I was reading teeny tiny writing today and the words for giving blended together as one. It was one of those have chills go down your body moments. So simple.
FORGIVING IS FOR GIVING. This I believe I will repeat a few hundred times a day. Is there anything else more important? And since I can’t give what I don’t have the first thing I have to do is forgive myself — then I can share it with everyone else.
To me forgiveness is the belief that the person deserves love rather than resentment or punishment or admonishment. It is easy when we’ve had a falling out with a friend — family member — or lover to list all the things they did wrong and ignore what part we played in the drama. How many of us wait around for the other person to change so that we can now love them? Even more interesting to examine is how many of us have had the other person change and apologize and now act in a loving manner toward us, and yet, we still keep bringing up how they wronged us two years ago? And yes, I have the finger firmly pointing at myself for this one.
I’ve found that the thing I most want to change in someone else is the thing I most need to change in myself. I woke up the other night at 1 am with the epiphany about a friend I rarely see anymore. I grew up hearing all the time how I could do things better or differently. This was meant as a means of expressing love and support, but all I heard was that I wasn’t good enough and I’d never fit in. I realized this is exactly what I did to this friend. I was trying to give love but I could only give it in the way that I had learned to receive it. Instead of telling the person all the great things they did (I figured that was obvious to them already), I’d point out all the things I felt they could do to be happier. It seems pretty stupid to me now but that is what epiphanies are for — showing us our very own stupid.
Forgiveness is for giving. I first forgive myself for being angry at my family. They did the best they could expressing their love. I forgive myself for carrying on this family fear pattern. I realize now that I put so much effort into “helping” my friend shift their old family patterns of fear so that I wouldn’t have to work on my own. I also now realize that the few times I came close to doing the “right” thing — the “loving” thing by telling them “You deserve to be loved” or “You are loved” — the friend probably would never believe it from me. This was because I still didn’t believe I deserved to be love or that I was loved. How could I expect someone else to believe my words if I wasn’t able to believe it about myself?
Since my epiphany, I broke my old pattern. I didn’t go through all the things I wished I had said or done differently. Or more importantly all the things I wish the other person had done or said differently. I have repeated to myself, “I love and approve of myself.” (many many times) This may seem a weird form of forgiveness — where is the “I’m sorry” or the “We need to talk”? There may come a time for those but first comes the shift from fear to love. The forgiveness of myself — that I was so afraid — I couldn’t receive the other person’s love or anyone else’s.
I still am a work in progress but I will keep telling myself that I am loved, until someday, I own that belief and no one or nothing can shake it. And hopefully, some day the Universe will align so that I will get the chance to say to all of my friends and family, “You deserve to be loved — You are loved.” AND they will believe I mean it and it is the absolute unshakable truth.