I learned a huge lesson a few weeks ago, about my limits, and how I am constantly in a state of growth. I was spending some time with a friend, and we were discussing our strongest and weakest attributes. I mentioned that one of my strong suits was that I am a very forgiving person. Later in the conversation, my friend said something that really offended me, and instead of letting it go, I held on to it. I thought about it, I let it simmer, and I allowed it fuel my irritation against him. I stonewalled and shut down – the EXACT reactive behaviors I have worked so hard to overcome ever since I started the Path. Instead of being open, vulnerable and understanding, I held on to it. Despite his immediate apology and multiple attempts to rectify the situation, I left in a state of severe agitation.
The rest of the day, I was bothered. For the first couple of hours, I blamed it on my hangover and what he had said to me. But if the Path has taught me anything, it’s about looking inward. Investigating my feelings. Taking responsibility for them instead of blaming others for how I feel. So that’s what I did. I went inside and poked around, asking myself what exactly it was that was bothering me. And I realized my discomfort was rooted in MY behavior, not his.
What? I’ll explain.
No sooner had I been declaring the depths of my forgiving heart when God presented me with an opportunity to forgive. “Prove it.” That’s why I’ve got to be careful with what I say. God’s always calling me out. I looked back at how I had behaved with such a minor transgression and I was appalled. I reacted too harshly, and I held it against him entirely too long. Basically the exact opposite of a gentle, forgiving soul. Ick. I was disappointed in myself, which is pretty much the worst feeling ever.
But, I had identified the problem, and I knew what to do next. First I LAF’ed, because being disappointed in one’s behavior is never a fun feeling. I wanted to let that go ASAP. I forgave myself for not living up to my own standards. Then I apologized to him. I owned the irony of the situation: how I had claimed I was forgiving, and then was given an opportunity to forgive and I didn’t take it.
And then it was over. I forgave myself, I spoke my truth, and all feelings of ickiness dissolved instantly.
Not to mention, I was immediately humbled to know that I still have a lot of growing to do. But that’s okay, because that’s what life is all about. Learning, exploring and growing. And LAFing. Never forget to LAF 🙂
**If you’re interested in some guided meditations that Kelsie has created, click here!