There's been a healthy amount of debate and discussion here on the boards on the subject of forgiveness. What I've found is a pretty good summary of forgiveness from an external site that you might find helpful. I am not going to engage in "this" or "that" on the merits of this article as the one and only way to handle it. It is posted purely for your perusal [or not]. Do what you want with it. Enjoy! _________________________________________________
Forgiveness is a gift of love that is given to oneself, which demonstrates the power of clear perception. It is the only way in which grievances are transformed into blessings, although in truth a grievance is already a "blessing in disguise" that awaits your forgiveness. However, whether you choose to forgive or not is irrelevant to the true nature of a grievance, for whatever you believe troubles you is ALWAYS a golden opportunity for learning to forgive, to practice forgiveness. Quite simply, the nature of forgiveness is to shift your attention from "problem" to SOLUTION. This was beautifully given in the Biblical metaphor of "turning the other cheek." When you turn the other cheek, so to speak, you are effectively shifting your attention from one thing to another, turning your head in another direction. This new direction is a fresh perspective. Most people mistake this action for "sticking one's head in the sand," implying that one has turned their heart away from another, or from an important matter, ignoring the "real world" or "reality" of a situation. This is a very arrogant assumption, for the one who makes it barely has a clue as to what Reality (with a capital R) really IS.
Problems are not evidence of Reality. For the ego they are "evidence" of "personal reality" (which it generally perceives to be "consensus reality," which is equally an illusion), yet personal reality is always SUBJECTIVE, and never "objective," for there is no objective reality as such. All *things* in creation are subject to interpretation, and in fact *things* ARE interpretations of energy, which are interpretations of consciousness, for everything is consciousness. When you shift attention from a perceived problem to a solution, you are actually trusting your Higher Self to help you re-interpret a situation. The Higher Self (Holy Spirit) reveals that *things* are NEVER as they physically appear to the ego-mind, and that all *things* are essentially THOUGHTS (thought-forms), and that you can transform a situation for the better simply through choosing thoughts and feelings of LOVE instead of those of fear. Fear, remember, is "false evidence appearing real."
Thus, "turning the other cheek," forgiveness, is the only way you can relieve yourself of fear. And because you cannot "make" another person choose or feel any particular way, YOUR choice to forgive is always about YOURSELF, hence forgiveness is always SELF-FORGIVENESS. Yes, you may positively (or negatively) "influence" another to choose something--and by "influence" this simply means that you may present an energy, an opportunity, to another, which may or may not be accepted--but YOU CAN NEVER "MAKE" ANYONE DO OR FEEL ANYTHING, and all appearances you perceive to the contrary of this are merely delusions of false power. The more you awaken to your true power, your true CREATIVE power, the more you realize that you do in fact choose EVERYTHING that you perceive and experience in your personal reality, without exception, or else by "law of attraction" it would not have appeared. This is a very high-level awareness that only metaphysical adepts accept and embody. True creative power belongs to the soul, to Spirit, and the more you embody your True Self, the more you perceive your universe as a lucid dream that you, as Pure Consciousness, are actively creating.
There is a vast difference between what the ego in its ignorance calls "forgiveness" and the TRUE FORGIVENESS of the Christed Mind. The world's brand of forgiveness has long expired, for it was never fresh and original to your Higher Self. However, even the ego's idea of forgiveness has its merit for the mass human consciousness, for it at least points in a positive direction, however distorted it is. Now, the central error in the ego's interpretation of forgiveness is that the person, thing or circumstance that is to be forgiven is something that is "outside" of oneself. Most humans perceive that "someone else" needs to be forgiven, where careful inner observation would clearly show that THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS THE "PROBLEM" TO BE FORGIVEN IS ONESELF. What another person said or did "to you" is never the real concern. The real concern--which is your Higher Self's concern, so to speak--is that you learn to FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF, and this is REQUIRED in order for you to forgive, even when you erroneously believe that it is "someone else" that you are forgiving.
God's Truth is neither "subjective" nor "objective." It is beyond interpretation. It is only in fear and arrogance that you may believe in so-called "objective facts." Your own most up-to-date physics clearly demonstrates that no such "solid," "objective" reality actually exists. To learn true forgiveness you must cease perceiving that there is an "object of forgiveness" to be forgiven. The "subjective" creates the "objective." It is not the other way around, as the materialist mind believes. Discover for yourself what the "true subject" of your grievances really is. What truly must be forgiven is but your distorted perception of LOVE, and nothing else. This is the same as saying that you are actually forgiving "yourself" for creating a false perception of YOURSELF, for your True Nature IS love.
Whenever you hold your attention upon anything that is less than the Divine Brilliance of Who-You-Really-Are, you are in effect holding a grievance, to whatever degree. Now, please understand that there is absolutely no condemnation in this, for it is acknowledged by your Higher Self that in order for you to "exist" and play in this dualistic game, this arena, of what you call physical reality, it is absolutely necessary that you experience a "lessening" or densification of your True Light. To forgive a grievance is not a one-time-thing. It is a living, breathing practice. Most people believe they can somehow reach a point where they can say "I forgive you," and then it is a done deal. "That's it! I have forgiven you!" This is nonsense. This is not true forgiveness. It is a cop-out, as some say. You are never actually forgiving a person, situation or thing; you are forgiving yourself for holding a fear-based thought. You are forgiving your own mind (and yes, this is ultimately the Universal Mind) for the erroneous THOUGHT of separation. Nothing else needs to be forgiven.
