Last evening my husband and I watched “Invictus”, the compelling story of Nelson Mandela and his bold and courageous leadership of ‘the new South Africa’.
It has affected me deeply.
What a model – akin to Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and other great leaders – of how to ‘step out of the wheel, and boldly explore a new trajectory’. (See forthcoming post “Exiting the Wheel of Time”.) Mandela resisted obvious temptations to govern as lesser leaders have done. He experimented, he trusted his intuition, and he has created an evolving model of a new way of leading based on exploring how to encourage the best in people.
As I basked in the afterglow of watching this movie last evening, I realized that the most potent, simple, pearl-of-a-gift take-away for me is this … Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is an idea that is elusive to many. In fact, I have met people who have vehemently protested getting anywhere near to forgiving. Their pain has been so deep, their sense of having been betrayed so strong, that to ‘forgive’ has been a highly resisted option.
My sense is that, in this world of duality (duality is the grid in which our current and historic Earthly world views are constructed – they are virtually locked into duality), only the rare beings like Mandela do their personal inner ‘research’ and discover that forgiveness is not exclusive of boundaries.
Most people presume that to forgive is to open oneself completely – to allow possible future repeat of violation. This is not so.
To truly forgive – to be able to forgive – is in fact to be so clear in one’s boundaries that a violation will not be allowed to occur again. Then … forgiveness is possible.
In other words, as we become so strong inside, so clear of our self-respect and respect of what is sacred in this world (you can name whatever list you choose here, of what you have come to recognize is sacred in this world), we re-connect with our inner Warrior – the part of us that protects our boundaries.
Most people who have been violated in any way have dysfunctional inner Warriors – their inner Warriors have either become stuck in overdrive, or they have virtually disappeared, afraid of conflict on any level.
When we re-discover our healthy self-respect, our inner Warrior naturally comes out of sleeping. Without overdrive, we are innately able to identify and clearly articulate our boundaries. And with this personal safety restored, we are able to forgive.
Forgiveness does not mean, “You’re off the hook. You’ve been released. You’re free to violate again.” Forgiveness does mean, “I’m awake, now, to your potential to harm. I have re-claimed my self-respect. I will not allow violation to me or to others again. Within this context, I release you. I forgive you. You are free.”
If this intrigues you – if there is something for you to explore and discover in this – I encourage you to read the “Forgiveness is a Circle of Light” Meditation.
With all my love,
Questions to Ponder: Who have you forgiven? Who are you holding out on, withholding forgiveness? What is this costing you? If you clarify your boundaries of self-respect, does forgiveness become a closer possibility?
Want personal mentoring in how to practice this?
Self-love is where all peace begins.