Forgiveness isn't something which is taught readily for people nowadays. It may be because it is a concept which seems too simple. How can forgiveness change my circumstances? How does forgiveness grant me a happy life?
All too often people think about what is going around them rather than look inside. It is another cliche and it does sound so simple, yet very rarely do I see someone who is actively pursuing a life of forgiveness.
When I was about 11 years old, I remember being given a statement to hold onto to:
Forgiveness is freedom
I don't know where the thought came from or who said it.
Yet it has stuck with me throughout my life. I barely hold a grudge anymore.
My biggest challenge in practicing forgiveness came with my husband who I have been with just over 7 years. My two sons also challenged me and I practiced forgiveness to the point where I love each of them and there is nothing about them I would want to change.
The only time I felt this much love was with my cat Kali who passed away just this past December. In these last six months, my life has seemed to push me with strong hands toward forgiving the ones I love for something they never needed forgiveness for. They did nothing wrong but I used to harbor some sort of feeling of betrayal and loss toward them. I don't know where it stemmed from but I used to be so angry and resentful.
What forgiveness means
To forgive is when you think you have been treated with scorn. It is when the action is complete and indeed, you may have been treated with scorn. Yet it is in the time that later haunts you about that moment and you can't seem to let it go. When the memory of that hurtful time shows up often in different ways, there is room for forgiveness. Not to let anyone off the hook, but to allow yourself just the freedom to move within this world so you don't feel like you hanging on for dear life.
I know words and reading this might sound feeble and really not worthy for someone who has dealt wit a great amount of pain. However, how can one really know what happiness is if forgiveness has never been contemplated? The act of forgiving is probably scary which is why people never try it. However, all forgiveness requires is an internal shift, nothing else. It doesn't require action. It only needs honesty and the internal shift will naturally shift the circumstances around you.
Give, give and give
As much as this materialistic world would like you to believe, consumerism is a recipe for unhappiness and depression. Consuming is when you are feeding yourself with things from this world that really wasn't meant for you in the first instance. However, with confusion from the world in the form of misinformation and propaganda, people have fallen for a great big lie. The world and what it offers cannot make anyone happy. Things like status, hierachy, authority, idols, celebrities and any concept which makes you think you are below someone is simply false.
In order to get to know the real world, giving of yourself is the recipe for breaking barriers you hold within yourself. Giving of yourself only means that you are honest and clear about what you say and do.
All too often we hear about ways in which people in the news are being corrupt. Well, it is obvious why. Corruption is mere dishonesty. And looking at how dishonest a leader can be with disgust only points the finger back at us. How honest are we with who we love? Infidelity, abuse, and any other domestic maltreatment is nothing but a corruption within our own homes.
It is the hard truth. But the truth starts with each of us being honest. Not to intentionally offend anyone but to release something within us that needs to get out. If you are lucky to have someone who can listen without judgement, you are indeed blessed. For me that is my husband. The man who did not judge me and the man I have forgiven completely (although he did nothing wrong).