The devil isn’t omnipresent, he’s right there in the details.
Most of us work on forgiving ourselves and others for the things we’ve each accepted responsibility and asked forgiveness for from the one who was wronged.
What I’d like to chat with you about today is a far more mischievous than that.
Ten years ago, I was drunk and more interested in flirting with my drunk friend, than looking after the safety of my drunk then wife, who almost got hit by a tram. I know from deep down through to the surface of me that this was an extreme douchebag move. I’ve since asked for forgiveness from her and myself, but this is not the hardest thing to forgive.
Three years ago, I had explicit boundaries with another partner which I kept to, but I broke the implicit boundaries the she had in her mind and had not communicated to me. That was much harder, but in the end I understood that what she wanted was what most women would have wanted, and therefore still not the hardest to forgive.
One year ago, when I had explicit written boundaries with a third different partner that she crossed, I drew the line. When it took 30 minutes to get a bit more than a “whoops” sorry out of her after the fact, I felt completely justified in considering her to be the oto blame for the end of the relationship.
Our mutual friends supported that perspective, my mentors thought all was fine, and I felt that I could be complete and move on.
Here’s the thing. It stayed with me.
It might not seem like much at first glance, but the inability to forgive even the things we feel we’re not to blame for will impact our ability to have full love and affinity with the people we love today. Today, I have very little to do with that third previous partner, but the underlying resentment that remains because I am not able to forgive her and because she has not taken full responsibility for her actions, has shrunk my overall capacity to love. Not just in relation to her, but to everyone.
The incompletion we have with those in our past affect us today whether we’re aware of it or not.
To get complete, we need to take full responsibility for the lack of love we have with that person, and really own it in conversation with them. As you’ll see at the end of this post, it’s far from easy, but it’s necessary if we want to fully forgive ourselves and therefore be open to experiencing “Reality Ascending Love,” dripping wet with intimacy and passion every day.
Here’s what you can do right now to clean your life of its most unforgivable parts.
1. Write a list of the first five people that come to mind when you think about people for whom you don’t feel love and affinity.
2. Invite them to chat with you in a time and place where you can both be fully present.
3. When you meet, explain that you are take ownership of the things you have done that hurt them, paint a picture of the kind of connection you’d like to have with them in the future, and ask them what that picture would look like if they were to be the one to draw it.
4. Listen to their response with a fully open ear, putting aside any feelings that don’t come from a place of pure love.
5. Boom. Your experience of love is restored to maximum.
Remember, getting complete doesn’t mean you need or want to become best friends and if they’re hanging on to the hurt it they may stay incomplete for them. But if you approach this wholeheartedly it will have a huge impact on your experience of love, with those others you do want to be in regular connection with.
Photo credit: Flickr/