We can use the transformation process of the Medicine Wheel when we are having a hard time forgiving others. I have found that Forgiveness is an opportunity for healing the self of a wound, not just from the current situation, but from the past as well. While it can be difficult to put the focus on the self when we are angry and hurt by something someone else did, and while it is important to take into account the behavior of the person, the wound, and our feelings about it are always our own responsibility.
We start out identified with the Story about our wounding, and what the other person did to wrong us. This story has power, and it may or may not be accurate. What needs to be honored is our feelings of hurt, confusion, loss, and anger around it. We have to honor where we are at, and at this point we are usually feeling like a Victim. It’s important to experience and express (if appropriate) these feelings. This is the first step in the healing process.
When my best friend lied to me yet again, I was hurt, angry, and ready to wring her neck. She actually did lie. My story was accurate. I was feeling hurt and betrayed, and I didn’t understand why she didn’t trust me enough to be clear about what she wanted and did not want. At this point I was wrapped up in the story of being wronged by my friend.
The next step is to realize that we are not our Story. Our Story of hurt, while it may be accurate, is still our story, and is most likely not the other person’s view. What this means is that it belongs to us, it doesn’t necessarily have to do anything with the other person. Problems and misunderstandings occur when we try and force others to acknowledge our Story when they don’t want to. The task is now to differentiate ourselves from our Story and from the Wounding. The wounding is its own energetic entity that needs healing. It is not us.
In the case of my friend lying to me, what I had to say at this point was, I don’t want to be lied to any longer. My friend is a habitual liar. She’s not interested in stopping the behavior—I know this because we’ve talked about it. Her lying has nothing to do with me; it is her problem. Now the question is, do I want to accept the lying and deal with it or be wrapped up in how she wronged me? At this point I chose to accept the lying, and I dealt with it by deciding that I didn’t want to leave myself open to more of the same. So, I distanced myself from the relationship. I felt much loss as I did so, but it was the right decision for me, and it allowed me to not be wrapped up so much in the Story of my wounding.
The next step, as we travel to the North, is to realize that we are each on a Journey. Each of us is a Soul here to grow and to learn. We each have our free will, which means that we each have our own pace of growth. We are all the same, so what that means is that we all make the same mistakes at different times in our journey. (This journey encompasses lifetimes.) My friend may be a liar, but was there a time in my memory when I was also a habitual liar? My friend lies so as not to disappoint others by telling them no directly. When have I done the same? I may not do the same now, and I may find such behavior unacceptable now, but the capacity lives within me to enact the same behavior.
At this point, I can allow my friend her Soul’s Growth and Journey at her own pace, without having to participate in her Journey with her. It is up to me to decide what type of interactions and energy I want to allow into my Life. I can allow her into my life, but I must expect her to behave as she’s always behaved. I do not hold that behavior as a personal affront any longer. I am now at the point where I can choose or not choose the relationship without blame.
The last step is to travel to the East and see that all is as it should be. That higher perspective demonstrates that all is in order. From this perspective I have learned that it was my lesson to learn to treat myself well enough to not be open to such behavior when it was sure to repeat itself. An old belief I had to give up was the friendships are forever, no matter what the behavior. In giving up this belief, I am ensuring that I will have a better chance of forming more lasting and happy friendships.
From this perspective, it is a blessing that I was lied to in the first place. The lesson led me to be more discerning of the character of others. It becomes all about me again, but it is no longer about the wounding, but about the new level of wholeness that I have achieved. From this perspective, doling out Forgiveness to my friend is no longer necessary since it has nothing to do with her. She is as she is and all is well.
It is interesting that with this particular friend, once I had made my way around the wheel, her vibration changed because my vibration changed. At first, she was in Story mode. Her story went something like, “Why is Elaine shutting me out again? Why is she making me feel so guilty? I don’t like feeling uncomfortable like this.”
Then she moved to, “Actually, she caught me lying, and I did lie. She did ask me not to do that, but I did anyway. It was my choice to lie to her. This is my responsibility to deal with and fix if I can.”
Then she moved to, “Can I make the commitment to not lie? Why do I lie? What am I afraid of? I’m afraid of disappointing Elaine, but she isn’t afraid of being disappointed. That means this has to do with me. I’m afraid of disappointing those I love in general. I need to work on letting that belief go that if I disappoint others then they won’t love me, because it is leading to me losing a friendship that I love.”
Then she moved to the East. She came to me, asked to renew our friendship, and admitted that she was in the wrong. She no longer felt the need to lie to me. We were both grateful of the experience because it cleared up a block to true intimacy and friendship between us. At this point we could both say, “Thank God she/I lied!”
Of course, my friend is committed to her soul’s growth. Not everyone is. It could have been that she remained stuck in the Story, or she could have remained stuck in the West and not committed to truthfulness. In either case, our friendship wouldn’t have made it, and ending our friendship would have been the right choice for me, even if she would have been disappointed with me.
We have to remember to be discerning and choosy about with whom we spend our time. We are all equal Souls, but we are all at different vibrations and levels of growth. If someone you love is stuck in a certain pattern of behavior, you must use your knowledge to take yourself into account. You matter. Your friend’s journey can continue on without your full participation. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the friendship is at an end, but it may be a more distant relationship. In some cases it may mean the friendship is at an end. Do not judge yourself for this. Do what is best for you.