Module #13. Radical Self-Love
Video Two: The Forgiveness Labyrinth
Welcome to Video #2 of Module 13 in which I describe the method given by Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr., in his book, The Five Levels of Attachment, in which he uses a labyrinth as a way of letting go of our limited vision of our identity and forgiving ourselves for using it to harm ourselves. Using his own words, it goes like
You envision yourself standing at the beginning of the labyrinth. First, you must be willing to enter. If you are not ready to be forgiven and let go, you have a choice not to enter. If you do choose to enter, this is the action of saying, “Yes, I am ready to forgive and take responsibility for my own will.”
As you enter the labyrinth, imagine it as a road map of your past that leads to your present moment in life. With every turn, envision a person, a moment, or a belief that you have used in some way to
What or whom have you used to subjugate your own will in order to be accepted by yourself or others? When you hold that vision in your mind — a person for example — stop, envision him or her, and
become aware of how their words have contributed to your domestication and say, “Forgive me. I have used your words to go against myself.”
Although that person might have used his or her words and actions to domesticate you, or to cause you harm or pain, you are the one who ultimately said yes to the belief and allowed it to blossom in your mind.
Becoming aware of your responsibility for your half of a relationship is crucial as well — it’s not just the other person’s fault. Recognize that you have been using someone else’s words or past actions to
potentially cause both of you harm simply by saying yes. The action of saying yes is letting their words and actions impact you, allowing them to hurt you, or go against you. Their words and actions have
power to hurt you only by permission, because you chose to agree with them.
Forgiveness happens the moment you say no to carrying this pain, this weight, this hurt, and let go of it all. Say aloud to yourself, “Forgive me, I have used your words and actions against myself, and I will no longer use them to hurt myself again.” Forgiveness is the action that allows us to move forward in the labyrinth.
Continue through the labyrinth, repeating the same action of forgiveness as new people and situation come to mind — whatever person or wound hooks your attention at that moment. That is the next one that you are ready to face and to forgive.
As you reach the end of the labyrinth, you will find yourself at the entrance to the center of the labyrinth. Stop right there. Look at the entrance to the center point and envision a mirror. Walk up to that mirror and see your own reflection. When you are ready, repeat these words: “Forgive me. I have used your words
most of all to go against myself, and I will no longer use them to hurt myself again.”
The action of entering the center point of the labyrinth represents the moment that you forgive yourself (for allowing yourself to be defined by others.) This is the action of you own forgiveness and reclaiming the power, or the impeccability, of your own word — of your own intent. You are worthy of your forgiveness
as much as you are worthy of your own love.
At this point in the exercise, you have let go of the past by recognizing that the only thing that exists is this present moment. The labyrinth itself is now the past, and you can let it go as you forgive yourself. With awareness, you can now draw the knowledge from your past to make choices in the present moment. The
labyrinth expands as you live your life, but the only truth in that center is that present moment where you knew you were alive.
The labyrinth ceremony ends when you recognize that you are worthy of your own love because you are alive in this very moment.
He doesn’t say whether you step out of the center or do what you normally do in a labyrinth which is to go in reverse and find your way out of the labyrinth the same way as you came in. If you do choose to do it this way, be sure to respect your past as you retrace your steps and give thanks perhaps to all the people, one by
one, from whom you asked for forgiveness as you came in.
It may seem odd at first that Don Miguel Ruiz, Jr. tells us that we should confront those that have hurt us with their words or actions and say, “Forgive me, I have used your words and actions against myself, and I will no longer use them to hurt myself again.” You would think it should be, “I forgive myself for having used your
words . . . .” However, I take him to be acknowledging that both parties have forgiveness to offer each other since there was error on both sides. But for all that, the process is all about self-forgiveness and coming to a place of self-love.
You may be lucky enough to live in a place where someone has created a labyrinth on the ground where you can actually walk it and do this powerful process physically. It would be worth traveling a distance to one to do it physically at least once.
The alternative is to do it virtually by having a labyrinth drawn on a piece of paper and, using a pencil or pen to trace imaginary steps and to imagine where along the way you meet the people whose actions or words wounded you and from whom you ask forgiveness for having let those words and actions harm you. I suggest
you find a labyrinth on Google and download it. You might want to enlarge it, of course, as well.
In the next video, we look at a practical 5-step approach to transforming beliefs into a profound acceptance
of oneself; a process that you can offer your clients.
We’ll see you then.