Forgiveness is the pivotal element in the healing process that can open us to greater freedom, and mindfulness will not essentially be mindfulness without incorporating this element into the aspect of our being.
In my journey, the true healing comes when I learn to forgive myself, forgive my past, forgive those who hurt me and forgive those I love so dearly.
The cause of our suffering is not in pursuing happiness but in holding on to our past conditionings. In saying so, we cannot fully be happy and at peace with ourselves if we haven't learned to forgive and let go of our past emotional burden; our resentment, hatred, and blame.
Indeed, we are betrayed and hurt in some ways. The truth is none of these are our doings; there are no bad intentions but merely ignorance and delusions to say it all. For in forgiving, I see the humility of imperfection in our being, both in myself and others.
Forgiving oneself creates the opportunity for unconditional acceptance, and I learned to love with an open heart. The heart knows what the mind cannot comprehend.
It was my 45th birthday last month as I shared the practice of forgiveness in my newsletter. My husband, Yin Khin Chung (Tommy) supports me with all the technical work and managing my website, social media, marketing, and branding. And he sent out the newsletter with his name by accident.
When I found out that he had sent the newsletter out with his name instead of my name, I was triggered, and I could feel the tightening of my chest, and anger showed up. At that moment, I noticed a narrative of stories playing out in my head that he should be checking it twice before the press the send button, why is he always that careless, and that he has put my reputation at risk, I should have done it myself, and the stories went on and on. I felt more and more anxious as I listened to the narrative of my own story and thought clients and students would perceive me as unprofessional.
I ridiculed myself when I noticed I was reacting to the situation and gently brought myself back to composure. There was a á-ha-moment' - this is indeed a perfect situation to practice forgiveness. So, instead of blaming Yin Khin, I confronted him and asked how this happened. In the end, we realized that it was an automated function in Wix, and it was a technical issue.
Life is our teacher, is it not so? Whatever happens, happens for a reason.
This incident brought me to revisit my practice of mindfulness and compassion and has allowed me to deepen my practice.
Mindfulness is the cultivation of awareness and how we choose to relate and respond to a situation like this and bring our conscious awareness to notice with openness and kindness to ourselves and others.
Forgiveness is not always easy. It takes our willingness and courage to open our tender hearts and minds to be willing to accept what is. When we do that, a whole new perspective emerges for us in our favor.
Forgive yourself for whatever has happened. Forgive others for what they have done or not do. Forgiving ourselves and others does not condone what did happen.
Alternatively, it is a powerful means of finding liberation and creating space in our lives. In the practice of forgiving, I have also learned to let go of what should be and accept what is. We start to free ourselves from the past that has held us back in the present when we practice forgiveness.
Being a mindfulness teacher is not all about teaching what we learned in the practicum but rather how we embody the practice and apply them in our teaching.
"We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow our hearts to open."