So many of us carry around so much pain. There are things in our lives that we regret. We remember the things done to us and things that we’ve done. It impacted me when a friend said to me a few weeks ago that forgiveness was the greatest gift they’d ever received, from their estranged child. That comment moved me to think about what happens when we truly forgive. It was a profound thought for me, and for weeks I’ve been ruminating over it.
I have struggled with accepting my life where I am. I have also struggled with accepting where I am in my life. In that, found it quite incredulous that at this point, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be, and this pandemic doesn’t make this awareness any easier. The thing that amazed me was how much my friend had changed since having the experience with her child. It looked like being forgiven made it easier for her to forgive herself. That had never occurred for me before. Could I really FORGIVE
everything? Could I become that peaceful?
Being the academic I am, when my friend first told me her story, I immediately started researching this whole forgiveness thing. I found a lot of to-do lists.
- Reconnect with spirit
- Switch from blaming others to understanding yourself
- Learn to let go
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Let go of resentment
- Stop looking for occasions to be offended
- Don’t live in the past – be present
- Refrain from judgement\
And the list could go on, but forgiveness felt more profound than just actions to take, it was such a moving transformative process that I witnessed.
Forgiveness and Back to me now
When COVID-19 descended on Jamaica, and we went into lockdown, I had an extraordinary experience of myself and my life. I felt relieved. Not having to go out and interact with the world, brought me great relief. It was a feeling I couldn’t adequately describe, but for the first time in years, I was not feeling dread and anxious. It shocked me.
When I sat with the feeling, I wept. At that moment, all the little daily traumas came back to me, and I understood that I had been operating in fright mode for years. It was such a gradual build-up that I didn’t see it. I felt it and couldn’t explain it, going to therapists, getting medication, slowly putting on weight over the years. It just all suddenly made sense, and I was sad. I relived all the mistakes and sleights of hand and the acts of violence, physically and verbally. Then I looked around me at my family members, and they were all dealing with it. Not just with COVID-19 but life. The series of thoughts just lifted me to that place of forgiveness. It was profound, and it was healing.
Forgiveness is the gift I give myself. It truly is an act of faith and a unique act of spiritual deliverance.
It required of my friend and I, a level of awareness that opened us up to a shift in our perspectives on life that created new possibilities. Possibilities that freed who we get to be in the world, kinder, gentler, more loving and accepting. This state allowed me even more forgiveness if that makes sense. Now more than at any other point in recent history, this powerful distinction should be considered and practised. It is what will change the world.