Today I wrote out 3 pages worth of lists of all the ways I have ever harmed another and how others have harmed me.
The state of the world is tricky. In my opinion it always has been and always will be. Yet our exposure to it is real and intense and quite honestly more than any one human can handle.
I constantly am asking myself how can I make a difference? How can I bring more light, connection, and positivity into the world when it seems like most of what media covers is hate, separation, and darkness.
So today as I was reading the book Boundaries I began noticing how many times I had totally not honored another persons boundaries and how I have allowed other people to totally not honor mine. This sent me down the rabbit hole. I began thinking what me not honoring boundaries had created for the other person and most of the time all I could think of was pain or suffering or confusion of some sort. Then my heart started aching. How many people had I harmed by not doing this one simple thing? How many people had caused me pain and suffering from the same exact thing?
As my chest ached I pulled out paper and wrote…
What followed was:
Names. Situations. Incidents. The times I lied. The times I manipulated. All the times I have harmed. All the times I have been harmed.
Tears streamed as I wrote. I harm humans because I am human. I harm because I lack awareness and consciousness in certain areas of my life. As I wrote I began seeing the affects of my actions. I began seeing and feeling the other people and their pain in my ignorance, unawareness, and unconsciousness. I wrote until it all was out. 29 years worth.
When the names and faces and situations stopped surfacing I stopped. I stared at the pages of words as they blurred together. For a moment I couldn’t even make out what the words were or what each line said. I just stared.
I then closed my eyes and went straight into prayer. I laid my hands upon the papers I had just poured my heart and soul into. I prayed for forgiveness. I prayed for a release, a letting go, a healing to begin happening in each of these people and situations. I prayed for a cutting of ties and chords. That each person could leave free from harm and free from anything that does not serve their highest good or being. I prayed for each person individually, holding space for them, seeing them, feeling their pain and acknowledging the pain I had caused or that they had caused.
I prayed until there wasn’t a prayer left. Then I walked outside and burned the pieces of paper. Watched them change and evolve like everything does. Watched them turn into ash. Each word disappearing. Each name disappearing as the flames transformed the pain of my heart into compassion, forgiveness, and hope for the future.
I did this for me but I also did this for the other people involved and also for the world.
I don’t know how to solve world hunger or make politics more about truth and helping the world and the people in it. I don’t know how to stop killings or racism. I don’t know how to do anything except let my life be an example. Let my actions speak. Take full ownership for how I have been and what I have done. Take full responsibility for the harm I have caused.
In doing so I hope others will do the same. Stand up. Wake up. And take responsibility for their lives and their actions here. We each are playing a part. Each part matters. No part is left out from the whole.
I can’t promise I won’t ever harm another again but I can promise that if I do it I will take responsibility and I will clean up the mess I’ve made. My prayer is to be more light than dark. To be more humbled than right. To be more help than harm. To be more awake than asleep.
As I write this I am bowing to all of those that have ever been in the path of my harm. I am sorry.