Saturday, February 25, 2012

True Forgiveness is Understanding....

It is not a feeling, it is not "you did this, but I'll forget about it...it is understanding...Understanding that things were as they were, and are what they are.  The human mind, it seeks, by all cost to justify itself, to make its view or its belief the "right", the "correct."

This tendency, or perhaps the job of the mind while giving us the ability to perform tremendous feats, is also, perhaps the major cause of our downfall.  If we never question our thoughts, never question our beliefs, we can never forgive...Forgiving is not forgetting, it never can be forgetting.  Rather it is the understanding of how things are. 

The old saying about walking a mile in your enemies moccasins speaks to this.  If we can truly do this, we cannot possibly continue to call them our enemy.  They then become our friends, our families, our nations and peoples.  I think this is even more true of ourselves, than it is of others.  There is not human human being alive that has not at one time or another made themselves the enemy, the one at fault, but is this true?  I think not.

Can we (I) look at our painful beliefs and memories, not denying, but challenging them?  Can we know that they are true absolutely beyond any shadow of doubt?  I don't think we can.  When I began to do The Work of Byron Katie, I decided to question first my thoughts and beliefs about my family.  For many years, I've carried anger, angst, hate and fear in regards to the relationship with my family.  Until I was diagnosed with AgCC and they discovered this rare birth defect I lived in a self imposed pit of despair.  I thought I was broken, morally bankrupt, just "not right."

Over years of dysfunction I projected my false beliefs on everyone around me, making them responsible for my suffering...in turn causing pain and anxiety, misunderstanding and suffering for those around me.  While I've done The Work in this regards, I realize that we have layer upon layer of false ideas and beliefs, thoughts and stories we tell ourselves daily and moment by moment that cause us suffering.

If I were to look at my "track record", I can now, fully understand the reaction of those around me.  After all, we only have to work with, what we know, what we can see and understand.  When I began a road to decompensation in my 20's that went on for decades, I lashed out at everyone and everything around me.  Until recent times, I could not understand that I was/am not my thoughts.  Have you yourself, ever stopped to question this yourself.  If I/you were our thoughts, then answer this, who is listening to, who is believing and acting upon those thoughts?  


I still carry angst over so, so many of my actions, and yet what choice did I have, believing what I believed/thought?  If I could see no other possibility than what my thinking was telling me, I was in a prison of my own making.  I lashed out at my parents, my brother, and anyone that wasn't me, because I could not simply understand what was going on.  I said things to my own mother that I carried deep shame over, things no mother should ever hear their own son say.  I hated myself for this for many years.  While still taking responsibility for all my own actions, what choice did I have?


Now, I could attempt to justify myself and pretend that my actions don't "ultimately matter," (whatever the hell that means, but knowing what I know now, about myself, I have been able to go back in time, in memory, examining the reality of those around me, family, friends, etc...they had no choice either.  They simple had to, must have reacted in the way they did.  I have been able, since, to put myself in their own shoes, looking out through their own eyes, and I see the truth of it.

Where once, I saw uncaring, abandoning, cruel, mean and arrogance, I see only love.  I clearly remember, in light of my parents not really understanding the depth of my birth defect and disability (there was no way they could have, it is only in light of modern science and the advent of the MRI that we now understand AgCC), these two wonderful peoples, sacrificed much of their life, giving time, money they didn't have, devoting all their attention to me, my comfort, my growth, my adjustment.  Not only can I not find fault with them...I look back today, and for the most part see them as a shining example of selflessness, one today that I attempt to emulate.

I don't have the opportunity to share any of this with them now, and perhaps this is as it should be.  It was made clear years ago, after my repeated attempts at trying, that they'd given up on any hope of a normal relationship with me...again, I could be wrong about this too, but it is my meager understanding of the situation.
Stewy and Brian, My Alter Ego!

I can't even describe the appreciation and love I have for them, since I questioned my thinking, about myself, them, and the world around me.  I know if they could for a single moment walk in my shoes (they tried for many years), see through my eyes today, they might be proud of how far I've come.  It just pains me, the years of unnecessary pain I inflicted upon them...more of The Work to be done I suppose.

I understand, I understand that mom and pop were perfectly themselves, lived, responded, reacted and communicated, just as they should have given what they had to work with...and I feel nothing but pride and love for them.

For those of you that actually have the opportunity to question your painful beliefs surrounding family and loved ones, and perhaps then have the ability to share your life with them...do that before its too late...you won't be sorry.
~Just Joe

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