The Gifts of Forgiveness

Published in Omplace

By:  Kristin Whitelaw

Free Girl

Forgiveness can be one of the most difficult and complicated concepts we deal with in our lives. It is not that we aren’t loving and compassionate people who desire to be thoughtful and forgiving, it is simply that the perspectives about forgiveness have been so re-shaped and re-defined that to truly establish a comfortable and clear conception of its substance and purpose can be challenging. We need to “feel” to the deepest area of our spirit, the essence of forgiveness to allow for the metamorphosis of that energy to occur. So, for now we will let go of any pre-conceived idea, perception, learned definition or past experience having to do with what forgiveness is or feels like. For now, let us replace the term with a deeper representation and quality so that we may begin with a clear, fresh foundation on which to work.

First, let us establish that forgiveness is Not …..

Condoning the other person’s actions;
Giving up our own perspective or belief;
Losing our right to continue to express our feelings;
Betraying one’s self;
Giving truth to or invalidating any particular position;
Taking away anyone’s personal responsibility;
Taking away consequence or accountability;
Sacrificing or compromising one’s principles.

Forgiveness Will …….

Penetrate your experience and engulf it with love;
Free your heart of hurt from the memory;
Allow you to move on;
Give the opportunity to receive the gifts from the experience;
Allow the lessons to be learned; provides you with the chance to accept what is (this stimulates movement and change);
Deepen your strength of character and clarifies your sense of self;
Relieve you of the burden of anger and guilt;
Give you back your power. Rather than have the experience direct you, you can own, give value to and positively utilize the experience in your life.

How do we forgive? There are many avenues to forgiveness. We want to use the tools that work best for us. In fact it is essential that we honor our own, personal and unique character and individual direction. Whichever support system, teaching or counseling chosen, it will always be a process of feeling and experience and ‘being’. The process of forgiveness occurs through the actual transformation of energies activated through the recognition, acknowledgment and the embracing of that which you are focused on forgiving.

Forgiveness is generated through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual experience. We must surrender to each layer of feeling involved such as guilt, sadness, judgment, and anger. We allow it to be. We do not try to think it away and compassion for the pain will grow. To have such loving acceptance can be challenging. How do we move through this challenge? I have found that true forgiveness comes from discovering and truly understanding ‘why’. We must fully comprehend the purpose for the experience and retrieve its’ value for our lives at the deepest, spiritual level. When we see the opportunity available to teach us more about ourselves and our lives such as enriching our spirit, redirecting us, solidifying our commitments, validating our values, expanding and confirming our strength of love, testing the resolve of our faith and finally, helping to awaken our senses and perception of how strong we truly are then we will no longer need to ‘forgive’ anything……we will, rather, feel gratitude for the valuable and precious gifts that we have unveiled through having the experience.

If we set our view towards the highest of spiritual consciousness and awareness, we can recognize that the people who come into our lives have chosen to do so, as we have chosen to come into theirs, and that their purpose is to stimulate our growth and to be in co-creation of the evolution of all of our spirits. In the realms of forgiveness it is so important to observe that those involved have done their jobs, even if it might have been to play the “bad” guy. The “bad” guy was perfect as a mirror to reflect our shadows. This person gave us the chance to view those shadows, hear their message, understand and then shine light on them to see the purpose and the powers contained within them. This is a wonderful gift, is it not?

So, as we move beyond our past, stepping into the now – our present moment in time, we can gather up all of those painful times that burden us, stimulate us, hold onto us and trickle into our daily feelings and reactions and begin the process of delicately shedding each painful story. It will lighten us of all that we have been carrying in order to contain the inability to accept these experiences. We will no longer limit our view established by what we concluded after that moment of hurt. What we find is the realization that we have been filled with the treasures that have been birthed from the labor of our work and attention to forgiveness. In addition we can bring to our table those persons that we feel have caused us pain, have “done us wrong”, have betrayed us, abandoned us, criticized us and judged us. At this very important point we can choose to remember that we have brought these experiences to us to give us enlightenment, growth and wisdom. They, in turn, have agreed to be the one’s to support in this valuable purpose. The Universal pattern of this absolute balance and perfection is truly amazing.

With gratitude, forgiveness is automatic. Forgiveness is simply letting go…….discovering and then embracing the purpose, the reason for that experience is the key to this. Finally, we can simply say, “Thank you for coming into my life and being willing to play the role that would show me what it is I needed to see, provide me with what I needed to feel, heal those areas within that were ready to be renewed, and teach me that which has brought me greater truth and wisdom. My spirit is stronger now, my heart is fuller, my direction is clearer, and my compassion is deeper. I have been enriched in many ways. You taught me more about myself, who I am, and what is right for me. I have received a great gift……Thank you.”