Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Time for Forgiveness is Upon Us

To continue with the Francis of Assisi prayer the next line reads:

"Where there is injury, pardon"

Here the spiritual principle of forgiveness is being illuminated.

I suspect most everyone would prefer to be forgiven. How many people relish the idea, that when you have made a mistake, the error is brought up, again and again. Every time there is a discussion, there it is again, it's as though you have been identified with your mistake, that it is all you are, the reason being, you have.

Another prayer contains the phrase: "And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us."

Here's what I know - it's dead easy to hold a grudge.

If I want to begin to move in the direction of forgiveness, I might want to ask myself, what's in it for me to continue to resent this person, place or thing.

The answer would be, that from my stance of self-righteousness, there is no need for me to consider changing anything about me. This mindset allows for me to self-appoint, as the infallible judge and therefore, all the changing, needs to happen out there somewhere.

Another truth around forgiveness is that "I" (that same infallible judge) am not "letting someone of the hook" when I decide, to forgive. The act of forgiveness is not "for them" - it is for me. The forgiver - is the beneficiary of the forgiveness; I'll grant you, it might be quite some process to get there. Did you really think that a spiritual journey would allow you just to run around wishing everyone "love and light" and you were never going to need to get your hands dirty wielding the sword of truth upon you and your own life? So then, I can get off any high horse, thinking I'm this paragon of virtue, that I have "granted forgiveness."

Forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning the act, it has everything to do, with my being willing to discontinue "injuring" myself; by keeping myself tethered to the act, by rehashing it over and over and over. The perceived "offender" is now busy in their life doing whatever it is they do - but I'm still in effect, inflicting further wounding (to myself) by not being willing to let it go.

Nobody is expected to put themselves back in harm's way, as part of forgiveness.

Our reward/punishment society might do better to consider a more widely practiced system of rehabilitation/restorative justice. In this model, accountability is still encouraged/required, but it operates on the premise, that the individual is more than their momentary error in judgement, or perhaps act of desperation.

Forgiveness is an act of self-love. It allows one to cease punishing themselves with their own venomous thoughts and hard hearted stance.

It has been said of holding resentments: "It's just like drinking a cup of poison and expecting the other person to die."

While we're at it I believe it bares mentioning that pardon is a welcome and beneficial blessing to bestow upon yourself. Haven't you persecuted yourself long enough by now?

R. O'Neill (July 11, 2018) 

No comments:

Post a Comment