The reference for this post is from Dr. Ira Byock's book "The Four Things That Matter Most". You can find this book HERE:BETTERWORLDBOOKS if you would like to purchase it.
While it is true at end of life that we want to make sure our affairs are in order, and it is important to most of us that our pain is well managed, according to Dr. Byock (and agreed to by this Spiritual Advisor), what actually floats to the surface as mattering most deeply is the saying of these four things:
I forgive you
Please forgive me
I love you
Today, I am lifting up the first of these: I FORGIVE YOU
Working in hospice, when leaving is long and difficult, I am sometimes asked by family members "but WHEN will our beloved GO?" and "I don't understand WHY she is STILL HERE..."
This may be when I suggest that families and loved ones consider FORGIVING.
I do not subscribe to the idea that one must forgive for forgiveness' sake; rather my stance is that forgiving cannot be done until forgiveness is ripe – but how, when time is ticking, to ripen it?
First, I offer this: Consider differentiating between FORGIVING and FORGETTING.
You may wish to note also that – while forgiving certainly benefits the other person – forgiving is most richly for YOURSELF.
When a family member forgives a dying person, they release that person, but also themselves, and their/our freer heart is palpable on so many levels, many of which we are not even aware we can sense.
Here is what I invite you to consider:
FORGIVING is AN UNTANGLING; it is a disentangling of your psyche from that past event and trauma you hold between yourself and another - so you may breathe – and live - more freely in this moment.
Think of someone, living or dead, with whom you may still have unfinished business.
Consider the idea of breathing out - of exhaling into a sense of letting go of – what has been hurtful between yourself and other. This simple (or not so simple) act is the act of forgiving.
DOING THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU MUST FORGET.
You may still feel the pain of a hurt – large or small.
You may still need or choose to continue to work on healing this hurt, possibly for some time to come. You are entitled to your memories and healing process.
But FORGIVING means you release entwinement with the person who hurt you; you set them free to be as they are, and more importantly you set yourself free.
You might imagine a beautiful Golden sword cutting through the ropes of attachment you have had to this person or event.
See or feel the cords falling away.
Notice your breath.
Your memories are still yours.
Your process is still yours.
But no longer are you bonded by pain to another.
Take a few breaths.
This is a short version of what may require a longer process for you, but it is an invitation to explore that process.
I share it of course, because the more we are able to clear our own dramas and wounds and move toward a sense of freedom and well-being, the more gracefully we are able to offer this to our patients and families, and one another.
Blessings upon your day, dear ones.
May forgiveness lighten you (when, and if, you are ready).
0 Comments 7/13/2022
Leave a Reply.
Rev. Maya Massar