Morning Cup of Tea: Thoughts on Forgiveness
I was sitting here this morning, reflecting on my own thoughts, and dreams. And something spoke to me about “forgiveness” and “acceptance”
Of all the things that I’ve had to learn on my journey, forgiveness and acceptance has been one of the hardest things I had to learn. Right up there with “patience”. Although “forgiveness”, “acceptance” and “patience” aren’t directly listed as a Grandfather/Grandmother teaching, they are in fact there.
Why is forgiveness so important? Well forgiveness is a part of the healing aspect and in order for one to heal, one must close that gaping wound that has been inflicted upon them. If one chooses not to forgive, then is like that saying about “opening old wounds”. Forgiveness is about accepting what has happened and moving on. You let that part of your journey, go, and in doing so, you let it heal.
But its not as easy as it sounds.
I was getting some healing done once, and the Healer said to me, “You must learn to let go, and to do this you must forgive what has been done to you, and what you have allowed yourself to do to others.”
I was like “dafuq, you talking about Willis? Let go? How am I just supposed to not remember all the shitty things, that happened to me. Not to mention all the shitty things that I’ve done to other people?”
I walked away from that ceremony confused and twisted, but I was instructed to do my own “Cedar Bath” ceremony. And I was instructed to do it correctly, with genuine intentions.
So I went home, and I thought about what he had said to me, and about a week or two of self pity, and wallowing in my own woe, I had enough and ran myself a bath, and boiled the cedar like I was taught. I prayed to the water, the medicines, and asked for forgiveness and to help with the healing. The entire time, I was committed to prayer. I was asking Creator for forgiveness for all the nasty and horrible things that I had done to people, animals, and all life.
After the four cedar baths I was instructed to do, I felt immensely better. And as I had reflected on the things that I was doing, it was then that I had a deeper and much more profound innerstanding of “forgiveness”, “acceptance” and “patience”. For starters, it took me a month to do all of the cedar baths, and in the process, I was taught that there is no instant cure, and things need time to heal. Secondly I was taught that the Creator, and all other creation can be “all forgiving” but it is us Two-Leggeds that need to learn this. (Ever kick a dog, and see that it will come back wagging its tail? Or how about when we poison the rivers, and ponds, and yet the fish and birds still return to spawn and nest? Or when we mow the lawn, or cut a tree, it will grow back). This taught me, that somehow I had to learn how to mend, and heal on my own, so that I can grow. And in doing so, I had to learn from all other aspects of creation, and learn to forgive, accept and trust.
I am no way shape or form healed from all the trauma and abuse that has either been inflicted upon me, or that I have inflicted upon myself or others, but the path of healing has been going on for about 5 years or so. I was told, that because of the enormity, and severity of the of the colonial genocide that took place on Turtle Island, it will take at least 7 Generations of healing to recover. That recovery takes place with me, with you, with us as a community.
But there is a two-fold, teaching in all of this, and that is that just because we forgive, it does not mean that we have to forget, or that we should learn to forget. We need to remember the abuse and trauma, so that we are reminded of the HIStory lesson, and so that we are cautious never to repeat those lessons. Only when we remember, we don’t allow ourselves to go so deep, as to relive all those traumatic events, and suffer deeply again. Its like having a sports injury to your arm. You don’t need to throw the ball so hard, as to re-injure yourself again. But your arm will feel a little sore, to remind you, that yes, there was some sort of trauma experienced there once, but it will heal up, and tomorrow you will feel fine again.
Forgiveness is a hell of thing, but its necessary in the journey moving forward. When one learns to forgive, one learns to accept. And in the process one is taught, that all animate and inanimate objects in the web of life, has the patience do endure another moment with us bumbling Two-Leggeds.
None of my relations