Mind set: Why you should forgive
8 Sep 2008, 0817 hrs IST, DAVID NLMES
We say we forgive, but we rarely do. We ‘excuse’, we ‘permit’ , we ‘look past’ , we ‘understand’ , we ‘learn to live with’ , but we never really forgive. We simply exchange our dislike of an event with the hope of returning to more pleasant times. What then, would you have to do to forgive? Is it possible to forgive while not totally forgetting the problem that created the reason for forgiveness in the first place? How do you forgive? How do I forgive?
To understand why total forgiveness seems almost impossible, or at least, very difficult, we need to ask why we value the concept of forgiveness in the first place. We need to look at what motivates us to either run from it or embrace it depending upon which end of the problem we see ourselves in. Let’s tear apart the whole concept of forgiveness and look at it the way it is.
What triggers the need to forgive or to be forgiven? Having done something wrong, you will experience the sensation of guilt. It might not happen immediately and it may take some time, but once you have done something wrong, the door is open for you to eventually feel guilty about it. The understanding of guilt is totally necessary for you to be on either side of the forgiving exchange. Now, having embraced the concepts of doing a ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ thing and then associating them with guilt, this opens the door for multiple levels of forgiveness to exist. For example, once the wrong deed has occurred , an opportunity suddenly appears for somebody to forgive you, and you can also forgive yourself.
What triggers the sensation of guilt? Somewhere, we were taught that certain things were ‘right’ and certain things were ‘wrong’. Later, we then create connections to events we experience and use our past examples of right and wrong to inform us of whether our actions or the actions of the people around us are proper. In time, we can easily see who has done something wrong and we know they are guilty and should admit to their crime and admit they are guilty. This then opens the door for us to forgive them and for them to forgive themselves.
Our society and many religious structures look upon guilt as a mighty and necessary force that is used to help us maintain an orderly society. It can be difficult seeing how our world could exist without us taking turns being either the receiver or the distributor of guilt. Guilt leads to stress and stress causes disease.
Being right’ or ‘being wrong’ are totally transient in the eye of the beholder and have no absolute state of being. Truth is eternal and unchangeable, so from an eternal and unchangeable spiritual point of view, this means the whole concept of right and wrong is not real and simply does not exist.
If you make a error and someone corrects you there is no need to feel guilt. Just thanks the person and move on.
Truth frees because there is no judgment of any kind and it eliminates the need to be forgiven. Likewise, guilt binds because it is dependent upon judgment and it requires your need to be forgiven.
All concepts and origins of guilt, sin, right, wrong, etc, are of our own making and are based upon fear. Only our mistaken perceptions have created these concepts, which are e not true. They are simply errors of thinking.
To change your course, all you need to do is to be open to see where you may be mistaken and then and it will heal your perception of this world and of yourself. There is really nothing at all to forgive in the first place.