Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Unconditional Forgiveness

I shared this quote recently; One forgives to the degree that one loves. ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld. I know I shared it because somewhere in my life I needed to look at it, but I kind of wish I hadn’t! The thing that struck me was if I am attempting to live a path of unconditional love then that would mean there must be also unconditional forgiveness. When I step back I think maybe they are actually one in the same thing. Unconditional forgiveness is a form of unconditional love, not just spoken or thought in theory but put into action.

A reminder I received on my walk made it all very simple - simple to understand, not necessarily simple to live in human form. As I approached home I came upon the number two on the ground before me. I won’t go into the whole long explanation here about the significance of that number to me, but the gist of the reminder was that I am an expression of Spirit. What I’ve learned about that truth is that there is no work to it, only a being of it. And so in that being, the very need for forgiveness falls away.

All well and good I said to the Spirit within me, but what do I do with all those very human emotions that come along with whatever incidents create a perceived need for forgiveness? Am I simply to put those feelings aside as if they never existed? I knew that wasn’t what I was to learn from the idea.

The feelings exist in this very beautiful, human expression and so their existence needs to be acknowledged, not ignored. Where the learning is I believe, is in returning to that core of Spirit within me and witnessing those feelings, even flat out feeling them and yet recognizing them as feelings and not the truth of the situation. Then from that place of unconditional love within, I can gently look at the roots of those feelings.

It seems to me that when I look at the roots of any distressing emotions I’m experiencing they always lead to the same place, a fear of separation. If I can then look at those roots from that place of Spirit within me where I am in fact One with Spirit, then I know the falsity of the idea of separation and can begin to pull that idea out by its roots.

That’s not the end of it, however much my mind would like it to be. If I follow the range of emotions that grow from the roots I will see where that lack of forgiveness, lack of unconditional love, branched out reaching for others. I see them pointing to another and saying, it is you who separated me from (insert almost any word here) love, family, success, friendship, etc. If I can see with the eyes of unconditional love though, I can look at the individual I had been pointing at, with the same knowing of truth I had in looking at the roots. I can see that not only did they not separate me from any of those things, because there is no separation, but I can look at them and know that we are not separate either.

In seeing from unconditional love I create the space for unconditional forgiveness. Which in the end brings me gently full circle to the conclusion that if I am fully living from unconditional love there is actually no need for forgiveness, just a little weeding.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th Reflections

Below are some reflections from time spent by Mother River's side today after an Interfaith service. I offer them both in Peace and Love, and in honor of those lost 10 years ago today and for those who yet grieve.

The vulture soars over the treetops,
his shadow skimming them in an endless game of tag
the trees can never win.

That is what I saw as I sat by the river this afternoon. His flight made me take note of the sky. It was searingly blue, in a way that reminded me of another September day. I couldn’t believe the sky dared be so blue that day. It belied the mood, the collective shock and grief. Surely a sky like that could only reflect a day flowing with joy, not tears. Maybe it was the purity of the tears that intensified the blue. A purity sprung from hearts torn wide open. From all walks of life, from all races, all nations, they grieved as one, under that achingly blue sky. Perhaps it did reflect the day after all.

Today the ache is more distant, the blue less offensive to my senses. Many of the hearts torn wide have found a path of healing. And many, for the good of us all, have remained open. If there can be gratitude for the aftermath of that day, mine would be for those hearts that were courageous enough to grieve, heal and remain open. For each open heart is a doorway through which love can freely pass.
Thank you for the gift of your courage to love.