So fellow travelers, sometimes we learn a lot about people by their reactions when the consequences of their choices begin to set in.
I try to listen for the voices of healing for those are the companions I wish to walk with on my journey through this life. I strive not to judge others for their reactions when they are angry or afraid. I have been in both places; it hurts. All the more reason I am quite clear anger and pain are not justification for hurting others.
When relationships unravel and I am in between those involved I have learned to watch for the truth in the midst of the emotional interactions. Years ago a wise teacher and healer told me in divisive situations it is not really about who said or did what. What happens as relationships fracture under conflict is actually about how people are feeling and if you are one of those caught in between that is what you must listen for. While there most likely are some truths on both sides, the untruths are the ones spoken most frequently and loudly. It is those who Shakespeare describes as one who “dost protest too much” who bears the most guilt. Notice I said guilt not blame. We can judge others, laying blame as thick as mud; we cannot make someone feel guilty unless they accept that judgment.
We put out into the world what we hold inside. Life has taught me blame is a clear hallmark of something we are unwilling to look at within ourselves, a wound we have not healed. Beyond the instant when an actual event happens, everything we feel after that moment is a product of our own thoughts and feelings. If something happens that wounds us, it is our thoughts that follow which determine if the wound heals or remains. Naturally when there is great trauma those thoughts are filled with fear, pain and anger. If the trauma is relived mentally without any shift in perspective, then fear, pain and anger remain. Over time if we do not accept the moments of hope and healing we are offered we become cynical and hard. We can be very skilled at shifting perspective to make it appear we are victims and others are at fault, so we do not have to take responsibility for holding onto pain.
We chose to perpetuate our wounds because the pain we know is safer than the unknown path of healing and forgiveness. It sounds like madness. In a way it is. Those who hold onto pain and fear have not found forgiveness for themselves or for others. It took me a very long time to reach a place where I accepted this and even longer to live my life from this perspective.
Forgiveness has opened my spirit and empowered me with the gift of compassion. Am I perfect and healed? Far from it. I have plenty of work to do while walking many more miles on the path to wholeness. But there is clarity more often now than confusion.
I cannot walk any path but my own nor is it my place to know what choices others must make to heal and find forgiveness. Still there are times when friends are hurting and I know I have to make a stand. It is not my place to judge others; I also know there are times when I have to add my voice to the chorus of “Enough is enough.” Forgiveness does not mean tolerating darkness. Being human and making mistakes does not give us permission to willfully, intentionally hurt people who have placed their faith and trust in us. I know when my heart is prompting me to make a choice to walk away from anger which twists truth to serve vengeance. I gratefully choose to move towards Light. The choice itself was not difficult, it was the timing of when to take action that was not as clear until a zen moment spoke to my heart.
Whenever I have made the choice for Light, I have found kindred souls to walk with me. I know they are there this time too, a community that shares genuine connections, some known, some new. I recognize them because their actions and words seeks to heal not wound, even when their words are shared in sorrow. They are the ones who create Hope and Joy, and yes even Magic, especially when things are dark. They do this regardless of whether it is acknowledged or even appreciated (often it is not) simply because Light is what is needed in our world.
Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.