I am continuing my journey on this topic as part of the Power of Awareness course. There is a saying “Everyone thinks that forgiveness is a really good idea, until there is something to forgive.” When we feel wounded or rejected, it is natural to armor. The armoring is in the form of blame – repeating the narrative of “you are wrong you are bad”. We hold really tightly to our beliefs, our sense of blame and our sense of being right.
A young girl asked her mother “where did humans come from?” The mother told her the ‘god created Adam and Eve’ story. Two days later, she asked the same question of her father. He replied that a long time ago there were monkeys and they evolved into humans. The confused girl went back to the mother and asked why she got two completely different explanations. The mother replied: “it is very simple: I told you where my side of the family comes from and daddy told you where his side of the family comes from.”
Forgiveness is a decision to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. The act that hurt you might always remain a part of your life, but forgiveness can lessen its grip on you and help you focus on positive parts of your life. Forgiveness can even lead to feelings of understanding, empathy and compassion for the one who hurt you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you deny the other person’s responsibility for hurting you, and it doesn’t minimize or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness brings a kind of peace that helps you go on with life.
According Mayo Clinic, letting go of grudges and bitterness can make way for happiness, health and peace. Forgiveness can lead to:
- Healthier relationships
- Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
- Less anxiety, stress and hostility
- Lower blood pressure
- Fewer symptoms of depression
- Stronger immune system
- Improved heart health
- Higher self-esteem
“Our failure to know joy is a direct reflection of our inability to forgive.”
Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing – there is a field
I will meet you there.
When the soul lies down on the grass
the world is too full to talk about
ideas, language, even the phrase each other doesn’t make any sense. Rumi
There is an anonymous saying: “The world is divided into those who think they’re right.” That is the whole saying.