Forgiveness & forgiving. The depth of Hello. The presence of pain.
is a fleeting moment
of arriving here
with openness and innocent readiness to meet.
Forgiveness is a result of forgiving. It’s the result of a continuum of actions practicing the meanings, the deeds, the thoughts, the feelings of Being forgiving. The art of forgiveness starts with taking an action.
One of the yoga teachers I love, Mirjam Haymann, keeps on reminding us in class that wobbling in poses that require balance is part of the process. “Don’t be afraid to wobble,” she says.
But we don’t want to be wobbling, we’re not comfortable being shaky and uncertain. We much prefer to have an answer than to be answering - to be in an active continued effort of answering instead of an accomplished state of answer. Definite. Knowable. So we can move on.
Where are you wobbly in your life now? Where do you pretend you’re not wobbly? Where would you rather be poised than wobbly?
Pain doesn’t allow us to move on so easily. Be it emotional or physical pain, it keeps us more present than not.
Hello to the moments that lead to Being.
In a Wild Heart group meditation I led last week we focused on forgiveness. There is so much to be said and explore around forgiveness. But I was inspired by a book by Padraig O Tuama, where he makes such an inspiring use of Hello as a repetitive calling to come Here.
I realised that Hello is such a glorious moment of gentleness and acceptance, that it precedes all agendas, opinions, views and judgments. In a nano-split of a moment, when saying Hello there is no pretence. And when there is no pretence there is an awakened presence.
I suffered from constant back pain for a full three years. I would roll out of bed straight to the pain. I stayed with it all day. Went to sleep with it. I remember one day, a day of tiredness from pain, a day of desperation, I heard myself saying to my back “I hate you!”.
The words of hate were more sour and bitter than the pain itself. I realised at that moment that I might be spending the rest of my life with this pain and I didn’t want to live in hatred. That I’d better live in forgiving. In a continuous effort of hoping for relief as much as a continuous uncertainty and wobbling.
Forgiveness reminds us of the beauty of spiritual practice, which is different from the movement of self-help. While the latter offers formulas and short-cuts, the former (both in sentence and in life) gives us depth. It is through depth that we find the poise we long for.
Saying hello to the pain is not necessarily an invitation to linger in it, but rather to accept the small grace of that fleeting moment of freedom that precedes anything else.
Hello to forgiving.
How would you start forgiving today?
Painting by Egon Schiele