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I'd like to give everyone some insight on forgiveness and how it is essential in healing.

So, what good is forgiveness anyway?
The key to forgiveness is to forgive from the heart not from the mind. Knowing in your rational mind that your parents did the best they could to raise you is not enough to constitute forgiveness. That is why every time you are with your Dad you still argue. If you really forgave him you would not be reacting that way. You would have compassion for his dream and understand that he is just expressing his point of view. If you truly let go of the pain of your childhood, your self-importance, and your need to be right about your point of view, you would not be taking him personally any more. If you were not taking him personally you would not be angry and it would not be necessary to punish him by behaving like an angry child. It behooves us to look at ourselves with honesty and objectivity.

If you have an emotional reaction in the presence of someone, your heart is telling you that you have not resolved your issues with them. In other words, you have not truly forgiven that person. All of this begs the question, how do we forgive? First, cease lying to yourself and stop telling yourself stories about why you behave the way you do. Stop blaming your behavior on other people and take responsibility for your emotional reactions. If you could forgive all the people in your life who have hurt or wounded you it would be possible to be in control of your behavior instead of being in reaction to other people all of the time.
Imagine living life without experiencing a constant emotional rollercoaster of pain, anger, and jealousy! That would be bliss!

The important thing is to have awareness of what has transpired and be able to tell yourself the truth about it. Have you truly forgiven or has your rational mind been telling you a story that you have? Once you have determined what is truth and what is a justification, you are ready for the next step. Second, look at your life with clarity. Try to see what happened in your past, not only from your point of view, but also from the other person's point of view. We need to be able to walk in the other persons shoes to understand why things happened the way they did. That doesn't mean you have to agree with what they did or how they did it. Not at all. Your values and beliefs may be very different from theirs. All this means is that you can see the whole truth of what happened and the whole truth encompasses all points of view, not just your own.

Take some time to listen to how you tell the story of your life. Perhaps it would be helpful to journal the story of a particular time in your life that you have been challenged by. Listen to what you have written. Does it sound like you were victimized by your circumstances? Be objective, if someone heard your story would they say someone did you wrong, that you are resentful, vengeful and angry? If so, this is your first clue that you are seeing things from only one point of view. Why? Well, if you felt like someone hurt you then obviously you took the other persons actions personally. You assumed you knew why they did what they did according to your point of view and your beliefs about their words or actions. Chances are that your interpretation of what the other person did or said was not what the other person had in mind when they interacted with you. The key is to imagine what happened from their point of view.

If I say that my husband cheated on me and ruined our marriage and hurt me, I am only telling part of the story. What about my responsibility for my half of the relationship? It is doubtful that I was a vision of loveliness throughout the entire marriage. I had to contribute half of that relationship because all relationships take the contribution of both parties. When I can see both sides clearly, and have compassion for my husband, I can forgive him. But if I am attached to my victim point of view and blame everything on him, forgiveness will never come. Chances are I will bring my anger and resentment into my next relationship as well. This scenario applies to all human interactions in our lives. Rape, physical, emotional and mental abuse, cheating, violence, etc… are all included. Yes, even what we judge to be the most heinous of human activities can be forgiven.

Seeing things with the eyes of truth means that you stop judging the activities of others and, instead, take responsibility for your interpretation of those activities. It means being responsible for how you write the story of what happened. I could say yes, my husband cheated on me in our marriage but, gosh, I was not aware of how my actions impacted our situation. We both had a lot to learn from that relationship. I am glad I can see what happened clearly and have gratitude for the opportunity to grow and become a better person. even if it hurt pretty badly for a while. The key word here is gratitude! We judge everything that happens in life as good or bad, right or wrong. The truth is life just happens, and life is exactly as it is. As long as we are always judging others and life situations according to our point of view, we will never be able to have gratitude for the challenges and experiences life sends our way. No matter how enlightened a person you may be, things will always happen in life. People you love will die, relationships will come and go, the stock market will crash and rise, your car may be totaled but, if you have gratitude for life's challenges, you will always be writing a beautiful happy story of your life! Even better, you will never feel victimized by your circumstances.

You may think I am living my life in a fairy tale, but I assure you I'm not. We have been domesticated to process our life in a certain way. If you don't believe me just watch one soap opera on TV. Everyone is stressed out, creating drama, having emotional outbursts, screaming and arguing, defending their points of view, and generally creating a life of misery! Soap operas are popular because they mimic our lives. I am suggesting a different way of perceiving life, one without judgment and with the ability to see the points of view of other people and to see beliefs other than your own. One where you take responsibility for your mind and what it thinks and, as a result of this internal chatter, how you choose to react to any situation. When you can truly see the other person's point of view then you can forgive from the heart. True compassion of the human experience is the place from which forgiveness begins. Compassion is an act of love that is free of attachment. Of course, the kind of love I am talking about is unconditional love.

