Forgiveness And How To Get There
“If I develop bad feelings toward those who make me suffer, this will only destroy my own peace of mind. But if I forgive, my mind becomes calm.”
– Dalai Lama
We all have someone to forgive, usually several people even. Some are easy to forgive because sometimes we simply forget how they got us upset. Some are hard to forgive because the mere thought of them raises feelings of anger, disappointment, fear, etc.
Did this bring someone to mind for you? Are you thinking of them now?
Good, stay with that thought.
To me, forgiving myself is harder than forgiving anyone else. Perhaps because, in my point of view, forgiving someone else means that I forgive myself too as well as the other way around.
I’ll explain by using three viewpoints that say the same: we are all one.
“Buddhism views that everything in the world is interconnected. When Buddha gained enlightenment, it was the realization that interconnectedness is the true nature of all beings. We are not only connected to other people, but to the air through our breathing and to the universe through light.”
— Venerable Pomnyun (huffingtonpost.com)
A Course In Miracles:
“There seems to be a gap between you and your brother; the body’s eyes report differences, and you believe them. You must seek within you and allow the Holy Spirit to correct this mad idea. Everything God created is like Him as One.”
— David Hoffmeister (on spirit-of-love.net)
In one of the videos that was shown during Hay House’s Heal Summit (July 25 – 31, 2018), Gregg Braden shares his modest, but scientific perspective on why we are all connected. In short: before the Big Bang of the universe, we were all part of this one particle. Everything that the Big Bang birthed (planets, stars, humans, animals, plants) is still interconnected because it used to be part of the same element.
As we are all connected, forgiving someone else means forgiving myself and vice versa. On a metaphysical level. On an I-am-just-human-level, however, it feels a tad bit more complicated.
Most of us simply haven’t been raised that way. We see one person doing something bad to another person (or animal, plant, the earth) and we think of revenge. The negative side of reciprocity rears its head. This person needs to be punished, we need to stand up for ourselves, and something needs to be done! We call it justice, but we always pay for more than we signed up for…
“Closely aligned with this is the belief that if you forgive or allow others to forgive, justice will be abandoned because people will lose the resolve necessary for action unless there is unrelenting fury to fuel it. But forgiveness is not about helplessly accepting, giving up, surrendering to defeat, being weak, or avoiding the cost of justice. It is about how you hold in your heart a terrible wrong while you act in the world to correct that wrong and try to prevent it from happening again.”
And I love the way Marianne Williamson approaches this touchy topic too:
“Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. Attack thoughts towards others are attack thoughts towards ourselves. The first step in forgiveness is the willingness to forgive.”
Funnily enough it’s the willingness to forgive where I seem to get stuck with myself most. The willingness to forgive myself for unwise decisions I made in the past, for going to bed too late last night (thus feeling wrecked today), for hurting friends or family through my remarks / actions, for…n’importe quoi.
When I look at others who were hurtful in their behavior, I can still see the universal particle inside of them, and it makes it real easy to forgive. Deep down we were made from the same stuff of stars, so how can I not forgive this person?
When I look at myself, though, I run into a blockage. I know I have been built from the same universal particle, but I somehow feel like I am screwing it up sometimes. Less and less, luckily, because I am coaching myself through acceptance.
Once I sit with myself and totally ACCEPT the facts that 1. I did something silly, and 2. I cannot seem to forgive myself no matter how I look at it, then what follows is…well, a kind of forgiveness I suppose. Mostly peacefulness though. The peace from seeing and accepting the situation as it is. Which is, in the end, what forgiveness is all about.
So, have you been thinking about those who you found hard to forgive too? And how does that feel now…?