My journey with forgiveness
Whenever I go to Italy, I walk on the road in the picture above. Some years for miles, other years a shorter time. The point is to just go to the road and let it unfold.
It’s a spiritual pilgrimage of sorts where I intentionally give up anger, hurt and pain. I literally give it to the road and let it go back to earth. I try to thank the lessons given, honor their time in my life and then bid them farewell. This isn’t magic by the way but I do it anyway:) I just do it and see what happens next.
The Benedictine monks that I’ve taught restorative yoga to in Montalcino inspired me to take this walk. I first met them years ago and they told me about this road near Pienza. They walk it frequently and call it their walking meditation prayer path. They practice forgiveness for the world every day. Every. Day. It’s their main spiritual practice and I’m deeply drawn to it.
I call this road the road to forgiveness. It’s not an easy road at all. I recognize while walking it that I have good reason to hold onto my anger or opinions about a situation, a person or an event. It’s all very logical. But it’s also all rubbish.
Interestingly enough this last year has been a year of sitting down in my life and body like no other year. And the one word that kept coming to me over and over is Forgiveness.
Literally just there all the time. In all sorts of places, spaces and times. Forgiveness was calling to me.
So I sat with it all summer and let it be.
For my own shame, my own ways of harming myself and others-and for the harm others have caused me. Obviously this is a bigger story than just one line but let’s keep it simple for now.
The simplest thing I discovered is that when I decide to forgive I just CAN. I don’t have to say why. I just can because I want to.
I can literally just say, I forgive whatever it is. Done.
There was a family member I needed to forgive. And so I did.
Then last week my entire family gathered for a reunion at my country home and I was completely overjoyed by the love and connection I felt.
I realized that by forgiving I could feel such joy and all the energy of holding that pain and anger were gone.
It took me years to do that. And in a matter of moments of actually being in the same space with the person it felt just like old times. Old good times that is. Like we were always there, together and whole.
I’m not saying this is an easy path nor telling anyone to hurry up and forgive.
Just wanted to share my story and the surprise ending. I had no idea that this particular forgiveness would give me such energy and joy.
I feel like I’ve got some new space now for creativity, love and who knows what else.
We’ll see what it looks like long term.
For now I’m savoring the goodness of it.