Seventy Times Seven
Many thanks to all who have written about forgiving persons who continue to hurt them. They ask: “How can I forgive someone who keeps hurting me? “Can you forgive and defend yourself too?” “How can I forgive someone who continues to hurt me in the present?”
One of the apostles asked Jesus how often he had to forgive someone who hurt him, if he should forgive them seven times. Jesus responded, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” In other words, without limit. We continue to forgive with love and compassion in our heart countless times and without keeping scores.
To forgive does not mean that you allow or accept the repetition of ill-treatment. If you are hurt by someone with whom you can sever your relationship, then you can forgive the person and avoid further contact with him. When Buddha was insulted by someone, he told him: “I do not accept what you have given me and I am returning it to you.”
If the person who is hurting you is someone you need to maintain a relationship with, then you need to establish boundaries that the person cannot be allowed to cross. Let her know that her behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. For example, if the person insults you, let her know that you won’t speak to her unless she is willing to speak to you politely. And when the person insults you again, refuse to speak to her. If despite all your efforts the person insists on hurting you, continue forgiving her with love and compassion and a deep understanding that this person is deeply hurt and in need of healing.
And the most important thing you can do is surrender the situation to the Creator. Surrender everything from your heart. At that moment when the person hurts you, in that present moment, surrender the offense to the Creator. Don’t wait for the hurt to penetrate your being and affect you with its dense energies. Let the hurt go as soon as you can by surrendering it to the Creator. “I don’t accept what you have given me and I give it back to you.” And in your heart, chant the powerful mantra: “I want the Creator’s peace in my heart more than I want this grievance.”
Also surrender your fear to the Creator. Nothing, no one can hurt you when you are cloaked in the divine Light. Trust that this is so, trust that you are safe in the Sweet Embrace. Trust in the impenetrability of the Light by any dense energy.
When the person who is hurting you perceives you as serene and trusting in the Creator, you will be surprised to see that he either changes or disappears from your life because you have learned a spiritual lesson of enormous importance and no longer need the person to push you into learning it. At that moment, you will make a tremendous leap in your spiritual growth. At that moment of sublime surrender you free yourself from all the ties that have kept you captive and you soar to the highest dimensions of Light.
May you rest in the Sweet Embrace knowing with absolute confidence and trust that you are safe in the Light.