I have hurt. I have been hurt. I have believed that the hurt was deserved.
And for this I seek and offer forgiveness.
One of my favorite spiritual sisters is hosting a 40 day forgiveness meditation circle. For the next 40 days we meditate and journal about the hurt we’ve caused– intentional and unintended–how others have hurt us, how we’ve hurt ourselves, and seek forgiveness.
The first night, I thought of a friend who not too long ago committed an act so malicious and hurtful it wrecked our relationship. In the aftermath of this act I vacillated between grief at the end of our friendship, anger at the damage she inflicted, and sorrow that she was behaving in a way so discordant with her inner self.
So I began my ritual with her.
I once saw her drive past my house and scoot down in the backseat in shame to avoid meeting my eye.
I decided to focus on this image of her vulnerability to help engender empathy. I begged the universe to open my heart to help me see things her way. I asked for the grace to forgive her. I asked for her to know peace and joy. I asked for the strength to move on.
And in moving on it was as if a stone was lifted from my chest.
In the days that have followed I’ve breathed easier, my chest is less tight. I no longer have fleeting images of vengeance.
Instead, I’ve felt grateful for what she’s taught me. For the friendship that was. For the way she, unwittingly, set in motion a change in my life which has helped usher in one of the greatest periods of joy I’ve ever known.
Now, it is my turn to focus on those I’ve hurt. You know who you are. And if I’ve hurt you in some way, know that I am truly and deeply sorry.
I hope you can forgive me.