Lack of forgiveness is perhaps one of the biggest obstacles in your spiritual path. It creates a barrier that does not allow your heart to open completely. It is when you forgive those who have hurt you that this barrier is able to crumble so that your heart can open to God’s infinite peace. As your heart opens to the Creator, you let go of the negative energy formed by the bitterness, grievances and pain you have held within you. The blockages are removed, your heart fills with Light and you can radiate the precious gift of this Light to others. The scars in your heart heal and your heart fills with love, compassion, joy and peace. Your heart expands to infinity.
Although forgiveness is a necessary step in opening your heart, very often it is difficult to forgive. You will need to make a firm effort to remove the weight of your hurt, the ache of your grievances. There will be times when you believe you have forgiven someone only to be surprised by the feelings of anger or sadness that arise within you when you talk to this person or when you think about him or her. This is when you realize that it seems impossible for you to love the person who has hurt you and this can only mean that you have not forgiven from your heart. Instead of feeling guilty for not forgiving, this is the time to renew your efforts and strengthen your practice of unconditional love. At times like these, be grateful that you were able to understand that the forgiveness you thought you had given has not occurred. And forgive yourself for still being attached to your hurt. It is not necessary to justify the actions of those who hurt us. We simply understand that their actions were the result of their lack of understanding, their inability to act in other ways and we do this without judgment.
You know that you have forgiven someone when you can think about the person without emotions, only with feelings of love and compassion in your heart. You know that you have forgiven when you can understand why the person acted the way he or she did, realizing that if you were in this person’s place you probably would have behaved the same way. You understand that this person was incapable of behaving differently.
We are all capable of the most extreme actions and it is this understanding about our common humanity that allows us to forgive completely. If we accept the reality that we are one, then the actions of another are ours and our actions are everyone’s. We gain so much when we allow ourselves to give to others the precious gift of forgiveness, recognizing that our absolute union with the Creator unites us all. And just as important as this, are the other gifts that forgiveness gives us. The scars in our heart heal, our heart fills with love and compassion and we feel the joy of being one with the Creator and all of Creation.
In order to forgive, we have to be willing to let go of blame and judgment. Whatever happened has happened. What a person did has been done and we need to move toward a state of liberation where there is only peace and joy in our heart. We do not accept what a person has done; we accept that the situation has passed. When we can transcend blame, judgment and move on to a state of equanimity toward the person who has hurt us, we arrive fully at the purity of the heart.
Forgiveness empowers love. When we forgive we take the first step in loving ourselves and this opens the door toward loving others. When we forgive, we give freely of ourselves in compassion. Our hearts awaken and open. At the beginning, we might feel empathy, then compassion, until finally we let go of our hurts, grievances and bitterness and all of our pain dissolves in the Light that comes through our open and loving heart. At that moment, we are free.
There is no past. The present moment is all that exists. Therefore, our past actions and the past actions of others do not exist. Why, then, focus on that which does not exist? Why allow this nothingness to cause us suffering, pain, hatred, resentment? Living in the present moment we can let go of our entire past in a moment of sublime surrender. The only thing we need for this to occur is our firm decision not to suffer any longer. We achieve this by living in the present moment, conscious that we live in the Creator’s Grace.
Forgiveness is the greatest healer. Forgiveness is letting go of all the things that hurt us in the past. It is a firm decision not to suffer any more, of healing the heart and focusing on the present moment. It is a firm decision to devalue anger, resentment, grievances and bitterness. Forgiveness also means not wishing harm on anyone or on ourselves over something that happened in the past. Forgiving ourselves is the first step in forgiving others completely. As we forgive others, we forgive ourselves too. It’s a beautiful circle of love. Forgiveness is indispensable in the liberation of the self.
The following posts include steps you may wish to take to forgive yourself and others. Also included is a Forgiveness Meditation. Take advantage of this spiritual retreat to free your heart of all the grievances in your being through the gift of forgiveness. Let your heart be free.
May the beautiful Light in your heart guide you to complete forgiveness and unconditional love.