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it’s no coincidence that 2/3 of jesus’ sermons were on forgiveness…

…that bishop desmond tutu, in his life’s work around Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa centered forgiveness.

evolution requires it.

transformation demands it.

LOVE invokes it.

life has given me lessons on this so that i might know it–intellectually, in my heart, in my body.

life always gives what we need, what we ask for.

two recent examples to note:

on the church: amidst my evolving relationship with faith and how we build faith communities, there’s been ongoing wrestling with the institutional church and what happens as a result of the institutionalization of religion. life Jesus, i often feel compelled to turn up the tables in the temple, enraged and heartbroken by the discrepancy by who we claim to be and how we act. amidst my efforts to build bridges and reconcile, there is sly judgement and self-declarations of “well, i am not that,” ever-so-subtly excluding and othering. recent intimate and deep time with those who likely might fall victim to my judgements and exclusions gifted me with another truth: their way is also the way. rather than excluding, there was opening to including.

ken wilbur and spiral dynamics teaches that evolution transcends and includes.

to know this reality in an embodied way, in our own direct experience with life, is to feel lighter, softer, more free and expansive. no need to fix, cast aside, block…everything belongs.

i could soften with these faithful ones, even in the tension of the difference. i could see them more clearly because i could see me. and it was all good.

on family: in a recent visit with my mom, i shared some of my writing on ancestral stories. inspired by audre lorde’s “biomythography”, i’ve been in playful imagining with my ancestors, taking threads of historical fact and infusing my imagination into their stories. i wanted to share of these stories with my mom, especially those involving her adoptive and biological mothers, and a bit of what’s been written about her. as i read these aloud, daring to name the sharp points in these stories, there was this sense of softening, expanding. rather than slicing and dicing our stories up, what was offered in the practice of gathering all the pieces together was deeply moving. as i left that night, she hugged me saying that she felt she’d been waiting all her life for these stories.

me, too.

walking to my car, a deep well of grief opened up within me, grief of my grandmothers and my mother that had been blocked and stuck for generations; grief that wasn’t theirs but had been handed down to them, thwarting healing and movement and life. knowing i could not ride these waves of grief alone, i phoned an elder who could wisely guide me as i sank into the waters of this pain, welcoming it and the medicine it offered. in so doing, i met my younger self with new eyes and new appreciation as she was asking to release her grief, too so that she could be fully included in my evolving story. to see her/me, to embrace her/me…brought such peace.

the night was one of naming and including and transcending, shedding light on the truth of it all and also how conditioned we are to block this process.

how much easier it is to follow the historical patterns of reform as exclusion/termination/genocide/oppression.

we cannot change what we do not love, without condition.

often, this feels impossible to accept.

fortunately, we have many who have shown us the way.

recently, i heard an interview the Lama Rod, speaking on his recent book “Love and Rage”. he spoke of love as including all. he made the point that he loves even racism–a very mind-blowing declaration–going on to remark of the understanding and compassion he has for what lies underneath the behavior, the why. as he spoke and gave testimony of how this shift has impacted both his interior and exterior worlds, i felt a loud YESSSS rise up.

this, after all, is the fundamental practice of nonviolence, beloved community, peace.

what if we could dare to fully open ourselves to see clearly what is before us, and rather than judging it and casting it aside, welcome it into a more expansive knowing?

what if we could utter, “yes…and there is more to the story.”

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