I had this realization while I was journal-ing this morning: To the degree that we can get out of feeling hurt, are we able to open the channel of love to flow freely into our experience.
But, then I wondered, how might we get our hurt out of the way? Perhaps the answer to that question lies in the saying But for the grace of God, go I? Now, probably like you, I have heard that so many times, and I have even (self-righteously) used it (as a judgement...ha!) myself. But, up until this moment, the true genius of its meaning has eluded me (forgive me...I may be a slow learner).
Just recently I saw a poster on Instagram that said, Don't be a spiritual dick. I chuckled to myself, but the truth is that there may be a lot of us out there who ARE spiritual dicks? We just might not realize that we are living in houses that are made of the glass.
Barry and I have stated reading Desmond Tutu, and his daughter, Mpho Tutu's book, The Book of Forgiving. We have only just begun, but I can already feel a shift in my perception around the concept of forgiveness. The part that hit home in my heart, last night, was the idea that we can not judge how we might handle a situation, until we have been in that exact situation. We may find that if all circumstances were identical, we may actually do what we judge others for doing. And we may say, I would never do that, but we cannot be 100% sure that we wouldn't.
That got me reflecting back to the last crisis that happened in my life, and the saying that hurt people, hurt people. This morning I realized that most of us ARE hurt people. And from the place of being wounded, we unconsciously hurt others for doing what we ourselves do (be honest with yourself here...think gossip, judgement, trying to get others to validate that you are right and the other person is wrong, etc.). This is not to say that I am to blame, or that the other person is. We were merely doing what hurt people do - which is hurt each other.
This morning, I could see that this is a loop; whenever I have been hurt I have felt compelled to protect myself by hurting back: I have retaliated in some way, and they have retaliated in some way back. But what if neither of us were wrong, bad, evil, or whatever negative label we want to categorize our offender as? What if we understood that we were just hurting each other from a place of being hurt? What if we understood that it is just the way of being wounded; that it was all just an illusion we were creating from the stories we tell, and the players we cast?
So I wondered what can I do about this pattern? How can I become more conscious of my tendencies to hurt others, and to become hurt (sensitive), so that I can break the cycle? Desmond Tutu says it is all about forgiving, and I agree. It is what they are doing in South Africa to heal their country, post apartheid. And let's face it, those are real wounds...not like the spoiled woman's he said, she said type of wounds I am talking about here.
In Africa they have an Ubuntu philosophy that means 'the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity,' In other words, I am me because of you; an interdependence. We are the same. We are One. The most important part of Ubuntu is to realize that it is not a me against you world. I need to learn to forgive myself for being less that perfect, which is a false Western aspiration, that keeps me feeling separate from others that I share this planet with. I need to learn to see myself as being just one of the eight billion people on the planet; to see that others are just like me - that sometimes we innocently forget that we are a part of and that we, because of our feeling of separateness, get hurt by words, gestures, energy, and sometimes even physical abuse. But we can choose to remember that we never know what we might do if we were in the shoes of another.
That brings me back to the idea of not being a spiritual dick. When we judge others from a place of, I would never that, we ARE being a spiritual dick, and if we could just stop doing that - if we can say, But for the grace of God go I, instead, I think we could heal our planet, I really do. I am going to chew on that idea today.
Love and Light.