During the question and answer period of my talk in Finland, a gentleman asked me a sincere question that reminded me of the great challenge I'm faced with in communicating both sides of this message. Ultimately showing, what I'm really wanting to say, is... If you're hurting, I'm sorry. Please forgive me; I love you.
I was speaking on the subject of living with the freedom to be yourself. For all who were in attendance, it was abundantly clear that other people were not hindering our ability to be with the joy we craved. The foundation of the insight being offered, was based on sharing my experience of the pain that arises when I look for other people to give me what they can never give me. It's a very simple investigation, to see how we look outside of ourselves in order to authentically connect to the desired internal experience.
"I want to feel love, so I need someone to love me."
"I want to feel secure, so I need more money."
"I want to feel valid and important, so I need people to like me"
"I want to feel happy, so please don't show me what I'm afraid of."
These statements require the belief and assumption, that other people and objects are the source of not feeling authentically connected to what we want most. The implication being, that in order to acquire these things from other people, or the outside world, we cannot naturally be ourselves. You must be, what you think the outside wants you to be, so that you can get something from them. Which creates an internal dialog that resembles something like....
"I need them to love me, so I must change into what they want"
"I need to get money, so I must do things that jeopardize my integrity of heart"
"I need to be liked, so I must pretend to be what I think is a likable version of myself."
"I need validation, so others must see me only how I want to be seen."
When I start to recognise the truth of my nature, and my inherent connection with all that is, I notice that in the most sincere way, I don't really want or need any of these things. Granted, this goes against almost all social understandings of being human. The popular notion, is that other people and life circumstance determines your internal experience; or at the least, influence it.
I'm not one to argue with this, because everyone is free to examine their own experience and come to their own conclusion. All I can do, is share what I see within my experience; without the need for anyone to agree with or adopt any particular way of seeing. I see all as free to see however they see, and however they see is appropriate for their own learning.
If I am Hurting
If I am hurting, is monumentally different from -If you are hurting; and yet, it's exactly the same. Different in how I perceive,
approach and nurture. Same in principle, source and nature.
Naturally, these insights for myself have only been discovred through the perceived failure of my human experience. This is why I encourage one to not make a self prescribed or social ideology out of what I'm saying. These things aren't communicated so you can grasp at them; if anything, the invitation is to loosen one's grip on what they think they know.
If I am hurting, I find that the final statement remains the same... I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you.
Through investigating my own experience, it's abundantly clear that if I'm with suffering, or any flavor of pain, I'm only doing it to myself. I cannot escape this, even though at times I still try, which results in some form of blame that ultimately brings me back to this discovery.
When I thought that other people were hurting my feelings, life was showing me my own self doubt and fear of not being enough. When I have been deliberately unkind to others, I was first being unkind to myself. In many moments when I thought another was being unkind to me, I eventually saw that they were not being unkind; I was just seeing what I was afraid of in myself, and then blamed them for it. In some moments when others said I was being unkind, I was actually with a very deep love and caring.
This has been the truth; for the reality of my experience. Whether anyone else agrees with that or not, is quite irrelevant. It's what I see, it's my deepest sincerity. Does it mean it has to be another's sincerity? Of course not. We are inherently free to discover what is sincere for the one who is looking for the sincere.
In this discovery, I recognize that if I am hurting, it's only because I am hurting myself. If I'm hurting because I think someone is being unkind to me, it's because I feel like I need them to be kind to me. Which in a very direct way, is me being unkind to myself. It's saying... "my worth and value is determined by how someone treats me, so I need others to not be themselves in order for me to be who I want to be."
My hurt, is me taking it personally; beliving their perceived unkindness is about me. To see that it's not about me, (in the way that my own unkindness is really unkindness to myself projected outward) I no longer see them as being unkind. In this, my hurt from other's perceived unkindness, has an opportunity to heal because I see it's real origin. It's not outside myself, it's within, so I say to myself.... I'm sorry. Please forgive me; I love you.
I'm Sorry, Please Forgive Me, I Love You
"I'm sorry, for placing expectations on you to be in a way that's not sincere. I did so because I was afraid; afraid of not being loved and losing what I hoped for in the future. Please forgive me, I see my own error in how I saw you. It wasn't really you, it was my perception of you that avoided my own pain and hurt. Sincerely, I love you. I don't really want you to be different, I want you to be as you are.
