Patience, Acceptance and Forgiveness

Mark sent the following in an email within the last few days which comes from Eckhard Tolle’s, The Power of Now:

Pg 149 The Power of Now

“ Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs? “  2000 years ago , Marcus Aurelius 

    It seems that most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept… before they will forgive.  As soon as they do, one of the greatest miracles happens:  the awakening of Being-consciousness through what appears as evil, the transmutation of suffering into inner peace. The ultimate effect of all evil and suffering in the world is that it will force humans into realising who they are beyond name and form.  Thus, what we perceive as evil from our limited perspective, is actually part of the higher good that has no opposite. This, however, does not become true for you except through forgiveness. Until that happens, evil has not been redeemed and therefore remains evil.
    Through forgiveness, which essentially means recognising the insubstantiality of the past and allowing the present moment to be as it is, the miracle of transformation happens not only within but also without. A silent space of intense presence arises both in you and around you. Whoever or whatever enters the field of consciousness will be affected by it, sometimes visibly and immediately, sometimes at deeper levels with visible changes appearing at a later time. You dissolve discord, heal pain, dispel unconsciousness — without doing anything — simply by being and holding that frequency of intense presence. 

Since the death of my beloved Maggie on 7th May 2023, I’ve been trying to work on patience and acceptance.

Patience in respect of knowing my life is changing radically because, hitherto, all of our plans, work and play were for an integral unit accounting for each of our needs, desires and capacities.

The process of grieving necessarily involves patience because one cannot just “move on”. In addition, many practical, logistical issues are in a state of flux and I can’t force their pace.

Acceptance relates not just to Maggie’s physical absence (although her spirit remains with me constantly, helping me through the challenges of my days) but in respect of things that are happening, over which I have little control. I have to let go and trust in Maggie and the universe.

Which brings me to forgiveness. Since the early days of Critical Thinking, I came to the realisation that we have a choice:
we can either seek punishment (revenge or retribution) for those we perceive as guilty of the worst imaginable crimes
– we can create a new structure/paradigm in which such crimes aren’t rewarded

We cannot “have our cake and eat it”. Vengeance is not ours to take.

I try to forgive all those involved in child abuse, genocide etc. but it is hard. Similarly, when people within activist circles behave badly causing division and distraction, it is difficult to forgive. But I keep working on it.

However, in rereading what Mark sent over several days, I’ve come to the realisation that the one person I have most difficulty in forgiving is myself.

Maggie became progressively unwell over the last dozen years but seldom did that interfere with her work, play or consideration for and helping others, most of all me. In the year before Maggie died, she suffered repeated trauma, false hope and setbacks. Nonetheless, she remained, in the main cheerful and, as ever, a joy to be with.

The pain of her physical absence is accentuated by the feeling that in the last year and the eleven and half weeks she was in hospital, mainly in Critical Care, I failed to anticipate or acknowledge what became inevitable, Maggie’s death. As a result, those doubts keep creeping back… I should have spent more time holding her and telling her how much I love her… but I can no longer do that. Of course, rationally, I know I did the best I could, given what I knew at the time. But the time has come for me to forgive myself for this and many other weaknesses and failings.

My loving family and many soul mates, locally and around the world, are helping me through this period of transition. Patience and acceptance come more easily than forgiveness. But forgiveness is the key to the future…