Sometimes it can take a long time to forgive what was done to you. Years? Yes. Lifetimes even.
Soon, I will share with you a book that I am reading. But it is not time. Time – it is such a odd and funny thing.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know that I moved into my current home about a year ago. In fact, to be precise, it was 1 year and 6 days ago. The one-year mark came and went and I hardly noticed. But that’s not the date that I’m thinking about today.
Today is January 20th. It is the first full day of Aquarius. It is Sunday and an amazingly beautiful day in Austin. I woke early, and was out of the house before 8:00. I’ve been nursing some injuries, but I decided to give the gym a try. It wasn’t a great workout, but it was decent.
The last song I hear as I finish my workout is one of my newest. I purchased it days ago, but have hardly played it. So I put it on repeat and listen to it all the way home. Something about it makes me feel… different. Something about this whole weekend has me feeling this way, but the song intensifies my awareness of it. Playing the same song over and over has a way of digging into me.
When I get home, I sit and continue to listen. In the back of my mind is the work I’m doing with the book I referred to above. This book is about healing old wounds, very, very old wounds.
Suddenly, I’m crying and sobbing. I realize that I have been holding on to resentment and neglecting to forgive. I thought it was about past lives, but now I’m not sure.
Forgiveness is hard to create. It can’t be willed. It can’t be faked. It can be asked for, but to truly experience it takes time. I didn’t really know this before now. Saying, “It’s okay,” or “I accept your apology,” is a start, but it is not it. Wanting to forgive is not much further down the road. True forgiveness is like a full-grown tree; it can’t spring up over night.
What most surprises me is that when true forgiveness comes, the first thing you want to say is, “I’m sorry”. I now see how much withheld forgiveness hurts, and I’m sorry. I see how much pain is created by the in-between. Yes, the original pain hurt, but so did all of the time in between. It hurt both ways.
So I am sorry and I can honestly say I forgive you. And with more feeling than before, I love you.
The Ho’oponopono prayer goes like this (at least the way I’ve memorized it):
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
But I now realize it is missing something. It is missing:
I forgive you.
To be completely honest, I am not sure what exactly I am forgiving. I’m sure I have a lot more people to forgive, and a lot more history to let go of. And maybe some relationships will return and maybe some will be truly released into greater hands. And maybe my suffering will subside. And maybe we’ll heal the physical manifestations of the emotional pain. And maybe this is the beginning of a whole new life.
Some of you might be like me. You might be in between grave hurt and forgiveness. You might think that a hurt as bad as that is unforgivable and maybe the last thing you want to do is forgive. That’s okay. I say to you – seek healing, and forgiveness will come.
True forgiveness is miraculous. It is beyond understanding. And yet, it is and always will be. When you arrive, you know it. No, it does not erase the pain, but it sets it free. It transforms the very air that you breathe. There is what came before, and what comes after.
I do not know what happened, and yet, I know there is perfection here. If you’ve been reading me for a while, you might remember the post I made exactly one year ago today. It is called It’s All I Can Do. That day too, I listened to a song over and over again. That day too, I cried and I sobbed. That day too, I set free a boatload of hurt.
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you. And I forgive you.