There’s a beautiful parable about two little souls having a conversation prior to ‘life on earth’. I first read it about 20 years ago and have since told it again and again, paraphrasing along the way and creating my own Chinese Whispers version of the story. That being the case, please allow for differences in the way I tell this version, in comparison to any version that you perhaps know.
Before being born into their respective human bodies, two little souls sat together discussing their overarching intentions for their soon-to-be life on earth. The first soul said to the other one, “I would like to learn the experience of forgiveness.” The second soul thought that sounded a very admirable goal and so offered to help a friend out.
“If you want to learn forgiveness, I can show up in your life and do something so horrible to you that it will require you to forgive me — and you will learn the full depth of forgiveness.”
“Really? Would you? Would you really do that for me? Would you do something like that purely for my sake?”
“I promise I will. The only thing I ask, is that when I do this horrible thing, that I do for you, that you remember who I am. Please remember that I am doing this because I love you.”
My views of life are becoming more and more entrenched in seeing everything as a beautiful unfolding of lessons. This view doesn’t suit everyone and often makes me look like a naïve, rose-tinted-glasses wearer. On the contrary, I feel more awake to “reality” than I ever have before.
The only thing that doesn’t work for me in this parable is the act of forgiveness. I’m not a fan. To me, forgiveness is stopping short of truly appreciating the lesson. Forgiveness is holding onto the one-sided view that someone ‘wronged’ you, this act therefore requiring forgiveness. Forgiveness, to me, is a sanctimonious way of holding a buried grudge.
Controversial, I know. It’s why I love this parable. This parable can broaden our perspective, giving us a different way to view our experiences. It can be the door which opens into a different way of thinking so we can come to realise what we've learned, what we've gained, how we've benefit from the situation... what they did for us. When we see this, we see there is nothing to forgive.
What if it was all out of love?
What if all of this, all experiences, were out of love for you?
After my yoga class today, I stayed back to chat with one of the yogis about ‘stuff’ going on in her world. It’s what reminded me of this parable, and I felt compelled to share it as soon as I came home — despite my uni homework tapping its fingers on my desk, waiting for my attention. I have found this perspective of life to offer relief, resolution and peace — a genuine peace within that comes from a deep sense of gratitude and the recognition of absolute love running the show.
Is it possible, that my little soul decided to cross paths with your little soul, to share this perspective?
Artwork by GrazvydaArt