Once you have seen the truth you must make the decision to let go of the pain, anger, and resentment you have been holding on to. This requires you to take action. If you are attached to your pain, resentment, and self-righteousness, and addicted to your emotional reactions, this will be a difficult step for you. Taking action requires letting go of the very thing you have been holding on to for so many years. There is comfort in what we find familiar, even if we are experiencing pain and suffering. The pain and suffering itself becomes the familiarity we seek. It takes absolute faith in yourself plus courage, will, and discipline to let go. But once you let go, it will as if the weight of the world has been taken off your shoulders. In this process it is important to forgive not just the others in our lives, but also ourselves. For most people, giving ourselves the gift of forgiveness is very challenging.

• Forgive yourself for using people in your life to hurt yourself.
• Forgive yourself for not having clarity, for blaming others, and for not taking responsibility for your actions.
• Forgive yourself for wounding others and for the anger, jealousy, and hate you directed toward others.
• Forgive yourself for participating in situations that went against your integrity.
• Forgive yourself for not respecting yourself.
• Forgive yourself for not trusting yourself and having faith in your abilities.
• Forgive yourself for trying to control the people you love.
• And, of course, forgive yourself for not loving yourself 100% just the way you are!

When you have finally detached from the anger, resentment, and pain of your story your heart will feel as light as a feather. Not only that, but for the first time in your adult life you will be happy, truly happy, and your life will reflect the change back to you in every way. After all what we think in our minds is what manifests in our lives! The bottom line is that we forgive because we love ourselves so much that we want to give ourselves the gift of personal freedom. We forgive not because the other person necessarily deserves it, but because we do not want to carry that load around until we die. Anger, hate, and jealousy will make you old, resentful and ugly, inside and out. The question is, how much do you love and respect yourself? Is it enough to give yourself the gift of forgiveness? I hope so.


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Comment by Nicole on Wednesday
I am glad it spoke to you. Thank you for your time and energy in reading this. :)
SullenGirl Comment by SullenGirl on Wednesday
I needed to read this tonight.  These are wonderful thoughts to put into action.
Comment by Nicole on August 30, 2011 at 3:27pm

Thank you Fr. Perseverabo for your time and thoughts.


There are several layers of forgiveness. This is the direct reflection and realizations from situations stemmed from my own life/experiences/and a hell of a lot of of soul searching. I believe healing is never-ending, and is something I go through daily, just as balance is daily. The way you suggest that saying 'fuck it' is forgiveness-this way actually seems like one is giving up and not forgiveness at all.


It is a pivitol step in moving forward, not necessary wiping the slate clean, but perhaps giving yourself the ability to continue without being trapped in the hate, anger, fear of whatever it is in you that is wounded.


I am not suggesting in this that we allow ourselves to be passive in things that need to be dealt with (such as abuse or neglect etc...) Forgiveness just allows us to deal with it rather that allow time to go on and basically ignore it. If things are not dealt with, people tend to use the trauma as a way of defining who they are and therefore never getting the healing they need. Though they may say they've dealt with it, but if they had, they wouldn't still have a need to cling to all the anger, thus in reality the anger they feel is really at themselves.


***think I am rambling here, thank you again!

Fr. Perseverabo Comment by Fr. Perseverabo on August 30, 2011 at 1:50pm
Upon retrospect Nicole, we may be talking about the same thing. Detaching from emotional reaction in order to maintain a state of happiness. However if you are able to make that initial 'fuck it' gesture (forgiveness) you wipe your slate clean with no need to use forgiveness again because "you have finally detached from the anger, resentment, and pain of your story". You are able to see anger, resentment and pain as what they truly are, an illusion of experience.
Fr. Perseverabo Comment by Fr. Perseverabo on August 30, 2011 at 1:42pm

I understand what your saying, however I do not think that forgiveness is a requirement.  Not in the sense that Beorc stated below, but that it simply is not needed after a certain personal realization about life.  If for example one understands and applies the concept that right and wrong, good and bad do not exist beyond our own personal understanding, then one can see a need to accept things for how they are.  There is a point where forgiveness does not transcend necessity, and I feel that line is attachment.  If you treasure something, it is clear you have an attachment to it.  If it is stolen or taken you will be in turmoil (suffering, its the Buddhist in me lol) and your emotional state will require resolution.  Forgiveness is more than likely the only way to fully resolve it.  But lets say for example you are not attached to this thing, if it is stolen or taken it is of no concern to you.  You don't need to forgive because nothing went wrong.


