The power of Forgiveness
In these ego-driven times, forgiveness is often seen as a sign of weakness, an inability to defend ourselves and stand for justice, or rather revenge, which justice is usually mistaken for. Forgiveness is often labelled as a sign that we have given up our rights and surrendered our judgement.
This is exactly because these opinions are formed by the ego – the inferior mind – which only knows how to relate to the past and future in terms of fighting or taking flight, otherwise known as revenge or surrender. Of course when we do this it only serves to strengthen the hold the ego has over us by reinforcing the image it holds of us, distancing us evermore from a direct and beautiful experience of the world around us.
So, this is where our free will comes in – giving the choice of whether to fight or run, or to take the higher path of actively loving through forgiveness, a path that actually shows great strength and compassion.
Imagine someone beats you with a stick, leaves the stick behind, only for you to pick it up and continue to beat yourself with it. Well, this is exactly what we do if we continue to dwell upon the sense of injustice and revenge, amplifying the negativity of the ego.
In life we our constantly given the choice, to rise in love or to fall away from it. The higher route is naturally the only one that can make us feel any better, as it will bring a relaxation of tension, openness and genuine happiness – making us a channel of love in the world. It quite literally unchains us from the past.
Of course, this is not always as easy as it sounds! We can become extremely attached to our wounded point of view, but there are some simple methods that can help:
· Calling out the ego, by actually writing down what the revengeful part of you would like to see done to the person that hurt you. Really let the emotion guide you – but then take a few minutes to cool off. Read back what you wrote, exposing the manipulation of the ego upon you and the ridiculousness of the negative attitude you had.
· Write an imaginary letter to the person who offended or hurt you, explaining your objections. Express your inner feelings.
· Write the imaginary response from that person, explaining the reason behind their actions – filling in the back-story which led to their apparently unreasonable actions against you, which will help you to open in a compassionate way towards them.
· Practise humility – admit to yourself that you don’t understand everything about that person’s life, their struggles and their motivations.
· Ask your guardian angel to work with the other person’s guardian angel to resolve the situation as harmoniously as possible. Do this in the evening before bed, and then wait to see if, the next day, anything has shifted between you…
As Gandhi said: “Forgiveness is the armour of the true hero”.