Today was an incredible day. Nothing particularly interesting, or different happened. I took the dogs on a walk, I went to class, I went to Tai Chi. That’s it. Still, it was incredible.
Lately I have been struggling with something. Actually, not just lately but my whole life I’ve struggles with this. Forgiveness. Ever since me and my boyfriend and I broke up a couple of months ago I’ve felt nothing but resentment for him and in case you don’t know, resentment is heavy. I wasn’t sure how to explain the feeling of hating him and wishing ill upon him but then I found this story “The Tao of Forgiveness”. In just the first few paragraphs I realized what those feelings felt like. They felt heavy. Plain and simple, heavy.
You see, hating someone, wishing ill upon someone is an active process, it’s a negative process and it’s exhausting. I have wanted nothing more than to just forgive so that I could move on, but I couldn’t figure out how. I thought maybe if he apologized I could forgive him, but it wouldn’t happen. How exactly do you forgive someone who hasn’t asked for forgiveness? I turned to the Tao Te Ching searching for the answer and this is what I found:
“After a bitter quarrel, some resentment must remain.
What can one do about it?
Therefore the sage keeps his half of the bargain
But does not exact his due.
A man of Virtue performs his part,
But a man without Virtue requires others to fulfill their obligations.
The Tao of heaven is impartial.
It stays with god men all the time.”
Tao Te Ching Seventy – Nine
This is just what I needed. Nobody is obligated to give you anything in return for what you have given them. I tried so hard to make the relationship work, to make him happy and I supported him through everything, I was always there for him but I felt like I never got any of it in return. I felt like a burden, unwanted, annoying and not needed. I guess I expected too much.
Today in one of my classes we watched the movie “Smoke Signals” it was very good and I recommend anyone to go watch it. At the end of the movie a poem about forgiveness was read and when the movie was over we had a small discussion about it and one thing someone said stuck out to me. “It shows that even forgiveness is painful. You can forgive someone but still remember the pain that someone inflicted upon you.” How does the universe know just what I need to hear?
This is why resentment is heavy and forgiveness is a little lighter. Resentment is negative and active while forgiveness is positive BUT forgiveness is still active. In the story I read “The Tao of Forgiveness” it teaches that forgiveness is something we must practice everyday. We must let go of our “inflated sense of self-importance” that way we don’t have to carry around the weight of resentment. So the questions is: How does one achieve forgiveness?
I’ve always been hotheaded and stubborn. I’m a true fire sign that’s for sure, this also means I’m great at holding grudges. I could have taken this one to my grave if I wanted but I didn’t want that. I wanted to be free of this burden and forgive, I just didn’t know how. Well I will tell you how. Forgiveness will come in the most unexpected way. When you are truly ready to forgive it will happen. You cannot rush nature and sometimes feeling resentment is a part of how things go and forgiveness will come as long as you actively work for it. Today I achieved forgiveness.
After Tai Chi class, which my ex boyfriend also participates in, we walked to our cars. I had heard from a mutual friend he had been having car trouble and tonight he cannot start his car. He got to class just fine but now that we were leaving the car wouldn’t start. I sat in my car listening to the car trying to start but just not working. He tried again, and again, and again, and again. I contemplated offering him a ride home. Finally I drive my car around to him and ask him if he needs a ride home. He said yes.
The gesture probably seemed small to anyone watching but to me it was much bigger. I drove home, we talked a little, he mostly talked, he thanked me then we went out separate ways. When I got into my apartment I thought about what had happened, I was proud of myself, it was such a big thing for me and then I start crying. I don’t know what brought it on. I don’t know if it was relief or sadness or what, but I cried.
I have finally forgiven. I can finally move on and put this part of my life in the past.
“Yield and Overcome.”
“Why does everyone like the Tao so much at first?
Isn’t it because you find what you seek and are forgiven when you sin?
Therefore this is the greatest treasure of the universe.”
Tao Te Ching Sixty – Two
Here is a link to a blog that has written out the poem in “Smoke Signals”. Please take a look it also has the video so you can listen. It’s a great poem and it aided in my path to forgiveness.
Please check out my Instagram for more photos as well. Thank you for reading, this is a very personal entry and I hope somebody will benefit from reading it. If you have any questions or words of wisdom please feel free to comment!