Forgiveness is an energy that neutralizes the charge attached to a person or an event, releasing you and the person or event from the debt that is allegedly owed…. It is a complete letting go, like breathing a sigh of relief or releasing the body in death.
– Lena Stevens, thepowerpath.com
The old adage insists that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I have recently learned a valuable corollary: sometimes life beats the crap out of you so that when you’re offered an unexpected gift of grace, all your defenses have been destroyed and you can’t possibly reject it or see it for anything other than what it is.
I was the astonished recipient of such a benediction late last week, after a relentless, brutal month at work that culminated Thursday in a chin plant on asphalt in the service of an annual project that, this year, was a struggle every step of the way. When I got back to my office, limping, a bloody Kleenex plastered to my lower facial extremity, I announced to anyone and no one that I didn’t know what kind of message the universe was trying to send me, but it certainly had my attention.
The universe, though, was simply breaking me open to recognize and receive what was coming. The intensity and focus that had gotten me through weeks of long days, endless delays and obstacles and a workload double or triple the norm, started crumbling Thursday; by late Friday morning, the feeling I might shatter into a million pieces was amplified by the horrifying news out of Connecticut. Somehow, I pushed through the exhaustion, the tears and my confusion to the end of the day, when I gratefully embraced what I had thought would be my prize: 12 whole days out of the office.
So yesterday, my mind was free to mull over what happened to me earlier Friday morning, when I had a brief but warm exchange with someone who is a part of the past I have worked so hard to move beyond. We would each tell you that such a step is in the our best interest, as our last meeting was anything but warm, but we have been unable – or unwilling – to completely let go. Afterward, I felt such a slew of conflicting emotions – sadness, relief, joy, gratitude – that I couldn’t work out exactly what had happened. Nothing out of the ordinary was said, and it took me almost 24 hours to realize that what I had been given was the blessing to move on.
This unspoken act of generosity, unconsciously timed with technological precision, left me awestruck and overwhelmed. Had I been any more in my head – my typical locus of focus – I would have missed it entirely. My faith in us both – and in the benevolence of the universe – confirmed, I commenced my vacation last night by sleeping nine hours – a pre-Christmas miracle. I have almost two weeks of peace to replenish my resources so that I can start all over again. But that’s what I’ve been moving toward for a very, very long time: a new beginning.