All this week on The Double X Factor program I do on KMA, we are discussing the topic of Forgiveness. This is certainly my intention as I write this Sandy Chat today. To my way of thinking, when we make another person responsible for our happiness, we have lost our way. This is because when we blame, we have lost our true loving hearts to fear.
I have felt on the receiving end of painful blame to be sure. It felt as if there was a score card being kept of all my transgressions and the evidence of my making “wrong” choices. BUT! Here is the thing!!! The very fact that I noticed that there was score keeping taking place, means I AM DOING THAT SAME DAMN THING IN RETURN! I am keeping score of how someone else is score keeping on me... and back and forth it goes. Ei-yi-yi.
I recently heard Abraham-Hicks tell someone who claimed that they believed a relationship was about two whole people coming together and this person was noticing that the other person was not showing up whole. The response was “If you think it takes two whole people to create a good relationship – you gotta be one of them. If you are noticing the flaw in the other person, that means you have that same flaw.” Wowzer. Projection, described quite beautifully in this article by Martha Beck, is real. What I've discovered is that while I was feeling unjustly blamed by another, I was indeed blaming them for being unjust towards me. You spot it, you got it.
Score keeping is easy. You just keep a tally of all the times you felt the other person was out of line or wronged you and then you puke it back out to them every time a new infraction comes along. So you can say “SEE! You are wrong and I am a victim of your choices. I am a victim and you are my persecutor.” The thing is, finding the flaw or lack in others is NOT the path to liking what you see in yourself and the reason is, focusing on the flaw or lack in others is really about how you see yourself.
Forgiveness takes tremendous strength. I heard Anne Lamott once say that forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. It doesn’t necessarily mean you want to have lunch with that person, but if you keep hitting back you stay trapped in the nightmare. For my money, the reason forgiveness takes so much strength is because until you give it to YOURSELF, no matter how crappy the thing is that the other person did, you won’t be free enough to forgive. You are imprisoned by your blame. If you can forgive yourself for being imperfect, "failing", stumbling - also all known as being human, THEN you can do it for just about anyone else. It starts with you forgiving you.
Someone else may have done or said something super nasty that was or seems it was aimed right at you, but the starting point there is in forgiving yourself for tolerating the poor treatment. Knowing you were doing the best you could at the time. Forgiving yourself for YOUR part in what took place because that is the only part you have the opportunity to do something about going forward. This shifts the story from “somebody did something to me” to “This was my part in it and I’m learning from it”. You just went from being a victim, to a creator with that shift.
Forgiveness puts you back in charge of your life because instead of waiting for what has happened to somehow change, you make a conscious choice to go first. In the lyrics of a song by Johnny Lange, “You could waste your whole life waiting for that mountain to move…But its waiting on you…You got to make it move.” For me, that mountain is things like blame, regret, anger, fear, shame, guilt – any lower energy frequency or lower state of consciousness. Those lower energies become mountains in our path if we choose to stay in those states of mind. When we set an intention to forgive, we stop waiting for the feeling to go away due to the other person or condition changing and decide instead that peace is more important than the score card we are keeping.
Love and appreciation are said to be the two most powerful feeling states we can aim for. So what if instead of blaming or keeping score we just chose to love and appreciate the tough conditions and people that are bound to come into our experience? What if you made this your forgiveness mantra:
I love you with all that I am, for the opportunity you give me and have given me to discover who I am.
Thank you for the fun.
Thank you for the growth.
Thank you for the love.
Thank you for the challenges.
You might have to say this many times each day if this is someone you want to keep in your life or a condition you can't eliminate immediately! Remind yourself - The other person or condition isn’t “wrong” and neither am I. There is a saying that goes “Do you want to be right? Or do you want to be happy?” I choose happy. My happiness is my responsibility and when I get clear on that, I can bring it and myself into my relationships already whole. What I'm learning is that forgiveness is part of the road to happiness for me. Give it a try and see if you find it is true for you too.
Women's Retreat Update!
"Who's Got Your Back Part 1" is the working title of the one day women's retreat we are currently planning. It will be held in Omaha (location to be announced soon) on March 24th.
The spirituality of living in your light and trusting in your tribe will be the focus of the talks, activities - even dancing! More details in the next Sandy Chat.
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Sandy Edie Hansen
I use this space to "Chat" about things I am working through and learning in my life currently. Join me!