Friday, January 13, 2012

Toward Forgiveness

This is another from my time as a psychologist.

Toward Forgiveness
Energy constantly flows thru and around us. When we are wounded - when our love is imageless - when our hope is dammed - when our dance is bound then the energy does not flow. Two birds are hatched in our chest. The one flies with a broken wing. The other hides in the nest afraid to fly.

Hiding in the nest we hold dreams of goodness and fantasies of loud applause as we soar. The broken wing flier goes in circles; so the world always looks and feels the same. We learn to fly this way. This is how flying is done. When flying is not done this way we fear falling.

How easy it is to be snared in the binds of unforgiveness. Each of us has experienced this trap. We lick the wound not to heal it but to keep it alive. It gives us energy. It gives us meaning. Yet underneath this attitude is energy spent on self protection; the need to not let go of a way of being because there is a great grief and a deep gulf of unknowing that awaits us.

False forgiveness is still being trapped in the binds of unforgiveness. It is still self-protection. It tries to go around the hurt. It is peppered with not knowing, disconnection from an ancient scene. Either or both allows the here and now to disown the then.

Most of our present day hurts have an interwoven history. In the now we fail to see that we are part of the dance that brought the pain. Needs, hopes, fears - a whole range of our humanity let’s us be blind to our knowing. What is it we won’t allow ourselves to know? That we knew. That there was a moment in time when we knew we were in a dance destined for pain but some ache drove us to continue to the dance. Now in the ‘this is how it is for me’ feeling of hurt we forget that moment of knowing. We forget we were a hungry player.

There is also a great grief of a hurt of loving, trust, and belonging. Each of our unfolding young selves reach out to the world. In touching the world it can touches back in ways that leave a hole, a deep longing. My love given but not received. My love given and misused. My unfolding self not received but shaped, molded, distorted for other’s ends. Love given to my young self only if I hold my face a certain way. Speak my words a certain way. Skip the rope a certain way.

These set the stage for the dances of our lives. In a grand paradox we seek to undo, to fill the hole sitting in the middle of our chest and at the same time we create with our necessary blindness a validation that we deserve what we got/get. Here is the self- protection. It is protection from encountering the seemingly bottomless pit radiating from our chest into our gut, stifling our voice, chilling our loins, and burning our brain. It is the great grief of a child’s powerlessness.

To find power we dance the dance. We skip the rope in just the right way. Round we go over and over again. Stillness threatens to bring the sound of the emptiness. So we dance the dance.

And if we need to forgive ourselves that we were a partner in the dance in the present so deeply we must forgive ourselves that our very humanity was the dance partner in the past. We were a girl, not an object; we were a boy, not a machine; we were a child, not a parent; we were a sibling, not a monitor. To be blind to being asked the impossible; to hang on to the burning cycle of resentment; the deep hole of self blame keeps us from self forgiveness, keeps us from accepting the powerlessness of the situation. Keeps our dream alive that there is a fairness in the world; that there is good reason in the world, that we can understand the world in all its complexity.

Love is the active principle to forgiveness - love is the energy of all our emotions - love is accepting all that we are, loving ourselves warts and all. With love forgiveness of self and others does not always come easy; it does come.

Along with self-forgiveness, we realize that a higher power, a grand mystery, an ineffable ‘All’ is love. This connection enters because only faith in a deeper ‘meaning’ to the universe allows a faith in the day to day. We find a solace and a joy in surrendering to not knowing; to not having to control all; to being held in the warming lap of a greater ‘wisdom’. Faith allows the uniting of the fledgling self, it allows the self to soar.

John Weber Nov 97

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