Yesterday, I saw my sister for the first time in about six months. We were not raised together, as we share only one parent. Through the decline of our father’s health due to drinking; we came to a place of words left unsaid, a place of then too many words said, and a place where our relationship was going to break. My sister has been one of the best women I’ve had in my life. A woman who makes the same scrunchy face I do when I’m annoyed, who is shaped like me, who loves deeply, like me. Who is largely, unforgiving, like me. And on the brink of losing our relationship, we both did something we uncommonly do- we silently, but decidedly chose to forgive one another. And I am so glad I did.
My heart was full for family, and I felt that I had learned something, although I couldn’t place my finger on it.
Today,after an unnecessary argument with my fiance, I pulled cards for myself for the first time in a few days. There’s a lot going on in life at this time, and although it’s unlike me not to do a daily pull of some kind; I’ve neglected it because I’ve been sitting, and stewing over learning what it is to forgive people, and to forgive myself.
You see that Ten of Swords up there? That card represents what forgiveness means to me. Adeptly, as always, the Shadowscapes tarot shows me what I already know: forgiveness to me, means defeat. My shadow of the Devil, shows that it’s based in a fear of being controlled, and oppressed by the passivity granted to another. Life experiences have taught me well, what it is to allow another’s emotions to become more important than my own. But, in finding a long-term love in my best friend, I’ve come to realize that there is worth in the word compromise, and validity in learning how to do it. And sometimes, this means giving and seeking forgiveness.
Forgiveness, to the person who is unforgiving, feels like a threat to our ideals, to our peace of mind, to our values, and to our person.
But truly, what I have learned in the last few weeks, is that forgiveness is a space and an opportunity for my own healing.
Drag the sludge bucket of crap-self-talk you’ve been fed and continue to feed to yourself everywhere you go in life, and you’ll find yourself repeating the same destructions you’ve committed a thousand times. Or own up to where your tendency for harsh emotional expectations and brutalilty in your unforgiving nature, are responsible for your pain, rather than protecting you from it.
So, I ask the cards, in this time of owning up to my own shit, and trying to find a more nurturing and healing space for myself within me; what can be taught about forgiveness?
Forgiveness requires rest, a time to breathe, and to find the calm in your own mind where you are at peace with reality. But, the four of swords is only ever a preparation, and here in forgiveness, we prepare for Death. Through shedding and burning through old wounds, and coming back rejuvenated and powerful through the act of forgiving.
Forgiving another being for the wrongs done to you, forgiving yourself for allowing wrongs done, and for doing wrong yourself. Forgiving yourself for the mundane shit that doesn’t matter, like not getting as much done as you had hoped and spending a day laying on the couch contemplating. Forgiving yourself and others for holding on too tightly to things that truly must be shed.
We are all but human.
And this life is a journey of learning, growing, creating, releasing, healing and forgiving.
So, tell me, where can you forgive today?