Understanding Forgiveness – How to Forgive Yourself and Others

Introduction

Since ancient Greek times all the way through the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and to the current era, the concept of forgiveness has been regarded as the direct personal response and desire following the event of being hurt or wronged, or the act of seeking and hoping for it after our own bad actions inflict damage unto someone else.  This sense is well depicted when Jesus said “God forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34), which immediately implies that ignorance can sometimes be the source of wrong actions and therefore eliminates culpability and makes wrongdoers able of being forgiven. It doesn’t always have to be dramatic and related to non-moral behavior, just like forgiving a young child’s poor music performance. But ultimately it is a burden we carry for no good reason and it must be overcome so the soul can find peace.


What is forgiveness?

More than anything else, forgiveness is a special gift you give to yourself, not some altruistic act done in favor of others. It can be turned into a very simple action of acknowledging what is there to be forgiven and realize there’s no need to waste energy on such matter and simply give a positive step forward.

Forgiveness is the ability to let imagination flow freely and imagine a brighter future based on the desire of not having negative and painful thoughts and feelings as the final steps on any matter, but instead challenge yourself to let go of destructive thoughts and have strong faith that a better future can be right ahead waiting for you built on the confidence that you can let go of the pain and grow even more from it.

Understand that forgiveness is a choice between refusing to do so and hold on to the anger, resentment and an ever-growing lack of trust that can make your life unbearable, or letting go and be bathed in light.


What is NOT forgiveness?

It’s crucial to break down and eliminate the belief that once something is forgiven, you’re then approving of the action done, which is an absolutely wrong idea given that true forgiveness can only arise from the certainty that something was done wrong. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to reconcile with whoever mistreated you, or that it’s dependant on that person’s desire to want you back, change his or her ways, or even apologize to you. And we can only understand the good things that come from a bad moment later in life, never when it strikes us with pain. So always remember that someone’s harmful actions can later turn you into a stronger person full of a broad range of experiences and a heart that shines with understanding and empathy towards others and yourself. Simply allow light to pierce through moments that feel completely dark and you’ll see how it sends all the shadows away to give place to a beautiful and nurturing soul-warming sunshine.

How/When/What causes forgiveness?

The lack of forgiveness finds shelter in the mansion of the ego and the latter is the most destructive and negative layer of existence, stripped down of any use of meaning, feeding on other greater things like a parasite, just like darkness which is no more than the complete absence of light. The ego feeds on one’s misery to grow and conquer all possible space in one’s mind and soul, and its antidote is positivity and bliss, so when we’re filled with good thoughts and emotions we find out that the ego simply vanishes.

When one clings on to the ego, the ability to forgive and forget lacks any real strength and all the painful moments and wounds of the soul cast a shadow that brings darkness to everything. And not only one becomes unable to forgive, but inclined to make those dark thoughts expand and become bigger every day so that there’s no more space to perceive the beauty of life and all the positive experiences one went through, or how much we love and are loved.

These dark thoughts and emotions that people carry with them can only make wounds unable to heal, like inflicting the same harm again and again until the soul has no more energy to live the present and only focus on what seems a dark past and a sad projection of what the future will be.

What are its advantages/disadvantages?

To forgive is to choose not to punish what we understand to be unfairness, decide to make one’s decision to let go become an action and feel the greatest of all rewards – emotional relief. All the distress we feel comes directly from the injured feelings, the dark thoughts and the physical discomfort of not letting go, not from what happened in the past. We are the ones who perpetuate darkness and let it grow inside of us, so it’s crucial to look deep inside of us and find what’s causing all this discomfort and releasing ourselves from it for the sake of our soul.

Forgiveness is the light that breaks the vicious circle of hatred, anger and pain that are then released unto the people around us that don’t deserve it. By allowing us to make peace with our past, forgiveness is an element of stability and harmony, bringing joy back again into our lives.  Because we all make mistakes and hurt people without real intention to do so, so why to be hostile and deny to others and to ourselves the inner peace that only pure empathy can bring? The lack of forgiveness creates a black hole inside and around us, turning our soul into a toxic wasteland where no bright and pure feeling can sprout from.

What to do when you identify with forgiveness?

The only thing that stops us from letting light shine through our souls and simply forgive is our ego, for it wishes more and more revenge and violence towards others, and a tremendous desire to see everyone suffering in some way. When your trust in someone is shaken and put to test, you might think that it will forever be the same so there’s no need to forgive. But remember that trust can be regained and repaired over time and only your desire for it to happen can create the necessary conditions to change how you perceive the people around you and even yourself.

It’s important to understand the destructive energy the ego feeds on and eliminate those toxic thoughts from your emotional diet.


When things go wrong…

Forgiveness is priceless and it’s one if the most special gifts you can give yourself. Etymologically the word derives from the root give and that’s exactly what you should do with it – to offer it with a big smile! This simple but passionate act releases you and the person you’re forgiving from all the bad feelings and criticism and moves you out of the prison of your own negative judgments. Instead of being a defeat or surrender, forgiveness is a conscious decision to stop resentment and cleanse all the toxic emotions out of your body and improve your soul’s immune system so it deeply and completely heals itself.

You know forgiveness was effective when the thought of the person who inflicted harm on you doesn’t pass through your mind anymore and therefore is the key for you to find the happiness you seek by manifesting moral courage and breaking the illusion of duality. Such simple act can turn misery into happiness in a split second and lets ourselves move on to a positive state of mind where love has free passage. You shouldn’t forgive because you must, but because at the very center of your soul you are sure that it’s the right and only thing to do.

Conclusion and final words

There is no need to carry on our shoulders things we hate, or we’ll be painfully harmed by them. Every wound should be looked at with the full desire to heal it; otherwise something must be very wrong! A life of love is the only worth seeking and living, for only love allows positive thoughts to travel with no friction and sincere emotions to be unspoiled by mundane toxicity.

To forgive is not a matter of calculating if someone is worthy or not, but instead a deep analysis of ourselves and the perception if we have the brightness and all the love it takes to focus on the present so the past and the future are nothing but what made us get here and a projection of where we want to be. By letting go of wounds from the past, the present becomes clearer and able of being perceived as it really is – an endless ocean of possibilities from which we can always choose.

The present is what you make of it, and if you change your thoughts and emotions then your perception changes as well and when you see the world with no unnecessary burden on your soul, bliss and happiness is what awaits you to set you free from your own ego and simply be.

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