The Best Recipe For Life - Forgiveness
- Thursday, 06 October 2011
As happens summer affords opportunity to meet and be with people that often you do not get to see over the course of the rest of the calendar year. It was at some of these functions I began to notice a theme presenting itself. It always amazes me that though a year may go by between visits there are lingering themes among gatherings. The same complaints, the same gossipers, the same grudges resurrected time after time. It got me thinking about forgiveness, and the fact that it seems many people do not really grasp the energy of forgiveness or understand its true value and purpose.
The wheel turns and we find ourselves heading into the fall. It seems we wait so long for the nice weather and in a flash it is gone. This has me thinking about revelling in the last moments of summers’ splendour while still here and letting go of it, be it wistfully, and turning thoughts to the fall and all that brings. Forgiving Mother Nature for what she must bring forth.
It has always been my belief that we are all of spirit using a physical body in a physical world, a place where emotions and attachments play a major role in our spiritual progression, and at each moment that is something we all have in common. As we begin to reconcile these attachments and emotions which are usually self serving things like power, control, selfishness, anger, ill will, etc., hopefully we begin to recognize that what’s really important for our spiritual progression is love and compassion. These two things empower both the self and others. The question then becomes how does forgiveness play out within this context?
For the most part I believe that people get lost in the source of their pain and misinterpret the act of forgiveness as a condoning of the hurtful act. They believe that to forgive means they are accepting or giving the “ok” to the person/s that created the act. In this misperception they do not realize that they are shackling themselves to the very pain they wish to become free of and in this attachment they are holding themselves back and in the source of their pain. In this application then forgiveness is actually something we do for ourselves, not for the other person, to free ourselves from the burden of suffering and pain. Forgiveness allows each of us to lighten our own souls and to walk toward personal and spiritual evolution.
Sometimes the thought of forgiving becomes an egocentric battle. There are some who would rather die than forgive, because they see it as a type of contest, and act of wills. To forgive means they lose some unspoken battle of wills. This is just stubbornness hiding an egocentric position. To be unyielding at the cost of personal suffering is quite short sighted. The truth is that forgiveness is one of the most healing acts one can do for oneself. There is no battle other than that of one’s own ego. Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness; rather it actually brings peace of mind and thus peace of the soul, not to mention a physical and cellular release that is by its very nature healing to the body.
Time and again in my work as an intuitive and spiritual counsellor I see people struggling to work through issues and blocks that are holding them back in their lives. The answer is often very simple and that answer is found in the act of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a release from those issues that are blocking our own happiness and our own productivity. Not holding on to the past actually breaks the cycles of fear, loneliness and victimization that keep us stuck. Holding on to the past, to grudges and resentments, all negatively affect the present moment and keeps us from feeling good about ourselves and hence about other people. How can we expect to find love and fulfillment when we cannot love ourselves enough to lighten our own pain load?
So patience, tolerance, compassion and forgiveness.....these we do mostly for ourselves, not for others. In this way forgiveness becomes about the forgiver, not the forgiven. It is the best gift we can give to ourselves.
Just something to keep in mind at those barbeques and reunions.