There is a simple practice that we can do to cultivate forgiveness. First we acknowledge what we feel–shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Then, in the spirit of not wallowing in the pain, we let go and make a fresh start. We don’t have to carry the burden with us anymore. We can acknowledge, forgive, and start anew. If we practice this way, little by little we’ll learn to abide with the feeling of regret for having hurt ourselves and others. We will also learn self-forgiveness. Eventually, at our own speed, we’ll even find our capacity to forgive those who have done us harm. We will discover forgiveness as a natural expression of the open heart, an expression of our basic goodness. This potential is inherent in every moment. Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start. ~ Pema Chodron, from The Places that Scare You
This weekend I have set aside time to study the above text from Chodron’s book. Again. In this single paragraph, there is a lifetime of work. It is work that I have not only resisted, I’ve also refused to acknowledge the presence of the work, the need for the cultivation of forgiveness.
Today is a desert day, in the literal and figurative sense. I will walk the desert trails, the arroyos. Again, I will follow the desert lines of the labyrinth. I go in search of space and quiet, of brief exile–if only for twenty-four hours–in an attempt to move towards a portal leading to a fresh start.
Bo Mackison is a photographer and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is exploring creative photography and emotion in a series called Desert Lines – a combination of visual lines and written lines. She is also walking the way of the desert, following its lines, in search of opportunity.