Forgiveness: Mirroring through the Other–Part 1

Mirror, Mirror - soul retrievalThis past month has been very difficult for people. There seems to be a theme of anger and frustration around the concept of forgiveness. That’s a good thing because it signifies we are digging deeper into the process of forgiveness. The last blog on forgiveness brought us to a visual exercise. This time it’s about mirroring and forgiveness.

 

 

Dear Rosa,

As much as I am trying to work on forgiveness I can’t seem to forgive the FDA, USDA, and Monsanto. They are evil, greedy people. There’s no way to justify what they’re doing to people.

Rosa’s Response

Is it really in our best interest to justify another’s actions?  Does it move us closer to a space of forgiveness or further from it?

I’d argue further because no matter how hard we might try, we feel we can’t forgive that person, or that institution, or that context. So maybe it’s about our approach. Might it not be more productive to focus upon our re-actions to whatever rubbed us the wrong way and embrace this as a learning opportunity to understand what is mirrored back to us?

On our journey of living an authentic life, one that is aligned with Source, where we do no harm to ourselves or to others, we must constantly be aware of what emotions lie within us. And sometimes it is ‘the other’ who mirrors that back to us. If we learn to recognize this mirroring we can use it: we can look into ourselves and sit with those emotions  – moment to moment-  and not re-act, not push them away. Not banish them into the shadows.

Those ‘others’ are mirroring to us places within we are still grappling with: our hot spots, our lessons. It’s what we are trying to come to terms with. Most likely these are emotions and behaviors we don’t like about our selves–what shamans call our shadow material. I like to think of the shadow simply as what we push out of the Light. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps we don’t know how to address it, or are too busy judging it, or laying blame. Perhaps we just can’t stand the thought of coming up against that same frustration again. Eventually if we stop trying to fix it and be still and observe it, there is a tipping point that reveals to us what we’ve been repressing, what lies beneath the surface.

When we come across that same energy in the world — through the actions of a company, a government, our neighbor, our spouse– we get stirred up as we are brought face to face with our shadow material. Right now in the world there is so much anger. Have you felt it? Stop and think about this: How has angered surfaced for you in this past month? Have you considered what this anger is trying to tell you?

Let’s stop and ask how does it help us deal with our shadow to go out and ‘do’ something about Monsanto, a government, a person, when we are in that angry, frustrated place. It doesn’t help to jump on the energetic bandwagon of more condemnation, more anger does it?  Our actions are spewing more of that same energy into the world. We may think we are doing something good, something positive, by trying to stop those greedy people, those people who are polluting our earth, but are we? From what energetic place within ourselves are our actions arising? From love or anger? From a place of seeking understanding or a desire to squelch the other? Are we co-creating more of the energy we find difficult and would like to heal? And when we continually think about us versus them, doesn’t that thought serve to keep us separate? And if we are separate, how can we come into a whole, healed, authentic place?

So what can we do? Turn inward and tend to the fires within us. If we let go of the story, which prompted us to experience those feelings, we can ask some simple questions of ourselves.

‘Ok, I feel angry. Ok, I feel helpless. When else have I felt that way? How did I resolve that in the past? Or did I avoid it? Why did I avoid it?’

Ask those questions, sit back and see what comes up. For in this way we begin to understand what is alive and not well within us. We can send that place love and understanding if we feel it’s appropriate. Or, it might be necessary to continue to sit with those feelings without re-acting and allow more to come forward. Then we gather insight as to why we hide what we don’t like and what is hard for us to come to terms with. If we continue to do this with the intention of uncovering the root cause of our issues then patterns emerge. We see the behavior we engage in, how we co-create and get tangled up in that energy. And that helps us be more compassionate towards our selves. We release just a little bit, we soften and from that soft place we let in the Light and begin to heal.

And when we are in that place of compassion for our selves, with a greater sense of how those feelings came into being,we enter into forgiveness.  We begin by  forgiving ourselves for standing outside of our Light and engage in sending love to our shadow. And remember, it’s a process.

Once we are rooted in that place of  forgiveness and love then we turn outward. We can look upon the Monsanto’s of the world, or the governments that continue to try to block out the Light (because they too are lost having been out of the Light for so long) and to our neighbors and friends and find compassion for their shadow. As we radiate that energy into the world then we can begin to see change. Radiating love and compassion fosters forgiveness and only from that peaceful place will change occur because it comes from love, not anger.

Start closer to home. Look to the people who seem to rub you the wrong way, who you feel bring out the worst in you. And thank them. Sincerely thank them. For they are your mirror. They will teach you how to cultivate deeper love and acceptance of your shadow. Then we can turn outward and put our love and compassion to good use.

But that will only come from first addressing the places within us that need to be listened to, cared for, loved and forgiven.