What they didn’t teach us in school

When I was 18 or 19 one of my closest friends finished our friendship.

It took me a long time for the confusion, and, to be honest, it was painful for me for a long while. Over the years I’ve reflected on this from different perspectives, and here’s what I’ve learnt –

– forgiveness is the most powerful energetic and spiritual tool there is.

This means forgiving those who have done or said stupid, hurtful, seemingly wrong, unnecessary things, and understanding that they only said these things because, on some level, they were in pain.

Yes, that’s what I meant to say – anything that we say out of spite, or to be hurtful or mean is only a function of us hiding a deeper pain behind a mask. When we take this understanding forward with us into all of our interactions, we can see through others’ words to their motives, which can sometimes be to either protect themselves from more hurt, or to, strangely, to sabotage their own happiness.

When we re-evaluate a situation with a slant of forgiveness on it, we can allow love back into the arena – and it’s love that heals us; all of us.

Forgiveness sets us all free. But it’s not just about forgiving others.

Forgiveness also means forgiving ourselves. Forgiving ourselves for what we what we might have said, or done, or how we may have reacted? It means being soft and compassionate, and realising that we’re all learning – all of the time! – and it means actively keeping our heart open. Not least because…

– in confusing and painful experiences we can act out of character.

We can do and say things that we don’t recognise in ourselves. In essence, we can find ourselves acting out of sorts with our own self! As if we’re not quite in alignment with our ‘true’ self.

Which, when we curtail love from flowing in our relationships, this is where we will find ourselves – out of kilter with our inner, true being. And this occurs because…

– in these cases, our ego is running the show.

Our ego is the sabotaging aspect of us that keeps us separated in the grips of what ‘he said’, and what ‘she did, or didn’t do’… The ego shuts down our wellspring of loving thoughts and it replaces them with a fear that can look like pride, or anger, or spiteful action or callous deeds.

It deliberately tries to keep us separate, but the cunning thing about the ego is that it makes out that we’re in the right… It’s sneaky like that – it acts as if it’s protecting us! When really, it’s actually sabotaging us by keeping us in a loop of believing that our separate actions are the only way to be. (Which generally, is the opposite way that our true self wants to be, which is loving.)

And we can act like this because we don’t realise that…

– when we hurt someone else, we are only hurting ourselves.

By keeping ourselves locked into a make-believe role of non-loving thoughts and actions.

And we forget that…

both of us in a relationship are 100% responsible for our part that we play.

We each have to take on 100% of the responsibility. It’s not shared 50-50…Because that will become a tussle of who’s responsible for the greater part…and only perpetuates the blame-game.

We have to accept 100% percent of responsibility for our own actions, and how we behave. (And to step down from the moral high ground! Because love doesn’t live up there…). We have to accept 100% percent of the responsibility because it is our actions that attract certain energies towards them.

When we give out love, we receive loving actions back in return. Newton got this law of nature sussed with his ‘each action has an equal and opposite reaction’. And in this case, it’s a beautiful, ever-increasing circle.

Whenever a relationship breaks down, both parties will be feeling pain. On some level.

All of our relationships will fall into one of 3 categories, and be there for a reason, or for a season or for a lifetime. Not everything is supposed to be for ever. (Thank goodness, in many cases!)

Yet there is a way to end a relationship in a loving way. It takes effort from both parties, and a swallowing of one’s pride*, usually, to break-down the barriers to love.

* which is the fear-based, blaming ego…by the way.

Equally, in order to resurrect a relationship, it also takes effort from both parties. A kind word, a genuine enquiry, a shared joke, a smile….a hug, and then maybe some tears.

Life is not a competition with others…it’s an ongoing series of interactions. And we get to choose – every single time – whether we operate within those interactions out of love, or not. Every single interaction, as well, actually!

As I said, it took me a long time to understand the ins and outs of this relationship from school which went awry. If I’m really honest, there’s still a tiny little bit of pain there too (if I choose tap into it). I think that’s because there never was an opportunity to resolve the issues in a loving way, at the time, although over the years I have done my part to release what is mine to release. And there we go, we’re back at forgiveness!

Relationships, eh?! One of the things that they omitted to teach us about at school…