Now please do not assume that I am saying that you simply need to be unattached to everything to remove sorrow.  Technically you do, but I think this is virtually impossible if you are not living as a hermit.  You will be attached to people, things, items etc and how you deal with it will be important.  I however have not dealt with forgiveness for years because my understanding that everything that is simply is.  There is no fixing it because it never broke.  There is no resolving it because it never became an issue.


If one does not take the view that everything that is, is how it is I can certainly see forgiveness being a very valuable tool, but I don't think it is always practical because it's only needed in conflict.  But just because one perceives conflict does not mean it actually is conflict.

Comment by Nicole on August 29, 2011 at 6:26pm

Thank you Arcane for your time, sharing what you have, and for your thoughts.



Arcane Cricket Comment by Arcane Cricket on August 29, 2011 at 4:16pm

I enjoy this post. I will be unable to follow the underlying message thoroughly as I am a firm believer in balance, hence my occasionally heartless-seeming nature, but I do enjoy the occasional reminders to check the balance in my own life. Balance does not mean that I will do just as much good as bad, but rather, see the good and bad inherent in everything. I see the benefits of forgiving in some situations, and the benefits of not in others.


One Thing I do want to add though, is that I am a believer in metaphysical healing. I have seen it work to many times to maintain my skeptic attitude... though I still don't see it as a science just yet. One of my favorite authors and advocates of this study is a woman by Louise L Hayes. She wrote a small book called heal your body. It is more or less a guide to what is wrong and how to fix it through who you are. I have heard many people try to discredit her, but that is common when people say something new... anything new for that matter... or even if it just has not been heard in a while. She links the inability to forgive or "Deep Hurt. Long standing resentment. Deep secret or grief eating away at the self. Carrying hatreds. 'what's the use?" as per her description... I find such things interesting. Needless to say, it goes alot more in depth in some of her other writings, but a girl friend of mine had cervical cancer. She was always far less of a skeptic than I, and she knew I was rather educated in these sort of healing techniques as a hobbie, despite my very harsh criticism of them. The chemotherapy she was recieving was holding her cancer at bay so to speak, but no real progress. She asked me if I knew anything. I cared deeply for her at the time, so despite my skepticism and pride, I told her about this book a friend gave me. We read through it. When we found cancer, her eyes widened with a look of realization. She confided in me that her father's friend had molested her as a child, multiple times. Bingo, I asked the dumbest question I could "are you okay?" Obviously she was less than thrilled to discuss it, but I suggested meditating on forgiving as the book suggested. Why not? What did she really have to lose? Worst case she gets a few hours of relaxation a week and even that could've helped. There are other details, but this is getting rather long and those are quite personal, so to sum it up, six months later she didn't have signs of cancer. A few signs have cropped up every here and there, and were aren't the friends we used to be, but we send the occasional "hello" texts and there have been no recent signs. Were it not for other events like this (though not a single one involving cancer) I would have wrote is off as hilarious... but after such things, I have paid this book much more respect than many of it's fellow books and abstract claims...


The reason I bring this story up is partially to support the idea of how we can better our selves and how we can work on our morals that seem to fit enlightenment, but also to show that it is quite possible that our thought processes run far deeper than we anticipate... and also that our reality may be far more easily bent than we though as well...


I return to my previous point, I am a balanced person and try to see benefit in even the bad... but all any of us can really do is try to live correctly by our own reasoning, logic, and feeling. This blog post seems to be one hell of a guide to get us off one path and on to the correct... even though we will not make it all the way as a species. If we try, we might make it back to the middle of this ever shifting balance.

Comment by Nicole on August 29, 2011 at 10:33am

Thanks for reading this and for the time. And how you feel, is how you feel...



Beorc Kano Comment by Beorc Kano on August 29, 2011 at 9:42am

I understand the logic and good intentions behind this post, and it was well written and well thought out. I simply differ from you philosophically. I personally feel that some things are unforgivable. To forgive someone is to say, "What you did may have been wrong, but I will not hold it against you any longer." It's a way of saying "it's alright."


Sometimes, it's not alright. Sometimes, one can't help but hold a grudge. And some of those grudges, I wouldn't dare suggest that someone should drop. They may be sources of negativity, but, believe it or not, sometimes, having a point to focus and channel your hatred into can be intensely soothing. Certain life events can bring about a great deal of hatred (I am certain you know what I am referring to), and this hatred, generally, will always be there in one form or another. Having an acceptable focus or reservoir to channel that negativity into, as opposed to trying to internalize it,  is a very viable release.


I guess I'll just have to say that you'll need to take my word for it.


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