Over the last several years, I have been diligent and consistent in letting go of the past. In learning to look at myself with more loving eyes. I have created a life that I feel happy with and proud of, learned to be honest with myself and those around me, and also learned deeply how to love myself in a profound way. It has not always been easy, however, the journey has been worthwhile and eye opening.
Every now and then, however, a piece of my past that I thought was resolved will come up for me again, and the pain and shame of it will feel so intense, it feels like I am still living it. That is what happened this week. A loved one shared with me something deeply personal that happened to her, and how it has impacted her life. I was angry. I was sad that she had to experience something that was so painful and confusing for her. I wanted to hurt, physically, the person that hurt her.
I thought that the key to resolving the anger for me was to come to terms with forgiving the person who had hurt her, finding space in my heart to see that person as innocent, as we are all innocent beings in this world. I really believed that forgiving that other person was what I would aspire to to feel better about the whole thing.
Funny thing, this life. Funny how we see our lessons as being in one direction, when in actuality, they are always about what it is that we need to learn, what it is that we need to teach, or reteach ourselves day after day. So, there was no one that I realized that I had to forgive, except myself. Forgive myself for being human, and making mistakes, and still being perfectly okay as I was. Although I thought that I had done that long ago, there was part of me that was still holding onto that old wound.
I realize today, that I have nothing to defend or be angry about. In digging a little deeper, I found that the anger that I feel is related to myself, angry at me for not being a better person in the past. For hurting someone close to me in order to meet my own needs. I felt, and still feel, guilt and shame about something that occurred so long ago. And, someone else’s experience this week reminded me that I still had some residue that was ready to be released, hopefully once and for all.
I truly believe, with all of my heart, that seeking forgiveness from others for our transgressions, for our simply being human, brings some temporary relief. However, the true healing, the magic of this world, is in the forgiveness that we lovingly bestow on ourselves. The true miracle is when we can look upon ourselves with deep, warm eyes of love. Because I only need to remember that the way to true forgiveness is all within my reach, all within me.