FORGIVENESS CHANGES THE LENS
How do we practice forgiveness in such a stressful world? Let me open this article with a poetic prayer.
“A day of stillness — of Peace, on the first Sunday after the equinox and first full moon — Easter. It feels like the world pauses, spring has arrived — we have too. From our first stirrings toward new beginnings, we emerge together, and faithfully we rise.
Seeking the warmth, we follow the light. With desire to grow anew, we build. We, the symbols of new life, are the dream of a world safe.
May we continue to dedicate our lives — to peace building and love making, and becoming the fullest expression in this space, where we all belong.
I thank Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou, His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. Thank you Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon and Yoko Ono — may we all take your work further.”
For me, forgiveness means I—Give—You—Love. It means that even though it appears, and is partially true, that we are forgiving an external world, it is within ourselves that forgiveness takes place.
Forgiveness is about acceptance, often that an event occurred in which we are hurt or have experienced loss. Many times I will say that forgiveness is conversation with our little self or inner child. I’m sorry. I’m sorry this has happened to you, but I’m here for you now.
“I’m sorry dear child, I’m here now. Come with me, for it is necessary for us to change. And dear sweet child know this — all God’s children want to be happy and find peace.”
FORGIVING is an act of heroism. I used to think that by accepting a situation you had to stay in it, but that’s not true at all.
FORGIVENESS CHANGES THE LENS.
How do we do this? Prayer, meditation, yoga, massage, counseling, writing — any form of inner work that allows us to release the stuff stuck in our body and minds.
Through my own suffering have come some of my greatest insights, along with a deeper compassion for humanity.
So, forgiving myself and forgiving others has allowed me to let go and move forward into new healthy and beautiful spaces in life. How we release our negative patterns and conditions is different for each of us, but for me it was writing, reading self-help books combined with bodywork as mentioned earlier.
Forgiveness empowers us to act with compassion. FOR-GIVE, like I stated above, means I GIVE YOU LOVE. This affords us to act in love, our natural state of being. Thus, love returns to us.
We often think of surrender as weak and release as defeating, but this is powerful work. An experienced singer knows to hit the high note they must release the muscles in their throat. Forgiving releases our judgment muscles.
From my book The Grace of Redefining Love, I’ve listed SEVEN WAYS to STEWARD THOUGHTS: THE PRACTICE of FORGIVENESS
- Take time to understand how we are feeling.
- Make a conscious choice to want to do better.
- Try to take things less personal, it’s not always about us.
- Let go of expecting others to understand.
- Release the outcome of how others should behave.
- Remember there is always a new way to see.
- Look for love, beauty and kindness everywhere.
Most importantly meet yourself where you are! It’s important not to beat ourselves up for falling off the forgiveness path. It’s a lifelong practice — that over time, will create healthy habits.