I know you're doing the best you can with what you have, as we all are. It's impossible for me to truly and fully understand the path you've traveling, the pain you might carry, or what it is you are here to discover and share with the world. Thank you, for simply being you. Beyond my fear, I see that you are exactly where you are suppose to be, in order to expand into what it is you desire most."
Although it seems like this might be speaking to another person, in reality it's an example of my internal dialog. This statement, addresses the relationship between the Self and the Self, as I recognize the real cause of any internal hurt I might be experiencing.
This is what I call "The One Relationship," and if you've been observing my sharing for any length of time, you've probably heard me mention it. The reality of this, is that every relationship experience I have, whether it's with a person, place or thing, is entirely determined by the relationship I have with myself. If I am with conflict with myself, I will see conflict with others. If I am with joy and love with my relationships with life, then I will experience joy and love with all things in life.
It's not to say that others won't have conflict with me. It's to say that I won't have conflict with their conflict. Also, it's not to say that I won't experience emotional fluctuations. It's to say that I don't have to suffer over them; which is like saying I can completely allow the seasons to be the seasons, without wanting the autumn to be spring, and winter to be summer. Each flavor, can fully exists, because each flavor is what allows life to be life.
This is actually quite important to clarify. As I speak about these things, the mind interprets in a way that isn't congruent with what I'm attempting to express. Like the example of conflict. It would be easy to assume that based on what I said about the One Relationship, it would mean that if you had love for what you are, then in appearances everyone would love you the way you wanted to be loved. I'm not saying that at all.
If Others Are Hurting
This is possibly the most misunderstood element of what I share, and it points to the question I mentioned at the beginning. As I was sharing insight about being your sincere self, and fully allowing others to not like it, while at the same time simply saying... I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you, he asked... "but why would you say YOU are sorry, when it's obvious that their hurt is only their projection onto you."
I felt my heart drop in my chest, with a hundred flashbacks in one second of moments when I would avoid saying "I'm sorry", in a defensive attempt to protect my own imagined sense of self importance. Clearly an effort to avoid or distance myself from the experience of hurt in another, so I myself wouldn't feel hurt.
I responded sharply, "because I understand what it feels like to be with hurt, to feel separate, to feel distant from one's own heart. I understand the confusion of believing that I need other people to be something they are not, because I was terrified inside! Also, I understand the value of this hurt, the opportunity of our illusions being crushed, so I don't need to push away the appearance of hurt, if it's ultimately there to help.
Any rejection I might have of other people's experience of hurt, is a rejection of my own hurt. If another blames me for their hurt, and I don't want them to blame me, is only to withhold freedom from their inherent freedom to see life however they see life. I too, am free to see whatever I see; however, through my own... experimentation, I only end up hurting more when I return blame, judgment or thinking I need them to be different.
What I've seen for my experience, is that actually there's a huge gift of mutual healing that's possible, when either party is open to being empty of defense, and willing to actually listen to the other. This isn't required for both sides, it only takes one, and... it can only be You. Of course, to demand that another be open, is not being open. Comically so.
You see, the insight being shared isn't so much about understanding others as it is about understanding yourself. The subtle fear in the mind attempts to take this knowledge and use it to protect itself from experiencing what you fear. In other words, to protect you from feeling rejection. It's so easy to see the simplicity in what I'm saying, and see how mechanically speaking, other people's projections onto you aren't really about you. This still misses widely the point, power and opportunity in what I'm sharing.
Their Hurt, is my Hurt
"I’m sorry." Is a statement open for interpretation. We can see it as an acknowledgment of wrong doing, an expression of compassion, or it can even carry a sarcastic undertone. The point being, the words themselves don’t mean anything without the intent of the one who uses them. This is important to clarify, because to simply say… "I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me; I Love You” can be used as a defense mechanism to avoid going deeper within yourself or another.
We need to really look at this, or better stated, I need to really look at this, because I see how easy it can be to fall into a space of defense while using spiritual phrases as a tool of avoidance. It really comes down to your own willingness to be sincere with yourself, and acknowledge the depth of sincerity you are really with.
I find in my experience, the more open I am, in the way of not needing to get away from what’s happening, I discover a resonance that really feels the hurt of another. There is a deep compassion that knows of the pain through personal experience, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. The more closed I am, it’s like I will do whatever I can to avoid feeling the hurt of another. This is when we shut down, we don’t listen, and we reject their expression; as it is seen as a threat to your own ability to be with wellness.
