On Forgiveness: I’m just a rookie but it seems to help the wellness.


I’ve been doing a lot of personal work around stepping into the next octave of my life.
On every level.
Sometimes there’s big expanses of progress.
Sometimes it feels like I stepped in hot tar.
Like I’m moving forward and I take another step and my foot gets this tacky feeling.
It wants to move but something sticky is preventing the movement.
Am I’m like, but I’m doing all this work, why is nothing shifting?

I just went on a 4-day solo (soul oh!) retreat to a little cabin in the woods.
Time alone. Time in nature. Unscheduled time.
I packed a trunk load of books, journals, crystals, essential oils, MELT roller, Epsom Salts,
face mask, tarot deck. I wanted wellness. And I wanted options.

The first day I laid on the floor for 3 hours. It felt like the best place to be.
Grounding, staring at the ceiling. Getting my bearings.
I got up, and went for a powerful energy session from the mystical woman who owns the place.
There was talk of symbols, my sacrum and something about forgiveness when I dozed off.
I cooked. I ate outside. I breathed the woods.
I took a bath. I slept long.

The next morning I got on my roller, faked a couple of yoga poses, showered,
ate breakfast outside. I journaled about the night before.
This was goodness.

I was curious how the rest would unfold. I didn’t want to create an agenda.
Organic was what I was going for.
What was needed next?

I grabbed the tarot. Seemed a good place to start. I had only pulled cards twice before, but
Guidance was welcome.
I shuffled.
I held one hand on my heart and the other on the deck.
Tuning into to that vibration, I asked out loud, “What do I need to focus on today?”
I cut the deck and chose.
The Judgement Card.
deep breath.
I tried to interpret the gorgeous illustration with no luck.
I opened the guidebook. Well lookee that..

On the top of the page it said JUDGEMENT.
And just below it, it read FORGIVENESS.

According to Kim Kranz the gifted artist who created The Wild Unknown deck:

                        “…it’s about seeking truth.
                        No more blaming yourself or others, no more excuses.
                        Now is the time for forgiveness & personal freedom.
                        …rise up, let pettiness and fear fall below you.
                        Expand your wings & be reborn. What a relief it will be.”

Of course. duh.
This is where I need to start. The tar.
Where I’ve been avoiding and fighting and refusing and brushing off for, like ever.
This may explain why not all of my petals were unfolding.
Perhaps it was time to push up my proverbial sleeves and deal with it.

Ok but I needed some words of wisdom. Some insight that I couldn’t ignore.
An inspirational quote to get me started.
Guidance was welcome.
Obvious first choice, Brené Brown. I found some juicy bits online, took notes,
shook my head yes.
And then a story she told led me to Desmond Tutu.
And there it was.

Totally paraphrased:

                        It’s ok to be angry. You wouldn’t be angry if you didn’t love. It’s human.
                        Forgiveness is the belief that you can come out on the other side a better person.
                        Better than being consumed by it. If you can forgive you are no longer chained.
                        It’s not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act.
                        It’s taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live.

Well I could certainly get on board with that.

I don’t know that it was anymore accessible than things I’d read about forgiveness before.
Well, yeah, it probably was. But more so, I was just ready.
To let it sink in. To apply it to my life.
To stop fighting it.

I made a list of 5 people. The first to come to mind.
I was one of them.

I took out a pad of paper and wrote letters.
Letters of understanding, explanation, clarity, apology for my role and finally forgiveness.
It was uncomfortable and teary and tense.
It uncovered some rather startling revelations.
It was a flood of memories.
It was compassion I couldn’t find before.

I took each paper, folded it up and set it in a cast iron pan.
And burned them.
I watched each note turn to ash, which took longer than I expected, which was poignant in itself.

I took the pan outside and buried the ashes in the earth under sticks and dead leaves.
Maybe something beautiful will grow from them.

Then I realized I never wrote the note to myself.
Well that’s certainly telling.

I went back in and sat down to write.
It was full of ick and blergh.
And forgiveness.

I burned it but kept the ashes in the pan.
I needed to go for a long walk in the hot sun.

I came back, ate lunch and felt ready.

I poured the ashes in my hand and walked out.
I found a patch of wet dirt and followed my instinct to rub the ashes into it till they were gone.
I felt the need to rub the mud in my hands and wipe it on my arms like war paint.
It seemed apropos to the journey.

If I am chained (or stepping in hot tar) I can’t move. And therefore I can’t help.
If I am being pulled backward I can’t move forward.
If I keep tripping on something behind me, I’m a fool. And a klutz.
The end.

I don’t mean this to sound quick or easy. This is the abridged version.
It was a long time coming and followed a whole lotta work.
And it’s still fresh so there may be setbacks.
Part of the work I’m doing is learning to listen more and deeper. To people, to bodies, to signs.
I didn’t want to project an agenda on this weekend.
If I did, I can assure you Forgiveness would not have been on my To Do list.
But that was my card. And I knew it.

Look, I’m clearly no expert in the forgiveness arena. I’m a rookie.
In fact, I’m brand spanking new.

Funny, that’s exactly how it made me feel.

let’s rock this thing.