I am currently participating in Rev. Desmond Tutu’s 30 day Forgiveness Challenge – an online program exploring and looking at all aspects of forgiveness through a daily exercise.
Initially, I saw this as an opportunity to enhance my practice and to deepen my awareness and understanding of my clients and students – an interesting exercise, leading to improved offerings…..
Little did I know how powerful an experience it would be personally.
Sure, I have been hurt and, similarly, caused some hurt in the course of my life, but I consider myself fortunate in that my suffering has not been as severe as many others – I have not lost a loved one to violence; I have not personally suffered abuse at the hands of another – be it physical, emotional or mental.
I, therefore, did not feel I had much to forgive – just a few little injustices along the way.
However, in the process of going through the daily exercises of this “Forgiveness Challenge”, I have been able to explore and uncover some pain buried more deeply than I was aware of.
What I have learned thus far:
– there is no magic formula or “norm” in terms of the time it takes anyone to forgive.
– sometimes we believe we have forgiven because we have said it to ourselves or to our offender, but that is not always true.
– the true cost of not forgiving is that we hurt ourselves by continuing to bear the burden of the pain.
These are not necessarily mind-blowing revelations, and I could very easily have written these same words prior to participating in the “Forgiveness Challenge”.Â However, the difference is that I now understand them differently.Â Going through the exercises and meditations, has helped me go deeper within myself and bring that understanding into those depths.
It has also helped me re-establish my commitment to healing and meditation as a source of continuous learning and growing that each and everyone of us can benefit from.
Healing is not about reaching perfection.Â Meditation is not about finding the answer to the meaning of life.Â Meditation and healing are methods or tools designed to assist us along our path – helping to balance between the immeasurable, limitless nature of spirit and the structure, emotions, pain and pleasure of our physical selves that are at the same time both perfect and flawed.
The freedom gained and the healing created in truly forgiving both yourself and others is something you will feel more deeply than you imagined possible.