Thursday, 19 December 2013

Forgiveness for all - even Gurus

A self professed Guru (which in itself is a bit worrying!) told me once that he gave everyone a second chance - but if he was let down or hurt a third time that was it!  Nothing would change his mind - the friendship, or relationship with that person, no matter who they were - family, friend or colleague would be permanently erased from that moment.
Thank goodness that belief isn't held by every one of us.  At the time of having that conversation I told him that I felt that, "rule" was a bit harsh. Being human means we will all make mistakes, some more than others, but we all will - even "Gurus"!  Hopefully we learn from them, and we may make more mistakes, and learn from them - but if we all decided that 3 strikes meant you were, "out" it would be a rather short-fused world we lived in, and not one I'd like to be part of.
Forgiveness is not easy - of course it isn't. I think it's THE hardest thing to do.  A little reminder of the nasty thing that person did creeps into the forefront of your mind, and no matter what wonderful thing that person is doing for you now, all you can see in front of you is their good deed obscured by a dancing, techni-colour memory of the hurtful event from the past.
BUT if you can stay grounded in NOW and recognise that the past is just that - and all that is happening in this moment is real and true, then the healing that can take place benefits both parties.  So, the "Guru" I referred to at the start of this blog misses opportunities to develop deeper, more meaningful relationships as he runs off looking for "better" people to surround himself with - no real challenge or opportunity for growth, in fact, if anything he risks becoming more and more cynical as he realises, 3 strikes maybe isn't enough and he's running out of people to surround himself with.
When you recognise you've made a mistake the first person to forgive is yourself. Only then can you take steps towards making amends to the person you have hurt or let down.  If they can't handle or aren't ready to accept or hear your apology, then lovingly step back - continue being kind to yourself without listening to your condemning critical headmind!  You've taken major steps forward by understanding where you went wrong, forgiving yourself and trying to repair the hurt between you and the other person.  This is a far more emotionally mature approach than judging or criticising yourself.  When you're the person who has been hurt just remember your own imperfections and be softer, and perhaps just a bit more gentle on the other person before you dive in and start ripping their character apart.
We're all human - we're all flawed - and we could all do with being a bit more forgiving and kind to our fellow man.
"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." - Mahatma Gandhi
"He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven." - Thomas Fuller

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