A Little Light on the Power of Forgiveness
Usually when we think of forgiveness we relate this to forgiving others based on how we perceive they have wronged us, betrayed us or what they might have done to us in some way. However if we are to clear this for ourselves we need to also look at our own role in the story and where we too need to be forgiven, not only in what we have done to others but also in how we have treated ourselves. I have come to clearly understand that there is ultimately no betrayal like self-betrayal, and to take ownership of this takes incredible courage and honesty.
I want to begin with the former, the forgiving of others. The first step in the process is to bring to the light the story about what happened between you and the apparent other. It must as part of the process be understood that what we see in another is ourselves, in simple terms this is called the mirror effect. The bottom line therefore is that we needed these harsh experiences to show us where we are not Loving of others and so definitely not Loving ourselves either. It highlights where we have strayed in our thinking away from Love.
In the end we must come to understand that it was our own thoughts about the other and about the experience that has caused us the pain and heartache. In truth what we thought happened never happened at all, it was just a huge misunderstanding, an error in perception. It is however a process, and to release ourselves from the story we must pray for their peace and happiness. This does not condone in anyway someone else’s actions, but in the process of forgiveness we will find our own peace so that we can let go and move on. Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.
I have so often said that ‘closing the door and closing the heart is not the same thing’, it is our job if we are guided to move on to be able to do so with an open mind and an open heart or we will block our own good. The Love of the Universe which is the handwriting of God waits on us to open our hearts in spite of the events in our story. I have come to see that once I had forgiven the ‘other’ for the perceived wrongs against me the only one left was me and this is in truth where the real work must be done.
What do I mean by the act of self-betrayal, how do we experience this on the deepest level. In short we say yes when we mean no, even though every fibre of our being is telling us that this is not right, and in some cases that we should be running for the hills. Why do we do this to ourselves, because we are looking in all the wrong places for ‘love, approval and appreciation’, things we must first seek from within ourselves and then extend to all the world.