What would the world look like if we switched from finger-pointing and fighting to forgiving? What would change in your life? Honestly, many of the most debilitating and painful moments in my life came when I didn’t forgive someone (or myself), or when I authentically asked for, yet didn’t receive it. Desmond Tutu titled a book No Future Without Forgiveness. My hunch is he did so because, not only do the spirits of judgment and forgiveness live on opposite sides of the “fence”, the former leads to death, while the latter leads to life.
While in some seasons of life, I tended to belittle people in the “wrong” political party or with “incorrect” religious views, these days usually my biggest struggle is with forgiving myself. I play the tapes in my head about when I ______, and then beat myself up for not doing better. Know what I mean? Which “naturally” leads me to Jesus, The Beatles, and yoga. 😉
Something fabulous I don’t hear mentioned much about Easter and the Jesus story goes like this: Instead of dying on the cross, the Christ could easily have rallied an army of His supporters and/or called heavenly hosts to fight those trying to kill him. Yet, not only did He choose not to fight, as he hung dying, some of his last words were to forgive them. What is more, after He was sentenced to death, virtually all His male followers deserted Him. Yet, He never blamed or shamed them, instead Jesus’ first word to them on Easter was “peace”. In a world that preaches finger-pointing and fighting, Jesus lived forgiveness. As Richard Rohr wisely observes: “As long as we deal with the real meaning of evil and sin by some means other than forgiveness and healing, we will keep projecting, fearing, and attacking it over there (‘scapegoating’), instead of ‘gazing’ on it within ourselves and ‘weeping’ over it.”
“Let It Be” by the Beatles, to me gives voice to what Jesus did. The spirit of forgiveness gives space to let the past and people “be”, as, it is in the letting that we heal and grow. As counterintuitive as it may seem, I see clearly how that’s been true for me. What is more, this is one of yoga’s gifts. When we give room for the crap inside us to bubble up without judgment, it will often just float away, like dust in the wind. May we all be blessed by the space and grace forgiveness brings!
Hugs & Love,
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