The Road to Forgiveness

Learning to Forgive the Self and others:

Our main human problem is the illusion of separation: thinking that we are separate from one another when we are actually all parts of the same whole. Like drops in the ocean.

The ego, is constantly telling us that we are our own individual selves, that we are more important, that we are separate—and our culture is built on this sense of independent self-protection to the point of isolation—the ego is constantly gathering evidence against others.

The longing to belong to one another, because we are so connected, is in constant struggle with the misinformation that our ego feeds us.

In yogic science, we have what is called the negative mind.  In Western thought it is the Reptilian mind or the amygdala.  It is responsible for keeping us safe.  It differentiates between red light and green.  This mind of discernment determines when we should protect our bodies.

Unfortunately, it is over developed and has separated us to the point of mischief.  It is in constant compare and contrast mode.  I have a priest friend who says “compare and despair” because it is such an isolating act.

We are grateful to this part of the mind because it allowed us to survive up to this point.  However, it prevents us from thriving, since it uses fear to keep us the same, and therefore, what it believes, safe.

When we break out of this and have a choice whether or not to act from the lizard brain, we have the chance to thrive because we can experience unconditional love, forgiveness, and other divine qualities that reside in the realm of the human spirit which is based in connection and serving one another, not human animal—which is solely concerned with survival of self and the species.

So here is the biggie part—whenever we are upset with someone else, we are also upset with the self.  There are many manifestations of this.  One that I have to watch  is a sense of the spiritual ego or superiority.

This is the point of view that “I used to do that but now I know better” or “Really?  Really they are doing that?”

Sometimes we can be judgmental of others merely because they are acting out and we secretly want to but “know better” so we don’t.  This is another form of superiority.

Ultimately, we hate in others what we hate in ourselves.

This is far more prevalent than we often know.  Because we don’t want to admit that we are guilty of the same drives or quirks or bad behaviors that we are judging.

Just recently, I came to another level with this.  I had been looking inside and wondering why an old hurt still bothered me.  Instead of letting it sit on the surface, I went into the discomfort and boy, was it uncomfortable!  I was mentally squirming all over the place.

What my gripe was that I was let down by someone.  I knew that if that bothered me so much, there was an old hurt that was playing itself out.

There was!

I hated being let down and by feeling the hurt, I saw where I had been letting others down!  And here I thought that I was such a good friend.  All of a sudden, I saw where I had been flaky and out of integrity and it floored me.  I did not make it better or worse than it was, I simply shined the light and took a look.

By allowing myself to reside there for a moment—that seemed like an eternity—I got to see why I let others down—If I let them down first, then I would be protected from them letting me down.

This was huge!

And it was subtle.  Because I have done a lot of work on myself, I saw that small things like postponing a return call or rescheduling a commitment was letting others down.

I was behaving outside of my integrity and that hurt myself and others.

Here are two guidelines to help you keep yourself UP (instead of let yourself down):

1. Integrity—When we do little things like committing to something but then reneging, it erodes trust.  This is super common and is not looked at as a big deal because we all make ourselves so time sick—it has become a cultural agreement that we are so “busy” that we let it slide when others flake because we need to do it too.  However, there is a very subtle erosion of trust when one says that “I’ll do it” and then doesn’t show.

2. Getting enough information—this one is really tricky, especially in this culture where we do things like have sex, then get to know one another.  Often we date someone who looks good on paper, but in reality, is not a good match.  We project onto others what we want them to be and ignore what they are.

Your Assignment:

Are you cranky with someone?  Is it really them or do you see yourself in their actions?  Check yourself against the above two guidelines to see how you are doing in your integrity, not someone else’s.


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