Now, understand that this "true forgiveness" that I speak of here is too an illusion, for God-the-Absolute does not need to forgive anything, for God knows only Absolute Perfection. The so-called "paradox" here (although there is no paradox) is that God is "learning" forgiveness through Its "extensions," so to speak, which are Its souls, Its creations, Its experiences in "multidimensional reality." Yes, truth-seekers, even "multidimensional reality"--the "multidimensional universe," "multiverse" or "omniverse" some call it--is also an illusion. Your job is learning to get over this, and to simply enjoy it for the dreamscape that it is. You are forgiving an illusion, not Divine Reality. Thus, the art and science of true forgiveness is merely to forgive what never actually "was" nor IS.
Why make the "horrors" of the world so "real" in your mind? You are not being heartless or irresponsible through turning the other cheek and choosing another, lighter perspective of your world. In fact, it is irresponsible to believe so strongly in what you may term "evil." You are actually RE-ENFORCING and RE-CREATING the very "evils" that you perceive in your world through arrogantly maintaining that they are so "real." To accept responsibility through practical application of forgiveness is not to say that these experiences or "realities" do not have their relative existence in creation, for everything that appears obviously "DOES" have "substance" in terms of being a manifest reality. You are not asked to give a lecture on "creating your personal reality" to a starving adult or child, or to someone who has experienced rape. Of course not. For such beloved ones first and foremost need helping hands, hugs and practical care in the form of immediate charity to help ease their suffering. However, the most spiritually-mature humanitarians who give care in such hands-on ways are those who do not ignore the fact that each human/incarnated soul is without exception absolutely responsible for the creation of his/her personal reality, no matter the person's age, education or level of awareness of the laws of creation, and when and where appropriate such a helper will be inspired to offer some practical gems of insight to those who are open to hearing and receiving them.
The ONE SOLUTION to all ills is forgiveness, which is an expression of LOVE. When you "turn the other cheek" you can only seek a solution through opening your mind, your awareness, to one. You must effectively, gently, turn your attention from fear-thoughts to MORE EMPOWERING THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. Therefore, keeping an open mind to new possibilities, opportunities and miracles that the ego has little awareness of is crucial. Allow yourself to imagine new ways in which positive results may manifest, and with mastery of this you are actually giving your Higher Mind full permission to create the miracles FOR YOU, through your faith and trust in your Self. "Keep your eyes on the prize," the solution, the happy "end result," so to speak, and do not allow the so-called "grim reality" that the ego may present to you through your physical senses to dissuade or deter you from your sustained positive focus. Forgive yourself when you "slip up" and miss the mark. It is also very important that you avoid limiting your mind as to "how" something may manifest, for the Holy Spirit "works in mysterious ways" that the ego simply cannot comprehend. Let go of holding onto ANYTHING--any wish, desire, goal, belief or idea--and realize that to SURRENDER to God is not weakness nor becoming "vulnerable," but actually the opposite, which affirms your spirit's STRENGTH and INVULNERABILITY. Amen.
Hi Wonka...Forgiveness, wow a great subject and one that I have wrestled with a lot. I had a hard time knowing what forgiveness looked like, how should I feel, how should I act etc.
I obviously have a few thoughts on this subject:
1. I can forgive and still feel the pain of the situation. I thought for some reason forgiveness meant all the bad feelings would be gone.
2. I can forgive someone and not condone their actions. I thought that I would have to condone or " be okay with" the situation.
3. I can forgive someone and not like or want to be their friend. I thought we would have to be buddies again and go pick flowers in the park together or some other kind of nonsense.
4. I can forgive someone and never speak to them about it. Again I thought we would have to be best friends after forgiving.
5. I have to forgive many many times. I thought it should be a one and done thing. I find myself having to forgive a lot and that is okay.
6. It's hard to forgive someone who constantly is stabbing me, for me the trick is to distance myself and allow the bleeding to stop then move into forgiveness.
7. Forgiveness is not instant... huge one for me. This is a choice I make every day. When those feelings (anger etc.) come up, I have to recognize them for what they are and choose forgiveness. Sometimes I have to stop and say out loud, Lord please give her all the things I want: peace, joy, purpose in life and I forgive her because I am forgiven.
Those were some of the misconceptions I had about forgiveness. So far it's working for me. This is a process and I recognize my part in this and eventually I will completely forgive.
You can not change your past, but you can ruin a perfectly good present by worrying about the future.
Firstly thanks Wonka for that article. Right or wrong, I think most of us think/thought forgiveness was just black or white.
Subguy, that was brilliant what you wrote. It made a huge amount of sense and put the forgiveness article into a more understanding concept. At first it was how I was struggling with forgiveness, those 7 points helps change my view of what forgiveness is.
ME:51 W:46 M:25 S:22, S:20 Divorced 16/9/15 BD 10/12 W left 12/12 with OW, affair confirmed Nov/12. Dark since 6/13 I"m in a new relationship since Feb 14.