This is the second installment of sharing my musings on four ways of Being that would change your life and the world as we know it; Compassion, Gratefulness, Forgiveness, and Love. I will use terms that are found throughout my writings such as PIES; physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and the Universal Principles.There are many ways to achieve balance; some are obvious and others might seem unrelated. Stepping back and reflecting on various steps I have taken, there is one corrective action that when done in a profound and heartful way brought me to the core of my soul, which is the deepest form of authenticity. This process stems from love and is called forgiveness.
For most people the mere thought of forgiving someone makes them cringe. Yet the act of forgiveness is one of the most powerful, positive, healing, and loving actions one can do for others, but most importantly for yourself. The angst between not forgiving or forgiving is really a battle between your ego-self and your soul-self. The ego rebels against the very idea of forgiveness. Our ego wants vindication, justice, but most of all to be “right.” The image that comes to mind is that of an ego being a hopeful triumphant boxer. The ego’s vision is that of standing over his battered and bloodied opponent holding up a sign that says, “Now Everyone Knows that I was Right.” The accompanying feelings from those wants/thoughts/beliefs are always of the lowest VF; righteousness, anger, revenge, resentment, or rage. At minimum the ego wants an apology and at worst punishment or even death. A passage from the texts of the “old” spirituality encourages this negative ego state by supporting … an eye for an eye. I hardly believe that the Divine/Source wants us to behave that way. Gandhi had a great retort, stating that if we followed that advice the world would eventually become blind.
Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.
Lack of forgiveness can be found in our deepest self-talk, our relationships, religions, governments, and international relations. I can’t forgive myself for not getting out of that relationship sooner. I really screwed my life up. I’ll never forgive my spouse for not paying enough attention to me on my birthday. I’ll never forgive my daughter for getting pregnant. Most religions believe they are the “chosen ones” and are not forgiving of those who do not believe in their god. Throughout history we’ve seen millions of people killed because of that particular lack of forgiveness. To various degrees, governments are not forgiving of those in their constituency who are different, in the minority, or voice dissent. For decades and in some cases centuries, countries have not forgiving other countries for transgressions committed on both sides. The Jewish Palestinian conflict could end in this moment if everyone was to forgive each other. In fact that is the only way this conflict will ever truly end. Once each side forgives the other side, all the seemingly insurmountable details will be solvable. There is only one way to move through all that pain, hurt, and death. Forgiveness!
Your ego, or your country’s ego, feels that through the act of forgiveness it will somehow be diminished. Let me give it to you straight. To forgive does NOT mean condoning actions of others, does NOT mean losing anything, does NOT mean you are weak, and does NOT mean someone is dominating you. Forgiving means to accept that you might have had some role in the situation, that maybe you could have done something differently, that maybe there is another perspective that you have not perceived yet, that you possibly might not be 100% right, that you both did the best you could at the time, that maybe there could be something to learn from this situation.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
Forgiveness doesn’t diminish you, but rather releases you; releases ego so that you can be more be soulful, releases anger so you can become more loving, and releases separation so you can be more connected. We all just want to be loved and understood. Forgiveness is a major step towards making that happen.
Remember it’s all about you and your reaction to the events in your life. You are the one feeling all of your own negative feelings not necessarily the person who you can’t forgive. When you forgive another, you are actually forgiving yourself. When you forgive yourself it is much easier to forgive another. Forgiveness allows you to have a fresh start–a clean slate– rather than living with heavy baggage. No matter who you forgive, you’ll receive the benefits of being in a higher VF and automatically feel happier, more loving, and definitely less stressful.
Let’s say you’re e still not going to back down because you know that you’re right and the other person is wrong. If that is the case, realize that you’ll continue to feel those negative emotions that have a lower VF because you’re rigid mind is not allowing energy to flow. Do you want to continue simmering in that negative, foul, unhappy, stressful tasting soup? What is it that you truly want? Do you want your ego to rule your life or your soul? Do you want to be loving or angry? Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Your choice!
He that cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he must pass himself; for every man has need to be forgiven.