M-2-M Stories About Right, Wrong and Forgiveness 2013/Jan/14

Trying to make someone right or wrong is a key practice in the age old art of point missing.

It’s amazing how common it is to judge others as right or wrong while being attached to making a point about it.

Every experience is a perfect teacher, and this one is particularly interesting because it’s painful, common and easy to see in a range of behaviours. When I first started looking at this habit, I found it manifesting in most of my conversations and thoughts. I was often either feeling grandiose about knowing and being right about something or feeling resentment of the facts for not matching what my perspective said was “right”. Both of these experiences were not motivated by creating a beautiful outcome for all, and were certainly NOT comfortable in the body.

This all reflects a deep inner turmoil. If I judge something, it’s a reflection that I don’t accept that in myself. I’m effectively judging myself. Using this same mirror, If I’m attached to other peoples perceptions I’m scrambling to find acceptance because I don’t have it unconditionally from myself. This process is rather challenging but very effective at causing enough pain to drive people into the natural cures for this kind of “dis-ease”: Compassion and Forgiveness.

Compassion is a process of empathy, respect, wanting to understand, wanting to help, doing what feels right, and letting go of attachment to the outcome. If you’re new to compassion, it can be very powerful to start with yourself. Directing compassion to yourself eventually expands outwards anyway.

By empathising with ourselves we can feel the emotions directly rather than the second hand emotions that we feel when empathising with others.

In my case, I felt defensive, and these attempts to protect or judge were preemptive strikes that tried to distract from my own insecurities. Feeling and accepting my emotions as they are helped me avoid getting lost in reactionary spirals of old habit patterns that had been my natural reaction for so long that they felt automatic. I did have a choice, but it took awareness to see it.

By genuinely honouring myself and living in awareness of what was “really” happening I felt liberated from resentment. Lightness, freedom and finally being at peace with this moment was something that I didn’t even know was possible. I felt an internal acknowledgment of myself as someone worthy of respect. With the combination of wanting to see the situation clearly, allowing  emotions to be fully felt and respecting myself I naturally wanted to help. I became a priority in my life. It was such a gift to look out for myself and take proactive steps towards feeling better.

While it often comes as part of compassion, Forgiveness is worthy of it’s own discussion. Without forgiveness there is no peace.

You CAN learn from experiences and take action without holding resentment against yourself. There comes a point where it’s no longer learning from what happened and it’s just beating yourself up.

Does withholding forgiveness (especially from yourself) serve your fullest expression? Does it serve the fullest expression of the community?

If you take nothing else from this article, sit with these three insights into forgiveness:

  • Withholding forgiveness is like stabbing yourself in an attempt to hurt someone else.
  • If you know enough about a person, you can’t help but forgive them for anything.
  • Forgiveness is forgiving yourself for believing there was anything to forgive in the first place… It all just is.

Transitioning out of this habit pattern starts with your relationship with yourself and grows into a more loving and prosperous relationship with everyone.

My outlook has totally flipped thanks to Compassion and Forgiveness. I was holding on so tightly to resistance and resentment. Now I open heartedly love each moment for what it is. I see things as just perfect moments, phases and events unfolding.

From here I make choices that naturally nurture sustainable smiles.