It depends on what the meaning of the word “is” is, or in this case, the word “as.” “As” has power. It may mean simultaneity in “As I Lay Dying” or exactly like, in “As You Like It” or so long as in “As the mountains surround Jerusalem.” It is a powerful word, having the effect of a contract, but we’ll come onto that later.
What if the wrongs that we’ve done, our conspicuous failings—our half-truths told and our truths untold—were the matrix to which the wrongs done us by others and the remembrance of them clings? Forgive yourself some little thing—a time when you should have spoken and kept quiet or a time you kept quiet when you should have spoken. Do that and deny power to some small hurt done us, either real or imagined. And that little wrong that you remember on either side, it’s a big one if you recall it.
Isn’t this the message of the great Judeo-Christian prayer, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And here’s that big word, “as.” Now, insomuch as, while, forgiving yourself, forgive others.
I had to look deep to name the thing for which I hold myself guilty. Maybe you will not. But if you’re like me, it’s not such a bad thing; just a small failing that colors the others, lurking there until you sincerely look. What is it? It might be the thing you find so intolerable in others. And, again, if you’re like me, you’re not going to like it one bit. Nonetheless, forgive it, and watch the matrix of those wrongs done you begin to shatter.
Today, honor the forgiveness contract. Forgive yourself some small or large thing and proceed to another until you have nothing more to pay, your debts canceled. How beautiful might that be, your world in balance? Is this Alexander Technique? Only if you want it to be: a change in your actions proceeded by a change in your thinking. But it might also be prayer, meditation, loving ourselves before we can fully love others. Today, try it with me. Forgive yourself some small or large thing and see what happens. If it’s not too personal, or even if it is, please write me at alanbowers.com and comment on my blog. That might be just right.