Sunday, August 8, 2010

Forgiving

What comes to your mind when you imagine yourself in the act of "forgiveness"?

You may envision someone asking for your absolution, or begging for mercy. Perhaps, you have images of pardoning another person for a past offense or a situation in which you felt wronged.

What would you have to believe in order to perceive this person as "doing something to you"?

You would need to see her as different and separate from you. You might even think she's malicious.

Another possibility is represented in this excerpt from The Simple Truth (see The Heart of HeartVoice):

1. You come to this world as eternal Spirit, primordially pure, one with all beings, with the essential nature of Peace, Love, and Joy, and are born in human form to fully experience and express your true and authentic self.

From this perspective, you are connected with all beings in the Divine Essence as expressed in your HeartVoice. Therefore, the "other" is also Divine and naturally Peace, Love, and Joy. Within this eternal context, the "offense" against you is not "real," and, as such, you truly have nothing to forgive.

Of course, as a human being, you also live in a time-limited world that promotes separation and differences, and obscures your Spirit. In this realm, forgiveness does serve a purpose.

In this revitalized practice of forgiving, you can:

1. Remember your True Nature.
2. Recognize the falsehood of separation.
3. Connect with the core unity of all beings.
4. Let go of the "transgression."

As you may have experienced, the crucial application of this practice of forgiveness focuses on one of the most challenging people you will ever encounter. You.

Every day, whether you interact with other people or not, you engage yourself. These daily encounters with yourself can be very difficult. Some days you may feel hopeless, incompetent, loathing, regret, guilt, shame, fear, or anger because of something you did or didn't do.

The antidote to these toxic feelings involves self-forgiveness, and requires witnessing without judgment and the persistent practice of letting go.

To support letting go, review the four-step practice of forgiving, and reflect on these essential principles:
  • Acknowledge that the past is over and can't be changed. Offer a genuine apology to self or other. Your statement, "I'm sorry," signifies your conscious choice to act differently toward yourself or others in the future.
  • Agree that you are always doing your best. You and everyone else have done and continue to do what you're able to do with the resources available at any given moment in time.
  • Commit to use that which nurtures your growth and release the rest. You learn from your mistakes, adapt, and move on.
The integration of the practice of forgiving with witnessing and these principles establishes a path of self-forgiveness. As you consistently experience self-forgiveness, you will notice that the ease of letting go increases, your acceptance expands, and love deepens. You will feel lighter. These creative changes establish a new, healthy habit, and benefit others as well as yourself.

After you have practiced self-forgiveness for at least a month, you might pose these questions to yourself in the midst of a challenging situation:
  • How easily can I let go now?
  • What do I need to forgive myself in this moment?
In this way, you will see that forgiveness does not need to be oriented to the past. You can let go in the present as a way of living.

Live without regrets!

Love and Peace,
Dave

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