we love the other. Do we even love them?
We must reach inside ourselves enough to find the love. You will likely find the required reach is underneath an unmet need for love or approval. Found it yet? Even if it’s a tiny speck. Go to that speck. And let go of any agenda or expectation of needing anything from the other.
Let them know that you love them. But you must mean it, otherwise they will feel your inauthenticity.
Forgiveness is not about condoning or excusing bad behaviour. But it is exploring the vast inner terrains, of unpicking the behaviour from the person. For me, forgiving was a place I unexpectedly arrived at, in my decision not to perpetuate the cycle of pain and suffering.
Reconciling with the past allows you to look to the future. The single thing that most characterises people who have experienced forgiveness is this larger perspective.
Blessings of the season to you and do let me know how you get on, won’t you? Love Kimaya x
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