The other day while on a run, I was thinking about someone who has been in my life (really just on the periphery) for many years, and how this relationship has always been a struggle. The next thought was that I needed to forgive her. I could feel that I still had a lot of resentment when I thought about her, even though it was pretty much dormant most of the time.
Often, when I realize that I need to take this step in my life and clear up the old, negative, energy that I’ve been carrying around, I’ll imagine sitting face-to-face with the person, seeing and hearing myself say that I forgive them and asking for their forgiveness, but as I began to do the process regarding this woman, it felt wrong. I felt like a victim and it just seemed so serious and uninspired, like, “Here I am the ‘good one’ taking the step of forgiveness because that is what a good, spiritual, person should do.”….yuk.
So I cleared the image and suddenly a new one came to mind: we were sitting face-to-face, but we were laughing and congratulating each other on a game well-played. The words, “You have been a worthy adversary” came out of my mouth and she said them back to me. Then all sorts of other people from my past joined in as well. It was as if my past life had been played on a gigantic game board and I could see myself and everyone else as “players”.
The feeling of liberation was astounding and with it came the thought that I had a choice about how I viewed my life. I could continue to unconsciously compete with people, considering every unpleasant interaction as a personal affront and challenge to me, thus seeing myself as mostly a competitor who needed to win in life (or protect myself from getting hurt) or I could wake up and see that I have been playing a role. I also like the thought that I have the ability to witness this and possibly choose another role, or no role. I really like the thought of dropping all roles, definitions of myself, ideas about who I am and who other people are (or are supposed to be) and to try to show up fresh everyday, ready to see what the world presents and how I respond without thinking about how to do it. I believe this is what it means to be authentic and it sounds like fun to me.
“It is a curious fact that people are never so trivial as when they take themselves seriously.’ Oscar Wilde