Every day, as part of my spiritual practice, I read from a couple of different daily readers. Today, both of them are about forgiveness. While some might consider this magical thinking, I've learned not to ignore stuff like this. When I get two readings on the same topic, it allows me to stop and take a closer look and ask myself: is there anything or anyone I need to forgive today in order to provide myself with relief? I spent some time in contemplation this morning and am happy to say that no, no forgiveness is needed today. I have no lingering feelings of resentment that need taken care of. But when I do, I take care of them.
I've learned a few things about forgiveness. When I forgive, it doesn't excuse or condone bad behavior on the part of another. Forgiveness really doesn't have anything to do with anything or anyone else. Rather, forgiveness has to do with myself. Forgiving gives me relief. It frees me from victimhood. Forgiveness feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, allowing me to move easier and breathe freer. When I forgive, I must also be willing to give up the payoff that sometimes comes from lack of forgiveness. Have you ever realized that not forgiving gives us a sort of feeling of power? "I am strong! I am NEVER going to allow that other person to think what they did was OK!" Unfortunately, such a sense of power is false and will turn against us, making us sick. And what we do doesn't have any bearing on what another thinks. The real power comes from forgiving and moving on and fully enjoying life.
How about you? Is a lack of forgiveness preventing you from fully experiencing all the joy that life has to offer?