Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


Readiness:

The Possibility Of Being Forgiving, Open, And Welcoming

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

January 29, 2010



"The cost to me of not doing so. I'm unwilling to pay the cost of carrying a resentment (or whatever) around, so I draw on the intelligence of forgiving."
... 
 answering Laurence Platt's question "On what do you draw to forgive people who are hardest to forgive?" in Questions For A Friend II 
This essay, Readiness: The Possibility Of Being Forgiving, Open, And Welcoming, is the companion piece to Fulfilled And Accepting.

It is also the third in an open group on Possibility: I am indebted to my son Christian Laurence Platt who inspired this conversation.




When someone I consider to be close to me does something which violates our trust, I notice I don't like admitting the first thought on my mind is not  to be forgiving. The first thought on my mind when someone I consider to be close to me does something which violates our trust, is more like making them wrong  (in fact it makes me angry, actually, if I tell the truth about it).

I consider myself to be a basically good  person. At least, that's how I like to think about myself. And, truth be told, when I do get angry (which isn't often, but it does happen from time to time), I don't place much stock in my own anger. But in regards to the fact that I get angry  from time to time, I'm no different than someone who gets angry and does place stock in and ascribes meaning, blame, and make wrong  to their anger.

When I look at this phenomenon closely, I can clearly discern the reaction  of it ie the automaticity  of it. Furthermore, if I look even closer  at it, I see I'm powerless  over the instance of it. I notice I'm powerless over the onset  of this reaction. I have literally no choice  over it.

That's the bad  news. The good  news is this:

I do, however, have complete, full, and free choice over what I'm going to do next  ie I do have complete, full, and free choice over who I'm going to be next. What I choose, completely, fully, and freely, to do next is to invent a new possibility  for myself and for my life, having acknowledged the inauthenticity  of ascribing meaning, blame, and make wrong to my anger.

When this happened recently, when someone I consider to be close to me did something which violated our trust, as soon as I got the inauthenticity of ascribing meaning, blame, and make wrong to my anger, and I saw how stopped my anger rendered me from moving on  with my life, how stopped I was from being ready  for what's next in my life, I invented the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming  for myself and for my life. And in that instant, I granted forgiveness to that person. My anger vanished. I became the space for that person to come back into my life at a whole new level, in fact for that person to be welcomed  back into my life.

"Inventing a possibility"  implies inventing a possibility of being. It's a subtle distinction: inventing a possibility of being. As opposed to what? As opposed to, say, inventing a possibility of doing. As opposed to, say, inventing a possibility of having.

A possibility like the possibility of being a fast runner  isn't really a possibility of being. Rather, it's a possibility of doing. A possibility like the possibility of being a rich person  isn't really a possibility of being. Rather, it's a possibility of having. Neither possibilities of doing (as impressive as they may be) nor possibilities of having (as desirable as they may be) transform life. What transforms life are possibilities of being.

Inventing possibilities of being shifts the ground work  of who I am as a human being. Inventing possibilities of being is a seismic shift  in who I am as a human being. I may indeed invent the possibility of being a rich person for myself and for my life. I may indeed become rich. But that's just another iteration of me being whoever I'm being, amassing wealth. I may indeed invent the possibility of being a fast runner for myself and for my life. I may indeed become fast. But that's just another iteration of me being whoever I'm being, running fast.

When you invent a possibility of being for yourself and for your life like the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming, then you're not the same person as you were  before you invented the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming for yourself and for your life. You may become a fast runner, but now you're a fast runner inside of  the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming. Now you're a transformed person ... who also happens to be fast. You may become a rich person, but now you're a rich person inside of  the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming. Now you're a transformed person ... who also happens to be rich.

Being the possibility of being forgiving, open, and welcoming, I'm ready for anything and everything, eagerly and keenly anticipating the rest of my life, unstoppable.



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