Reality, release, respect, relief. This is the process I have walked through to make peace with forgiveness.
A couple of posts back I talked about my distaste for the word forgiveness merely because there’s so much weight to it and such definition around it that it doesn’t honor the organic ebb and flow process that really feels like forgiveness.
When I shed the idea forgiveness is a goal – as if there’s a win, lose aspect of it all – I found myself allowing forgiveness space to be in my experience. I let it breathe.
Here is the process I observe in myself:
Reality – Accepting the reality of what is. We can talk all day about whether or not there actually is a reality and I love philosophy – so have at it – but not here and now. Since you are reading this, you accept that you have a day to day life that requires you understand you are in a tangible experience and that is what we call reality. What is – is. To help consider this process and how it differs for people – maybe this well-loved quote can help: We don’t see the world as it is, we see it as we are. -Anais Nin
Release – There is a kind of mental picture of release I use to help me manifest this idea. Yes, it is a bit cliche – hands held toward the sky – and that works for me. Release is about stopping the thinking that boxes up your painful idea allowing it to fly away. I often think of this as handing it over to a higher power in a swirl of unknowing. Yeah – that won’t work for everyone. But, your release is your vision. This one works for me.
Respect – This is a way of expressing grace. Grace has sort of saved me along the way. It has shown me a way to be with the beauty of it all…and just be – not to push or pull – despite the inequities, unfairness, hurts, and suffering we and others endure. There is a simple beauty and respect for all in grace. It conjures up an image of my mother when I was a little girl sharing these words as she put her hand over her heart – There but for the grace of God go I. It was a sentence she heard her own father often say. Grace – a mantra pounded on metal on a leather bracelet made from a piece of second-hand belt I have. I wear it on my left arm – my strongest arm. It’s a reminder that grace has my back and I need very little else.
Relief – This is the feeling of weight lifted from your heart and head when you feel this process working. It is actually where forgiveness comes back into play and you realize – it’s happened. You have forgiven because you let forgiveness go and it’s freedom allowed forgiveness to take care of itself.