In situations where another is ‘projecting’ on to me (ugh, just saying that makes me want to vomit a little, because it’s not the point) or blaming me for their hurt, the lessons I’ve learned in this life… have pointed me in the direction of completely allowing it. Regardless if I think I did anything wrong or not. Being defensive simply hasn’t served, and has only been a means to avoid seeing my own hurt. It says “don’t show me your hurt, because it reminds me of my own hurting and I don’t want to deal with that right now.”
Here’s another way I look at it; If what they are telling me stings, or seems to hurt me, or wants to trigger a defense, then clearly there is something to see within myself that I’m hiding from. Why would I attempt withhold freedom from them to feel how they feel? Only because I don’t want to see my response, which is to see how I see myself. If they are expressing themselves and I don’t feel that sting, rather there is just a space of openness, then I see it as an opportunity to hold space for their hurt. To hold space for it, is to not reject it because I’m taking it personally, it is hold it because it’s clearly asking to be seen.
It’s an identical unfolding to how we dance with our own hurt. If we reject it, then by default we will tend to reject the hurt of others if it reminds of our own hurt; which is when we make it personal. The more we have compassion and understanding for our own hurt, the more we will have compassion and understanding for the hurt of others.
You can see a very natural unfolding of life, that mirrors itself for the sake of collective healing. As you heal, through a deep understanding of… "I’m Sorry. Please Forgive Me; I Love You” then by default you become better at holding space for others. It’s unavoidable in fact. In this, you don’t have to ‘try’ to be good at it, or try to hold space for others, you simply become available for life to be the teacher it already is.
For me, "I’m sorry,” is a statement that says, “I hear You, I feel You, and I see You.” Again, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because you really do hear, feel, and see. Which is quite impossible if you’re taking it personally and trying to avoid feeling the energy of being hurt. For the sake of being clear, this is not a tool of communication that you can add to a defense arsenal of phrases to sound or appear to be spiritual. I promise you, it will only become more of a disaster if you do. It matters not if even one else believes you, because you still have to deal with the one you are that might be hiding from a deeper authenticity.
I’m Sorry... Please Forgive Me…. I Love You
“Why, if I wasn’t really responsible for their self inflicted hurt of clinging to impossible expectations, or wanting what is not?” Or something like that. The question itself implies a tremendous amount of separation, and is an attempt to avoid feeling rejected, attacked, or blamed. The question attempts to say it’s not personal, while actually it implies that it’s personal through not wanting to acknowledge how another is feeling.
You see, if someone is expressing hurt in your present moment reality, then that is your present moment reality. Their hurt, is your hurt. You, are them; they are you. There is no separation here, there could only be the separation you create by saying its not yours, it’s theirs. It’s You. It’s Your Opportunity to allow for healing. Whether you want to see it or not, since it’s in your reality, then you are contributing somehow. So how would you like to continue the direction of that contribution? Avoidance? Defense? Or deeply hearing, feeling, and seeing so that healing can be allowed.
In another way, in the phrase I’m Sorry, Please Forgive Me, I’m saying… "I’m sorry for the misunderstanding; in our attempt to understand one another, and ourselves, somewhere along the path confusion and fear showed itself and led to the experience of being hurt.” To say, "Please Forgive Me", is ultimately to acknowledge the inseparable nature of human beings; that in a real way, we are all affecting each other, just in the way a falling tree affects the whole forrest.
It’s not an issue of if the tree should have fallen, or who’s fault was it that it came down. The issue is, it came down and it scared us. Granted, trees have to fall in order for the forrest to grow and sustain itself, and it might scare you. Granted, the experience of expanding into your most true nature will require the falling of many trees of expectation; and this will hurt. I don’t see it as wrong, or bad, or should not be, I see it as yet another opportunity that invites a deeper sincerity of being.
"I Love You.” Is to acknowledge the deepest of sincerity that exists beyond all fear. Again… don’t turn it into am external tool, see it as an invitation to look within yourself. In every argument I’ve ever had, it has only been an expression of my own fear that gets projected onto another. Beyond that projection, beyond my efforts to hide, what I see there is only love for the other. Even in those cases where I might have adamantly believed that another wronged me in some way; ultimately and eventually, I saw that really… I only had love for them.
A love that sees they are literally doing the best they can, with what they have, where they are. A love that recognizes they are already forgiven, because the realness of what they are is not hindering the truth of what I am. We are learning together. As they show up, as they are, their expression is exactly what I need in order to allow for a deeper healing. The only rejection I might have of them, is a rejection of myself that blames them for not giving me what they can never give me. So regardless of what we imagine the circumstance to be…. I, am sorry. Please forgive me… I love you.