I write with great joy about forgiveness, but do I forgive with great joy as well? I cannot explain the transformation an internal act of forgiveness brings with it. It needn’t be spelt out or overt. Silently forgive the one who doesn’t understand your state, who betrayed you, who hurt you. It’s a long process, and not at all easy. It drains you and you will be forced to face your ego and put it to rest. It is agonizing, but the outcome is liberation, almost like a new birth. I would like to compare it to the paradox of pain and joy experienced at childbirth, but I don’t know the process to make a comparison. In my head though, the analogy fits beautifully.
In the past few years, I have felt internal shifts within me which have been difficult to spell out. Probably, because an experience that transforms a portion of you cannot be described in words. How would a caterpillar describe its metamorphosis into a butterfly? It can only experience it, and the outward world can only view the final product. What goes on within the cocoon is God’s beautiful miracle, slowly unfolding, hidden from everyone’s eyes.
I don’t know if the world has noticed my miniscule transformations because I haven’t really asked anyone. But I know I feel them within me. As I said before, it is paradoxical, the pain of witnessing death within yourself accompanied by lightness due to disillusion of form. Watching a part of you die slowly, hurts so much as you know its time to unburden your heart and free yourself, for yourself. The beauty in this death is then that joy, which follows when one feels brand new – almost like a skin that’s moulted off you. And as much as it hurt let that part of you peel off, it is short lived. In the grander scheme of things, it is all short lived. My two favourite words to define life - fleeting and impermanent.
I know forgiveness is liberating, I have practiced it a few times, and I know from experience that it leaves you refreshed. It brings forth a new dimension in your life. Everyone and everything suddenly becomes friendly. The world once again becomes a happy place to live in. And yet, knowing this fact, I can never immediately put forgiveness into action when I know I should. I still go through the cycle of self criticism, drama, pain, self burden, anger, resentment, blaming before I am drained to tiredness and fed up of my own story. THEN I forgive. Hallelujah!
Through this piece, I am making myself aware of my own cycle and my internal desire to break free of it. And whilst I internally go through the cycle once more, I live in the truth that this is fleeting and temporary, but love is eternal and permanent. There is joy hidden in the pain, and healing within each wound.
PS – So many Rumi quotes I can feel inside me right now, but maybe those are for another day.
© Sneha Singh 2012