Ah the rose, such a simple and elegant metaphor of blossoming. Recently I have begun to think more about the concept of forgiveness. What does it mean to truly forgive? What if you don’t feel like you were the one doing the harm? Is it possible to have done harm even if it didn’t seem harmful or if you didn’t intend harm? Is it harmful when we are seeing the truth with clarity? All of these questions roam around in my mind these days. Lately we have been talking about the astrology and change. The moon went full last night and we are about to move into a lunar eclipse. Eclipse are about transformation. Letting go, releasing what isn’t serving you so that the true you underneath can rise to the surface and shine. Recently I was reminded that it is hard for us to shine when we are holding tightly to something that is weighing us down: namely anger. Oh we may be in the right, we may feel justified in our position, but really who is the one who is caught in the struggle? YOU, ME, ALL OF US. There has been a situation that has been brewing for some time that recently erupted like a volcano. The aftermath has been more freeing than I could have imagined while it was building up to its crescendo. Within all of this, it was hard for me to see the forest through the trees so to speak. It was hard for me to see my part in the conflict as it felt as though I was the one who was being harmed. It took things erupting for me to see and feel what part of it was mine. What has risen to the surface is my perceptions, my judgments and not least of all my anger.
Anger has always been a fairly comfortable emotion for me. It could partially be cultural (Irish/Italian mix is pretty deadly:) and mostly it has been conditioning. I don’t tend to back away from conflict and I am typically fairly vocal with my feelings. I believe it was this quality that impart drew me to social work. While I was interested initially in standing up for those who didn’t have a voice, I now know that I was really trying to stand up for myself. My younger self was shy, insecure, and unsure of myself: the kind of person who could be bullied which in fact I was at one point. Subconsciously I think I took on the role of the underdog and began a fight against the establishment that was somehow holding me down. Little did I know, I was that establishment. My anger and fears have kept me trapped in a perpetual cycle of frustration and anger due to my belief that somehow I was never going to be able to get what I wanted in life. My own limiting beliefs about the possibility for my own happiness are what has held me back. Through spiritual practice, I have been introduced to concepts such as abundance. Believing in abundance means that you believe that there is more than enough to go around for everyone. It is nearly impossible to live in a constant state of deprivation when you take on this belief system. Intellectually I know this is true for me. It is believing it with whole heart that is the work as it runs contradictory to my conditioned beliefs. Believing in abundance makes it impossible to hold on to anger and fear. The two can’t coexist. I believe that it is this conditioned belief pattern that has contributed to the current volcano that erupted. I can now say that thankfully it did.
My excavation of the lava this weekend showed me that the anger was wearing me down. This was an ah ha moment. My inclination is towards love not hate and anger therefore anger makes me feel horrible physically, emotionally and energetically. I don’t enjoy being in the position of needing to be right because it often makes me angrier. When I can take on a more neutral position and be open to all sides I generally feel more at peace. In the current situation, the clarity I had was not shared with others. But instead of using my clarity as an opportunity for compassion, my conditioning had me using the truth to cut like a knife. I am now ready to release myself from the baggage of the past and take on a practice of forgiveness. It will be a 30 day challenge and challenge it will be. Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian practice that is not about forgiving others but instead about asking for their forgiveness. Now you see the challenge, huh? The prayer goes like this “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” Taking this prayer on with a full and open heart helps melt angry, defensive stance we tend to hold when we feel as though we have been harmed. It takes two to tango and yes, I did do my part in the build up of the eruption. It was a suggestion that was made to me by someone I deeply trust. At the moment that the suggestion was made I felt a huge “hell no” coming up. After sitting with it for a few days I can see the connection it has to the beautiful rose up above. When we release what is holding us back it gives us the freedom to blossom and move forward. When we stay in the right, fight our way through the battle, we are surely weighing ourselves down as well as often continuing to have the same situations arise over and over again. I share these insights with you on this day as I am ready to release the burden. Since we are all connected, I imagine that there are burdens you are carrying that could use some release as well. How might you release these burdens to help you choose your own freedom? Could asking for forgiveness from someone you have harmed allow you to release and be free?
Be the rose and bloom with the spring!