This is an opportunity to forgive either yourself or someone else and release any built-up guilt or resentment…from Animal Spirit Guides by Steven D. Farmer, PhD
There is a lot of talk about forgiveness.
We are supposed to forgive those who have hurt us…ask for forgiveness from those we feel we have hurt…forgive the Universe as a collective – can’t leave anyone out there! But the most important and most difficult part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves.
I bring this up because I had a dream last night in which a pelican did show up! The handbook I referenced above has been pretty spot-on when it comes to deciphering the meaning of animals in my life.
Just so happens, that I have been thinking about forgiveness.
You know for every five or ten people who think you are so caring and loving and helpful…as a person, as a coach…there is at least one person who thinks you are a jerk, or worse, a fraud. I had an email encounter with one such person a few weeks ago.
This is a woman who had been a good friend. After my divorce, we both tried to continue the friendship, but we drifted farther and farther apart, spent less and less time together, never talked on the phone. I could go into detail about how my conversations with her made me feel…what I felt she was about regarding my new life and that of my former husband. But, truly, that doesn’t matter. When her youngest daughter got married, I did not travel to the wedding, I did not send a gift right away (I had every intention of doing so, but it wasn’t high on my list of priorities). In short, I did not treat this event with much care and love. My friend was hurt. And rightfully so. She never called me to task. What I did receive was an email six months later telling me to take her off my client email list and just how despicable she thought I was.
I was a bit taken aback. My response was to agree to do so, tell her that I accepted my share of responsibility in the failed friendship, and to offer my apologies.
What truly surprised me was how I digested this emotional tidbit.
I accepted the truth of my neglect and her hurt over how I had handled the situation. In my mind, I acknowledged that, even though I would not have gone to the wedding, I could have handled everything else about that event differently and in a way that would have assured my friend that I, too, felt it was an important and special life event. I also acknowledged that because I made the choice not to do those things, I didn’t value the friendship now the way I had once. I asked the Universe for forgiveness. I forgave myself for not being perfect, not being the perfect, loving friend to this person. I allowed myself the freedom to screw up, took responsibility for that, and understood her hurt, which had turned into anger with me.
Do I think I took the high road when it came to the wedding six months ago? No. I knew I was not responding in the way of a friend. Do I think I took the high road when it came to her email? Yes, if taking the high road is not getting angry with her because she called me on my behavior or resenting her for rubbing my nose in some stinky business of mine. Will I remember this and try to do better? Yes.
So my little pelican friend showed up at the perfect time. This was an opportunity to forgive myself for still having work to do as I grow into the person I am meant to be! This was also an opportunity to see how much I have grown in the last four years.
I forgive the Universe. The Universe forgives me. I forgive myself.