Today I have been thinking (again) about Mothers and Forgiveness.
I used to be frustrated with the idea of forgiveness. It seemed like forgiving meant saying it was OK that bad, mean, awful things happened and I should grin and bear it. Or I should rise above that and be a better person.
Forgiving was a sort of dangerous concept. If I “forgave” then I would be setting myself up for getting hurt again. I might get crucified…like Jesus.
No, forgiveness was not going to be for me. I’d rather resent, protect, make sure I could defend myself, and stay away forever from the source of the pain….whoever it was. It was better knowing exactly who the enemy was. And it wasn’t me!
And while we’re at it, I must NEVER FORGET what happened. I would never get fooled again into being the victim.
Of course, we’ll overlook the fact that I have to be vigilant, careful, nervous, anxious, sad, enraged or distrustful every time I think about the “perpetrator”.
The last and 8th session of Turning Relationship Hell to Heaven just occurred yesterday (and won’t start again until July). Each and every class is like a treasure box, all the participants doing the most amazing, thoughtful work from their own sweet, amazing lives.
The power of the group working together is so incredible!
It’s a microcosm of the deepest support in life, all of us journeying together, walking along the path towards a Beautiful Mystery. We all give each other ideas, where if we were stuck in our own mind we might not be able to see our stressful thoughts clearly.
So there we are are in the teleclass and many of us thinking about one person who has really bugged us, someone who has dished out a lot of pain and aggravation, someone who has been absolutely hurtful.
I love how Katie mentions that during her first years of inquiry, she worked so often on her mother. These are the thoughts Katie writes about in A Thousand Names For Joy:
- My mother doesn’t love me
- She loves my sister and brother more than me
- She should invite me to family gatherings
- If I tell the truth about what happened, she’ll deny it and no one will believe me
I can add these from my own list:
- My mother is too angry
- My mother is too cheerful
- My mother gets hurt too easily
- My mother is too critical
Katie says that she would write down her thought, as we do in the Work, one at a time. This is so, so, so, so important.
One thought at a time.
My mind is so busy, fast, and interested in proving that the other person over there (my mother) is inadequate that I can hardly take half a breath before finding 20 examples of proof at how imperfect that person has been. Images come screeching in for attention.
The mind is very chaotic. Katie suggests “you can’t stop mental chaos, however motivated you are. But if you identify one piece of chaos and stabilize it, then the whole world begins to make sense”.
One thought at a time.
Some participants in the class still felt like the person they brought to our 8 weeks together was not their best friend. Maybe not even close.
I say, don’t try to make them be your best friend, your favorite human, the mother you always thought you wanted. Just keep noticing what your mind says that feels painful.
That’s all that is necessary. One thought at a time.
Don’t worry about whether you find the most painful thought to inquire about, or the “best” thought to question. Just watch what you are thinking, the mind will bring it to you. Write down only one. It doesn’t matter if it’s completely silly sounding, like “my mother shouldn’t have looked away”.
Just let your mind answer the questions; Is it true? Are you 100% sure? How do you react when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought? What is the opposite?
Forgiveness will just come along, and exactly the right time, it the most perfect way.
“Inquiry changes the world faster than you can imagine….” ~Byron Katie.
With love, Grace