March 1, 2015

How Forgiveness Frees Us.

 couple, dating, hug, love


Forgiving another human is nothing like I thought it would be.

There is no high road, no moral ground. It’s not the self-sacrificing version of forgiveness that our mothers taught us (no offense, Mom).

It’s the opposite: I forgive you so that I can be free; so we both can.

Buddha said that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. This tells me that I can keep you in an energetic head lock for as long as I want to, but ultimately it is I who cannot breathe. I’m the one trapped in a story that I didn’t much like in the first place. We are never upset for the reason we think we are.

Let it go.

Forgiveness is a softening. It’s a willingness to see things differently. To release my hell-bent story of how things went down and embrace the truth of what we both are. There is no sin here, no right or wrong. There’s only one team: Team Love.

And—since we are playing on the same team—if you lose, I lose.

Let it go.

I love you for the glory and the majesty that you bring into my life. This particular glory may piss me off, or even break my heart, but I know that every encounter I have with another human being is brought to me by an organized universe to bring me back to love. How long I choose to stay with that encounter is up to me.

How willing am I to see the lesson? How willing am I to release control? How attached am I to hurting? If we haven’t yet committed to love, this is where we’ll turn away. Look for some distraction, embracing fear.

It requires the vigilant, willing, wide-open heart of love’s warriors to fall through the false ground of ego and embrace the ground of joy.

Let it go.

This feels to me like ecstatic horror. Like I’m dying, but it’s so good I just can’t stop. Don’t stop.

The beloved is finally able to radiate through the giant crack in my shiny polished veneer and say, “You can be done now. You have always been this love. All this blaming, shaming, and naming…all done. None of it is real; it never was. You clever girl, you made it up.”

Now I’m free—free to love you.

And you can be free too.

I release you from all the responsibilities I have assigned you; responsibility for my anger, my joy, my pain, my identity. I am not the victim of your actions, or of this world; I am free. I am willing to recognize that anything missing from this relationship, is what I didn’t bring.

I forgive you. I see the love that you are. I see the love that I am. Thank you for your gift.


Relephant Reads:

How to Forgive our Parents

7 Truths About Forgiveness


Author: Tish Parmenter

Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll / Editor: Renee Picard

Photo: Bobi Bobi/Flickr 

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Tish Parmenter