Forgive everyone everything

"Forgive everyone everything"

That's something one of our teacher's at Against the Stream has coined. Pablo Das, who is also an amazing singer/song writer, has tattooed that on my heart, deeply and profoundly and while reading the chapter Sharon wrote on Compassion, this phrase keeps ringing thru my head.

Forgive everyone everything.

 Sharon writes of judgment, criticism, resentment, disconnection, blame, of self and others, and she shows us how the practices of lovingkindness and compassion can heal those wounds and repair those damaged relationships. In my own experience, forgiveness is SUCH a big part of that work too, I'd venture to say it's absolutely required.

 Let me also make it very clear here that Metta (lovingkindness) is my JAM! I love, love, LOOOOOVE lovingkindness. I practiced it daily for two and a half years and I still practice it all the time. I teach the practice to adults, to kids and to the men in the prison group I lead…and everyone within that broad spectrum LOVES it! Lovingkindness has saved my life. This practice has enabled me to completely change my relationship with myself, with my family and friends, with my enemies, with all the animals that enter my life and, of course, with everyone I work with currently or ever have worked with. And ya know what? I've forgiven them ALL, including myself. Sometimes I need to forgive again and again, for the same issues and situations. And it's totally okay, even when I'm not exactly skillful and screw up…I forgive myself.

Forgive everyone everything.

 Years back, I had a ex-boss sue me in Federal court for millions of dollars and was viciously going after me to keep me from continuing in our industry. During the litigation, during the trial and even for a year or two afterward, I truly wanted the guy dead. I couldn't even begin to guess the total amount of time I spent thinking about revenge or how I would violently beat him if he ever came near me. Hate bubbled furiously like a witches brew in my belly for this man. Thanks to the practice of lovingkindness and forgiveness, I actually hugged the guy a couple weeks ago and sat down in his office reminiscing and laughing with him for an hour or so. None a single bit of hate or anger is left in me about him or the whole lawsuit. No longer do I carry around the stories of blame, shame, should have or would have, I'm SO much lighter.

Forgive everyone everything.

 It's was Sharon's teachings and her book Lovingkindness that brought me to the place I am today and I'm not sure if I could ever really thank her enough. I'll keep teaching the practice to all that are interested, I feel so indebted to the practice that i must pass it on. And I will continue to:

Forgive everyone everything.

With great love on valentines Day- Gary Sanders

Against the Stream