Next to love, forgiveness is the most misunderstood concept. Forgiveness has been twisted by a lack of awareness as to how it functions. To forgive does not mean we must rejoin with our ex-lovers, free criminals from prisons, return to old jobs or anything else absurd. We are taught to believe that if we are to forgive the one who hurt us, it must manifest in some form of behaviour and it reflects weakness.
Forgiveness is a function of love that seeks to understand the negative impact of another person and then to release the pain and find inner peace. When you choose to forgive somebody this does not mean that you acknowledge their cruel behaviour as acceptable, for doing this would be dishonest. Above all, it does not mean that we assume a superior (holier than thou) attitude to pardon the sins of others.
Let’s explore the truth of forgiveness. The meaning of the verb forgive, translates into “to let go”, which is the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the releasing (letting go) of negative feelings generated in you by another. It is your responsibility to let go of the hurt that another produces for you. The other person can apologise to you for their negative impact, but you still have to let go of the hurt feelings in order for forgiveness to become a healing experience.
What makes forgiveness so difficult, for so many? The greatest obstacle in the living of our life is the negative ego, which loves to hold onto a grudge and is our greatest source of resistance toward forgiveness. Our negative ego is what blocks our happiness and peace of mind. We hold within us grudges, bitterness and resentment which later manifest into stress, ulcers and poor health conditions. Ultimately, we have a choice to support our EGO or our SOUL, to be RIGHT or find PEACE.
Forgiveness like all other soul qualities (peace, love, innocence, respect, oneness, and passion) does not require a type of behaviour. It begins with a relinquishing of emotional baggage and the choice to function from your Soul versus your negative ego. Forgiveness is a willingness to perceive everyone, including yourself, as either feeling and expressing love or perceiving it’s absence, and having a need for more love. It is a relinquishing of a harmful train of thought that leads to constricting feelings. Forgiveness offers freedom to live a full and harmonious life.
The bi-product of forgiveness is our own willingness and ability to forget. If we cannot seem to forget then we have never completely let go. Holding on to pain only weaken us and produces misery. The purpose of forgetting is to prevent the mind from becoming a battle field. Negative feelings evaporate whenever they are looked at calmly and honestly and are dealt with responsibly. Often this process is gradual. The desire to function from your Soul (love) and to live your life in peace is the greatest motivation for forgiving another.
If you feel that forgiving ads one more grudging obligation to your life, you are functioning from your negative ego.
You have to understand that forgiveness is the doorway to your happiness and is the choice to function with love. When you are attacked by another, you must first deal with the hurt feelings that you honestly feel. Forgiveness is not a short cut to avoid dealing with the negative impact of your emotions. Too many try to forgive without releasing their anger and hurt. That common mistake only represses the anger and it putrefies into resentment down the road.
A great habit to cultivate is to pause whenever you are having difficulty releasing an upset from your mind. Look directly, and in detail at the contents of your thoughts. Dissect your emotions. Step back from them for a moment and gain new perspective. Write them down in a journal to gain deeper clarity. And give yourself time to forgive, it doesn’t have to be instantaneous, but know it is necessary to your happiness and peace.
A person who claims they “love everyone equally” and are never hurt by others are not more spiritually evolved, but more likely emotionally repressed.
To be a spiritual, doesn’t mean you have to like the ego of everyone that crosses your path, for you would then become transparent and lose your individuality. Liking somebody and letting go of someone’s negative impact upon you are two completely different issues.