“Forgiveness is shifting from the automatic ego reaction (anger/self-protection hurting back), to a non-reactive conscious response of empathy; considering that the other person is ALSO a human being, perhaps not mindful.”
-Dr Ani Kalayjian, 2010 Forgiveness & Reconciliation
I had an amazing lunch today with Dr Ani Kalayjian from the UN and we spoke a lot about forgiveness. Dr Kalayjian is the founder of the Meaningful World Organization and runs four mission trips a year working with traumatized countries and citizens in Sierra Loen, Haiti, the Middle East and Palistine. We have plans to offer select spaces on these trips to the Yogafit Network in 2015 for RYT 500 credit and the simple joy of giving back.
Today was just like most any other day that I paused at the end of my workday, wrapped my favorite scrarf that I bought in India around my head, covering my eyes and attempted to drop into meditation. Never an easy task between all the green tea I drink, the expresso shots in late afternoon and a long walk through Manhattan. You never really know whats going to come up through meditation but its all about the act of engaging in it on daily basis that brings about success in the form of so many benefits. Its a muscle that one just needs to flex often in order for strength to occur. I usually have a lot of free floating anxiety that comes up as I drop in and repeat my mantra. Today the same person who showed up in a dream this morning came back, into my meditation.
I, like many of you, have not always handled my friendships with the most grace- especially when I was younger. We are not taught how to have a disagreement with a friend. So this situation from twenty years ago came back to me and the person that it revolved around caused me even more than the usual “am I going to be able to meditate” anxiety.
So with a lot of self talk I was finally able to dive into my meditation. A lot of the self talk revolved around forgiving myself. I literally had to have a twenty minute dialog with myself ( self talk ) in order to get to the space where I could create space.
I tell you this story because in two days the Thanksgiving Holiday will be upon us – along with a lot of family obligations, family drama & dynamics and the related stuff that gets dredged up from the past. Dealing with family has its own challenges, there will be hurts, resentments and unfulfilled expectations that may come up. Dealing with family dynamics requires patience and often times forgiveness.
And If we can forgive ourselves we can forgive others.
Meaningful Words – Meaningful Worlds.
May our meditation practice illuminate our shadows.