All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.Julian of Norwich, 14th Century Christian mystic & theologian
“All will be well.” I texted this as an afterthought to someone close in crisis today. It just came out.
The same sentence was written at the end of an email to me the other day, a friend responding to my ruminations about my own challenges. I didn’t love it at the time. Felt close to dismissive, maybe less of a response than I felt I needed at the time. Ironically, this was three days and three crisis ago; I’d forgotten it was even said. Now, here I am passing my wise friend’s profundity along.
Earlier today I lost it. Yelling into the phone at someone who sent something I had asked her not to. Our emails had crossed. Every piece of pent up frustration from all that is out of my control went out to her. Projection, shame, anger– all components of what had come at me this week came right out of my mouth and onto her. I called her later in the day to apologize. I really didn’t want her to go home and take it out on the next in line. Because that’s how it works, especially if we don’t deal with it.
Years ago when I was in graduate school, an older woman audited a writing class I was in. Well she was probably just in her 50s, but 25 years my senior, her experience was unrelatable.
She rose her hand high when we were asked who wanted to share their essay. Her was about a marital fight that ignited a fury in her. It went like this:
She was yelling from the top of the stairs, small dog in her arms. Her husband down below, standing in the doorway to his den, also screaming. He turned and walked away, slamming the door behind him. Without a thought she lifted her arms above her head and thrust them downward, sending her beloved family pet crashing to the marble floor, one story below.
What followed was an unbearable mess. The dog, somehow, survived; the marriage did not. This woman choked though tears of shame, guilt and fear of her own capacity. She spent the next year nurturing her dog back to health, broken bones, , surgeries, damaged organs and all. Years later her dog was recovered, but she was not. Telling this story was healing for her; a step closer to forgiveness.
In order to heal, we must find forgiveness. That starts with honesty and acknowledgment, with ourselves and with others. Eckart Tolle says in The Power of Now;
“The moment you truly forgive you have reclaimed your power from the mind. Nonforgiveness is the very nature of the mind, just as the mind-made false self, the ego, cannot survive without strife and conflict. The mind cannot forgive. Only you can. Then, you feel the vibrant peace and stillness that emanate from Being. That is why Jesus said, Before you enter the temple, forgive.”
It’s that simple. Foul up, Forgive, Apologize, Start again. Foul up, Forgive, Apologize, Start again. (ugh) Foul up, Forgive, Apologize, Start again.
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