Abstruse Absolution

forgiveness

I’ve been learning a thing or two about forgiveness.  In the past, I’ve always thought that forgiveness was simply a matter of releasing someone from fault or wrongdoing.  But there is an inherent flaw in that way of thinking.  Releasing someone from fault or wrongdoing implies that YOU are right.  And when there are certainly two sides to every coin, I’d say that’s a pretty bold assumption.

It’s like telling your parents, out of nowhere, that you forgive them for turning you into such a screwed-up adult.  Whew—pretty big of you.  Not sure how well that statement would be received.   Maybe just a tiny bit condescending?

But what if you took ownership for your part?  What if, in fact, you APOLOGIZED for all of the judgments you’ve slapped on over the years, if you manned-up to your blame, your resentment, your inability to put yourself into their shoes, and the scapegoating that is usually easiest with those closest to us?  And then, with a shred of compassion, stopped to consider that maybe they did the very best of their ability.

And what if, after putting all of that out there…when you’ve owned up to your shit and laid it out on the table in all of its ugliness, and realness, and fallibility and you could see yourself for all that you have been and haven’t been; for your impact, or lack thereof, for your shortcomings and misgivings and oh–the English language is such a tangled mess—and what if, when you saw that stark reality without sugar-coating or shroud and…you forgave YOURSELF?

What if we could stand up for the people that have hurt us the most?  Might we discover the most pure form of compassion possible??  If we could let go of our grudges might we be able to listen with openness and acceptance and unconditional love?

What I’m learning is that it’s easy to stand tall in self-righteousness.  It’s easy to point the finger elsewhere.  But it takes guts to be humble enough to lay our faults on the line, to own up to our 50%.

The payoff, once you get past all that…..I think, is a formula for building relationships filled with acceptance instead of judgment, with understanding instead of blame…and if you can adopt those ways of thinking with others, even with those that you might not even like, then maybe….just maybe, you might be able to look into the mirror and see yourself with those same compassionate eyes.

I have no answers, only questions….but I’m learning.  And it sure ain’t easy.

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beth
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 23:01:35

    Yes. These words ring true.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Sacrificing myself for the greater good? Yeah sure, why not? | melanie's blog

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