Last week I talked a lot about being fully present and active in your life.
I talked about letting go of fear,
Today, I really want to hone in on just how important forgiveness is to living a healthy and productive life.
I was first faced with the issue of forgiveness on a really GRAND scale when my son was abused by his father and his uncle.
I was filled with rage!
They had stolen my son from me!
Sure, He was still alive, and I could hold him in my arms, but the sweet little boy who was full of wonder and joy, was gone. In his place was a terrified, angry little monster.
People kept telling me that my anger was justified.
This added more fuel to my fire.
As my anger grew, so did my fear and depression.
I am certain that I would have continued walking down this path of hatred, that would lead me to my own destruction, had it not been for my sweet little boy.
He loved me so much, and it was killing my three year old to watch me living my life this way…
How do I know that it was killing him?
Because he told me!
I was folding clothes one day and he came into the laundry room and said mommy can I tell you something?
I knelt down so we were eye to eye… Then he softly touched my cheeks with his little chubby hands and said, “Mommy, I didn’t tell you what dad and Bill did so that you would hate them, I told you so that you could protect me. Why are you so mad?”
I answered him and explained that I was angry because they had hurt him.
He looked at me like he was very confused.
Then he said something to me that immediately and permanently changed my life in ways I never could have foreseen.
He said, “No they didn’t mommy, they hurt my body, but they didn’t hurt me. I am fine. God was giving them a test, and they didn’t pass it. You don’t need to worry mommy, I am not hurt.”
Talk about changing your perspective!
In that instant, my life began to spin in a whole different direction.
Sure, I was still going to have to endure years of struggles and hardships, but in that moment my tiny three year old reminded me that there is a much bigger plan that is going on around us, and we just never know what the reason for our trials might be.
So I became very determined to find some way to learn how to forgive so that I could be present and focused on my son so that we could heal the trauma that he had been through and create a beautiful life for this special little spirit that the Lord had trusted me with.
My first really powerful idea about forgiveness was this:
I read it in the book titled, “Letting go of the person you used to be”
By lama Surya Das.
“Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past.”― Lama Surya Das
That became my new definition of Forgiveness.
Since then I have figured out a few more powerful truths about learning to forgive.
Here are my top 10.
These have all been thoroughly tested in the Laboratory I call “My Life”
#1: Forgiveness allows us to be fully present in this moment, right here, right now.
#2: Forgiveness enables us to wholeheartedly embrace what is and to be at peace with our past and fully engaged with the present.
#3: Making peace with our past is the fastest way we can experience the abundance that is our birthright. Without forgiveness there is always something pulling us out of alignment with ourselves and with life; it is an energy drain in our system.
#4: Until we have made perfect peace with all that has occurred in our entire life, and with all the people who have played a part in it, we deny ourselves the full richness of our true potential.
#5: Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves.
#6: It frees up the energy we had invested in making another, or ourselves, wrong. Ultimately, forgiveness is letting go of the illusion that something actually ever went wrong.
#7: Self-forgiveness is reclaiming our innocence. We let go of the belief that we should have known what we didn’t know then. We let go of the story that we should have been something we were not then, or that we should have acted in a way that we were not capable of at that time.
#8: Forgiveness is a choice.
#9: From the highest viewpoint, forgiving others is actually quite natural. We all can readily admit that whatever perceived wrong another might have committed, we have committed the same or a similar wrong ourselves—even if only in our imagination.
We know their so-called wrong was the result of ignorance, born out of fear.
#10: Know that it no longer serves you to cling to any story of wrong doing, either by yourself or by another.
So I will end today with this little thought for you to ponder and hopefully apply to your own life:
What is the benefit of continuing to perpetuate stories that contradict the truth that we are all essentially love?
It is my prayer today that as you begin to shift your perspective about who and what you truly are, that in turn will shift the nature of the world you inhabit and the experiences you have with others.
The world cannot help but become a more loving place because with forgiveness you will have become a more loving, openhearted human being. And all you had to do was come into alignment with what was already true.
You are a being of love and light!