Forgiveness is giving up all hope that the past could have been any different.
Either a direct quote from or a paraphrase of something really smart Anne Lamott wrote.
I’ve experienced a lot of disappointment over the past few months.
Hope by hope, I’ve had to let go. Not the hope for the future. But the hope that I could change the past.
That’s a bitter pill to swallow; accepting that the past could not have been any different. I think I finally understand that phrase – it’s a bitter pill to swallow. It doesn’t have anything to do with holding on to bitterness. It’s really about digesting it. Feeling the pain of disappointment at how things were, instead of how they could have been — if only. If only we all knew then what we know now.
But, of course, we didn’t know it then. And the only way that we can truly know it now is to forgive ourselves for not knowing before we could know it.
So I forgave myself for the number of times I strived for acceptance without really owning what I wanted to be accepted for. For being a child who wanted to be loved.
A door closed. And as is the case, another door opened – onto a blank page. And every writer knows how scary that can be – the blank page. In my morning pages I wrote, “What do I do next?”
Then I drew these three cards this morning from the Animal Wise Tarot deck:
Wolf: Intuitive guidance and guardianship
Beaver: Working for our dreams
Bear: Heeding inner voice and cycles
There was the answer to my question. Trust my own guidance and be willing to apply my efforts to what I imagine, not what I imagine someone wants me to do.
And here’s my favorite from today, the Bear card:
All bears have a fondness for honey, a symbol of the natural sweetness of life. When bear wanders in, it is a reminder that our innate potentials are awakening, but only by bringing them out in a new rhythm will we taste the honey of life.”
Here’s to today and the future, the bitter with the sweet.
May the past rest in peace.