The Awakening of a Calm Heart
Forgiveness does not heal, fix or make a relationship (or ourselves, for that matter) any better. It does not forgive the actions someone else or we took. True forgiveness doesn’t even pretend away or remove the hurt.
True, authentic forgiveness is more simple than all that. It helps us see our present circumstances with clear and honest eyes and heart; it creates peace with things as they truly are. There is no ambition in the act of forgiving. Forgiveness, then, is the awakening of a calm heart. From this still place, a new relationship may materialize naturally or the old may simply dissolve. With no ambition for making things any different than they honestly are, we afford forgiveness the opportunity to simply saunter in, grace us with mercy and leave us gratified no matter what the outcome.
These words dropped in on me from my own heart, in that magical moment between waking time and sleeping time, like a healing salve dropping on a wound that I wasn’t even aware was still there. I heard these words and realized it was the first true moment of peace and grace I’d felt in the past year, since the start of my divorce.
Until then, I had honestly thought I’d forgiven my ex. After all, I had let him leave, I had participated in the sale of our house, had moved once, twice, then 1,500 miles away and had even entered a new relationship. Hadn’t all that proven that I was over him and had forgiven him?
As I paused in the moment I heard these words, I realized the truth was that I was over him, but I had not yet forgiven him. I had postured to get through it, becoming ambitious to leave it all behind and strengthened to do the great departure. However, none of these actions had brought peace, stillness or complete acceptance that my life had changed until the moment those words graced my heart.
The truth about great awakenings is that they come and go just as sorrow is felt through a tear and released. I still need to read these words of grace to remind me what the quality of true forgiveness actually is. I still need to say the words, “I forgive myself for the actions I have taken that have hurt my loved ones and I forgive the actions my loved ones have taken that have hurt me,” and find the courage to live this new life.
The difference now is that I am no longer ambitious to be anywhere or doing anything different from what is true to my heart in each moment. Whether or not I have truly forgiven him and myself no longer matters to me. I know that wound will heal in its own right timing. The wound can breathe on its own now without needing me to put a bandage on it, protecting it from infection. It can be out in the world now because it has built a strength and resiliency. I no longer need to attend to it so much and am no longer so distracted by it. I am no longer running away, pretending the pain isn’t there. I can feel it now when it rises up and appreciate the audacity ofhow it expresses itself without berating it like an unruly child.
It has been one year almost to the day since he told me he was leaving for good. It has been three years to the day since I betrayed him and disappeared. Today I celebrate the end with as much festivity and mixed emotion as there was when I entered the marriage.
Today, I also add divorce, life in a new state and a new career to my list of life experiences. And I live my truth, continuing to forgive every day.
Anam Cara is a modern, every day woman. She has married, divorced and found love again. As a child, she wrote her name on everything (ask her mom). As an adult, she has changed her name, had her name on the missing person’s registry, changed her name again and created a pen name and business names. As a child, she wore a t-shirt that read, “I am woman. Hear me roar.” As an adult, she wears a tank top that reads, “Well-behaved woman rarely make history.” Some day, she will write her book entitled, “They” Would Call Me Crazy. Embarking on her greatest adventure yet, she recently moved 1500 miles from a small town in upstate New York to Miami in her Saab 95 just because she wanted to experience more joy, beauty, and pleasure in sacred living, as well as the expansion of her horizons. In the Grand Move, Chariot (or “Cherry” for short) was filled to the brim with her leftover belongings from the Great Purge, two beloved felines, herself, and her supportive partner. Prior to the Grand Move, her inner artist, shaman and yogini were re-awakened through what some would call a very bad year. In that period, she made a conscious decision to channel her angst into creating a vital livelihood. Inspired by her photographs, she wrote a poem a day for 30 days and found it re-fueled, nourished and sustained her. She continues to create and shares her work with you in hopes that you too are replenished. You can find more of her at www.facebook.com/InfiniteNectar and www.facebook.com/vitalogy.us.
Editor: Brianna Bemel
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