Forgiveness is tough. It is a task at times and a mountain on some days. Ironically, on the days, when forgiveness is the last thing on our mind. It is when we need it the most. On days, when we wonder, why can’t I heal, find peace or move on?
I know. I have lived it too. Still live it on some days. That are too long. And dark. When righteousness feels justified and judgment makes me feel superior. It is better to feel angry, incriminating others or myself than to feel powerless, hopeless and lost. Revenge feels like a meaningful life purpose in dark times. Thoughts of retribution give me sleepless nights and rage-filled days.
That’s before, I realise that victim’s rage is a powerful trap of ego. And that I need to rebel against my ego. And it’s refusal to feel powerless. Sometimes life will make us feel powerless. And it’s ok to accept the contrast and let it go. Though sometimes, we need take support of a prayer, “God help me forgive”, with same fervour that we say, “God help me heal!”
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“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” — Buddha
Forgiveness is never about the other person. It is about us. It is about self compassion. We are not doing anyone any favour by forgiving. It is our own eagerness to heal. Desire to free ourselves from the anguish and suffering of unforgiven deeds.
Some traumas we cannot heal without the surgical tool of forgiveness. Commonly, these are wounds of childhood sexual abuse, incest and rape. But emotional rape and trauma can be equally hard to overcome. Expression and venting are important precursors to healing and closure and used as therapeutic tools.
Most of the time the part of us that cannot forgive, actually wants retribution, revenge or at least wishes for bad things to happen to our perpetrator. As God’s punishment. We feel God is on our side only. We are filled with glee upon their misfortune. Forgetting that may be what we went through was just a karmic retribution.
No wonder, when we can’t forgive we cannot heal. No matter how much healing or medicine we take. Unforgiven deeds become the burning coal in our hands and heart, that we want to fling upon at our opponents.
In truth, when we want it badly, we do get revenge lifetimes.
That’s why, often warring couples get trapped in cycle of revenge lifetimes. In one lifetime, the wife harms husband and takes revenge, thus in the following lifetime the husband does the same. This cycle can go on for 15-20 lifetimes, till one of them says “Enough! I want to heal now, I want to be free, so I free you.. The cycle ends with me.” Usually it is the braver and wiser soul of the two. As we know the weak cannot forgive, nor can the revengeful.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The Law of Karma teaches us – No can get away with anything. Neither did we nor would anyone else. So choose Freedom, choose forgiveness. Be radical, be smart to heal quickly, soothe your righteous anger. Ill-will only begets ill-will.
What other’s do is their karma, what I do is mine. Always bring focus back on to yourself. Again and again. It helps.
We love to see ourselves as victims. Beginners in Past life Regression also see victim lifetimes first. Gradually as we mature, we come around to exploring our dark lifetimes. These are lifetimes, where we have killed and tortured many. That moment, we would need ample self-compassion to forgive, accept ourselves and heal our dark side. Otherwise many people halt on their spiritual journey due to self judgment and guilt.
What if, one day we can come around to praying for our abuser, our perpetrator? “May you be free of darkness too. May you find your light.” Knowing they too are victims of their darkness. That day we would have used our personal Grace to free someone. And thus FREED ourselves. That day we would heal as a soul. Peace would descend upon us as a return gift from the heavens.
Atonement is possible. May we remember, the words of St. Francis of Assisi..
“It is in forgiving that we are forgiven..”
So let’s begin practicing forgiveness today, with others. Who knows when we might need it ourselves.
- Forgiveness Prayer: Read here
Ho’oponopono Meditation: For forgiveness and Unconditional love
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