Why even have a kind promise about forgiveness?
Forgiveness is about
letting go of the stories.
The stories about
what you did or who you are,
what I did or who I am
that mean we cannot
imagine ourselves enough and
we cannot risk
opening to each other.
This is not meant to be a poem, but I wanted to slow down for those lines. To read them again and again and to let them sink in in.
In an interview with Oprah, Brené Brown asked
“Shame has two tapes: ‘never good enough’ and ‘who do you think you are?’ When you’re getting ready to do something brave in your life, what is the shame gremlin message that you have to be most cautious about?”
As long as I am operating from “not enough,” my relationships with others will be compromised. Every time I interact, I will be seeing the other, myself and our relationship through the lens of my stories. Forgiveness is dropping the stories and entering this moment nakedly.
Considering the stories is what you do in therapy. It’s useful to peel the onion and discard layer after layer until your hands are left with nothing but onion shards. There are tears and the smell of onion.
That way, next time you smell onion, you can say “oh, riiiiiiiiiight,” and remember the nothingness.
Meditation is practice dropping the story. Focus on the breath. Stories arise. Focus on the breath. Stories arise. Over and over, we drop the story and return to the breath.
With meditation, we are letting go of the shame stories and the glory stories and the grocery list stories. Bad, good, indifferent, we are dropping all of them.
The idea is that, when I see you, I can see you as you really are in this moment. The past me and the past you are not with us. It is just us here, now.
That is the purpose of forgiving with wild abandon.