Agreed, it completely stinks to be wronged or betrayed.
Of course, living in the information age, we are prodigiously told the next best step to take is to forgive the wrong-doer. There are a zillion books on the market discussing the art of forgiveness. With a computer click, we can find encouraging quotes on forgiveness by great Masters such as Alexander Pope, Christ Jesus, Mother Teresa, and Thich Nhat Hanh. A continuous supply of sermons on the topic of forgiveness is being delivered around the world. And, to top it off, friends and co-workers tell us how forgiving others brought them great peace.
But, why is it still so darn difficult to forgive and not hurt anymore? Do we take forgiveness too personally?
I’ve gotten pretty good at forgiving others, most of the time. But, then I haven’t had to forgive after living through the holocaust or Khmer Rouge either, so I don’t give myself too many points. But, people who truly have forgiven and went on to live powerfully helpful lives absolutely get my attention and respect.
I learn from them. I learn, not only is forgiveness crucial, but it is essential to also recognize how often we are forgiven throughout the day. Forgiveness is not linear, it is not a one way street where forgiving others answers all the problems. Forgiveness is circular, forgiving and forgiven. As forgiveness is recognized, forgiving becomes easier.
We can unite with the spiritual truth that forgiveness is alive and well.
- When I am tired and accidentally cut in front of another driver, many times the other driver screeches their brakes and lets me in, without honking.
- I’ve left work early and gone home sick. My co-workers picked up the slack.
- I’ve said something really rotten, really unnecessary, to someone else and they calmly walked away.
- I’ve been angry in public, yet a clerk still helped me.
- I’ve been irresponsible at times when raising the children, yet the children turned out okay.
- I’ve done stupid things to my body and it heals.
Agreed again, there is a difference between intentional and unintentional wrongs, but the intent to stay within the circle of forgiveness and forgiving is extremely powerful. It helps not to take forgiveness so personally, as if we have to invent or make it happen. In one respect, forgiveness is impersonally being radiated throughout the universe. Feel it.
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (NKJB)
“And Love is reflected in love.” (21st Century Science and Health)