We all make mistakes. Let’s face it, if we did not, we would not have such rich and powerful learning opportunities. When a mistake is made, often people try to hide it, cover it up, deny the fact that it exists, just to save face. I know that this is an easy pattern to get into, but is it constructive in any way? Unless one is sociopathic with absolutely no guilt, shame or remorse about a mistake made, one would think that this would lead a person to a lifetime of being haunted by the mistake made many years ago. I am not a strong advocate for guilt and shame, don’t get me wrong. That is the garbage that many religions are based upon. But I am an advocate for righting wrongs within the self. Even if one just has a conversation between self and whatever one calls God, and sorts it out within, that is doing the work to right a wrong.
If we choose to deepen that, we can apologize for what was done, acknowledging how it may have affected a person, ourselves included, and make some form of amends that means something to the party who was harmed. This can lead us into REAL forgiveness, not just forgiveness for the sake of forgiveness, which then translates into, “Because I am a better person than you will ever be. Because I want to be free of this, no matter what you decide about it.” Those come from a place of petty grievances. Forgiveness is supposed to help the offending party to learn and grow, not put them down even further just to make yourself feel good. So, if the offending party fulfills the three A’s (acknowledgement, apology and amends) then that forgiveness has been earned and it MEANS SOMETHING. It isn’t just empty and trite. It has helped someone to evolve. If they have fulfilled the three A’s and the party who was harmed will still not forgive them, then that is on them, not the offender. And yes, sometimes it takes awhile for the ability to forgive to grow within. But to hold it back as a means of creating yet more suffering for the offender serves to also hold the offended back in the past pain. This is not at all healthy.
If either party is either deceased or unavailable, then the proper action is to simply move on, knowing that you did the best you could with the situation at hand. Believe it or not, past hurts do not have to hold you back. They do not have to entrap you and keep you in a self-destructive cycle. You can let go without feeling like you are betraying yourself in so doing.
Even with past issues that are unresolved, we can still allow ourselves to access the Essence of who we really are. We don’t have to be perfect to access our true Essence. It is beautiful and magical and available to us always. When past hurts come up, we need to remember that we are NOT the same person now that we were back then, even if we were the offending party. No one is ever the same person today that they were weeks, months or years ago. Sure, there may be some habits that die hard, but we are all on a learning and growing curve that allows us to shed the old aspects of ourselves and birth new aspects of ourselves. Considering that on a cellular level we are completely new physical beings every seven years, and that energetically we are always flowing and changing and not ever supposed to be in stasis, you would think that our MINDS would catch on and move on. But the mind can be obsessive at times, to a fault.
This is where the discipline of meditation comes in. Not the practice of visualization (a mental adventure at best) or even the practice of affirmation (trying to trick the mind into thinking positively when the garden is still not weeded out of the negativity that resides there). Meditation is the weeding process, silently in action. It is the emptying of the mind of all distractions (which includes negative thought patterns). And from that place of inner stillness and silence we can then plant the seeds of Light and Hope, so that our minds can grow in a more positive way, blooming and feeding all those around us. This then allows us to grow our garden and discover marvelous and magical things about ourselves. But it is up to you, the gardener, to decide when you are going to do the labor of love. Are you ready?