To begin with – a poem.
One of the benefits of belonging to TABI is that you get to meet all sorts of interesting people on the friendly forum… a recent addition was Joanne. Being nosey I followed the links to her poetry blog and found this most recent entry. Read it aloud and it’s even more wonderful.
The longer I live,
the more I give.
The more I forgive,
the happier I live.
A longevity of giving;
a giving for-ness of living.
A love remembered;
a mistake forgotten.
Why loss in life?
Why will to live?
Why, this means
life is to forgive.
Loss is the deal.
Meditate on memory.
Fill in with love.
Nowhere else to be
when life is a flood.
Joanne Sprott, 2012
Forgiveness is an incredible thing.
It holds the power to liberate the forgiver and the forgiven, yet it is so very, very hard to truly, genuinely achieve. And it’s such a subjective thing! I might berate myself for harm done to another person, who does not see that there is anything to forgive, or I might depise someone for pain they have caused me whilst they themselves do not feel they are to blame.
But if, as Joanne says, ‘Loss is the deal’ then we all must learn to forgive, if we are to get anywhere in life. To forgive others when they have harmed us, and even more importantly, to forgive ourselves.
I’ve cause harm to others in my life – well, who hasn’t. I’ve spent years feeling a turbuence of emotions spanning bitterness at the pain my own mistakes have brought me, guilt and despair at the pain these mistakes have brought to others, anger at wrongs I have felt done against myself, fear that others would not forgive me, and frustration at my inability to forgive myself. Not exactly fun times.
At times like these, it’s the Judgement card that we need.
This is the card that offers us a chance to be judged fairly according to our ‘sins’. It does not offer absolution – it is not a confession, at the end of which we can walk away with a spring in our step. It’s what Joan Bunning calls an ‘honest appraisal‘, a time to understand what we have done or what others have done and to see these things with a renewed perspective.
In its most simple form, Judgement is a humbling card. It reminds us that we are are human and that we all deserve a break. Everyone is capabale of mistakes, everyone is capable of breaking hearts and causing pain, of selfishness, of theft, of stupidity. No-one is perfect. If we are truly sorry for the mistakes we have made, and are ready to accept these mistakes and move beyond them as richer, wiser people, then Judgement is nothing to fear. Similarly, there comes a time when we must choose to forgive those who have caused us pain. It is an active choice, as Joanne Sprott says in her poem – to choose not to forgive is to choose not to live. Why loss in life? / Why will to live? / Why, this means / life is to forgive.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.