It has been said, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”
There is great truth to this and with Easter upon us, it brings up a potpourri of thoughts, feelings, and images, depending upon your belief and upbringing.
This time of year when Spring temperatures encourage colorful sprouts to push through the soil, it’s a reminder to me that rebirth and renewal are happening now – right before our eyes. Easter means different things to different people.
For me it is a season of hope, renewal and rebirth. It is a season of new beginnings, and a time to refocus and readjust our lives. In addition, this time of year is also a reminder that in order for new things to be born, old things must die. Death and rebirth.
This is a spiritual thing that can only be understood in the deepest part of our inner beings. And that brings me to reflect on forgiveness.
Forgiveness, it’s root, is really about judgment.
We either feel victimized – wronged somehow by another, or vis-à-vis, someone feels an injustice brought on by us. It can get personal. It can feel like our values are threatened. It doesn’t feel good. It down right hurts and It Is NO GOOD For You!
Soooo, what to do? How do you FORGIVE in a situation when you’re not very likely to reconcile or receive an apology.?
Maybe not ever.
The inability to really forgive is often due to a false concept that “forgetting is forgiving”. Forgetting is NOT forgiving. To be sure, if we forgive we will forget as a result. But the reverse is not true: forgetting is not forgiving–it is denial.
If we attempt to achieve false forgiveness by deliberately putting out of mind the offense, we might be fooling ourselves and others that we have forgiven. But all of the emotions and hurt are still there – only held back by force of will that keeps one in denial.
But then we see “that person” again and all the bitterness and pain rise up again within us. Or, in the off moment -when such mental confusions cannot be maintained – we catch ourselves feeling vengeful or angry, then we really see just how deep and effective this sort of forgiveness is.
The Bible wisely teaches; Jn 2:9 (Wey) Any one who professes to be in the light and yet hates his brother is still in darkness.
Denial is merely a delusion: flimsy, fake, and shallow.
Forgiveness is real: solid and deep. It is not an avoiding of the truth, but a dealing with it squarely, however painful.
Man’s Search For Meaning author, Viktor Frankle’s prompt regarding forgiveness,” Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” gives us the confidence that we do have a chance at inner reconciliation. We hear all the time, and we know already that to forgive we should “Let go” , “Move on” , “Find peace” , etc… and that is true, But HOW exactly ?!?!
I don’t have THE answer – sorry- but, I can share what I’ve learned (through trial and error) as I explore forgiveness.
It’s a process.
It’s about self-care/loving yourself.
It improves your life.
Here is a meditation, recommended by my Yoga Instructor and friend of nearly 20 years, Mary Arnold – it helped me move on, and forgive a toxic situation.
I call upon the Holy Spirit (or whatever “source” you wish to call strength from) to cut, loosen, and let go of all psychic ties and karmic bonds between myself and _____________.
These ties are now lovingly Cut, Blessed, Lifted, Healed, Released, and completely Let Go….layer by layer.
Thank You God. And so it is.
To Your Health!