To Forgive is to Live
“To understand everything is to forgive everything” – Buddha
Forgiveness is the highest form of Love. Once initiated, it opens our eyes up to things previously out of sight…It’s hard to see when we are blinded by a veil of holding a grudge against others…and especially against ourselves.
A profound understanding of life comes once we learn how to forgive unconditionally. Forgiveness is not about forgiving to make others feel better. Quite the opposite. To forgive means to allow ourselves to truly live. Inability to forgive holds us captive until we learn to let go. We’re either for giving life or against it.
Easier said than done, you might say.
Maybe. Maybe not.
It all depends on how we look at the situation, which has caused us to feel this way in the first place. It also depends on how passionately do we want our life to be filled with joy instead of suffering. I think that most of us have been brought up knowing that forgiveness should play an essential part of our lives, yet many of us never quite understood the real reason of why to forgive or how to even begin to go about it.
I see this nearly every day. My friends, family, neighbors, strangers…Almost everyone I talk to has a story about not being able to forgive another. Most of the time, the reason for not being able to find forgiveness in their heart is so trivial, I almost want to say “are you for real?” On the flip side, I talk to people who have gone through very severe life experiences and somehow managed to find forgiveness in their heart. How come? What do these people know that others don’t?
They know that to forgive means to give life back to themselves. Life is full of love, acceptance, and peace. The heart that knows how to forgive, is the only heart that knows peace.
For-give = Life-give = Love-give = Peace-give
They know that lack of forgiveness is a sure way of gradually and painfully suffocating themselves from inside out. It’s a slow, yet sure emotional, mental, spiritual and as a result physical death. Sounds unreal? I know of a few extreme cases, where people have buried themselves so deeply within the self-created mud of “against-giveness”, that all of their bodies, one by one, have started to shut-down. And the interesting thing is – they have no clue why they are so sick. That’s precisely what happens when we are blinded by resentment. Our understanding of life decreases tremendously, and with time often ceases to exist completely. All we see is a pain. Lack of forgiveness kills our soul and imprisons us for life.
We live in times when understanding life is of utmost importance. This understanding is impossible to gain without mastering the skill of forgiveness first. Learning how to forgive is simply learning how to truly live a healthy and fulfilling life in harmony with All That Is. As long as we are human, we will continue to create situations, which might result in us or others feeling angry, offended and sad. The point is to realize that at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what the situation is and how it makes us feel. What matters is who and how we CHOOSE to be. What happened, happened. What we do with it is what matters most. Forgiveness is simply a CHOICE to let go. It’s a lack of resistance to hold on to the past and that which does not serve us.
I invite all of us to look at all situations, no matter how seemingly hurtful, through a prism of a student, who are being given an opportunity to learn life. If you’re angry – so be it. Experience that feeling and let it go. If you’re offended – so be it. Experience that feeling as well and simply let it go. How? Just do it. You don’t have to overcomplicate it by following a series of steps. It’s very easy to do, once you realize that YOUR life depends on it. By letting go and forgiving we are GIVING LIFE to ourselves. If we choose to hold a grudge against anything or anyone, we TAKE LIFE AWAY from ourselves. The only ones that suffer if we don’t forgive, is us. This truth alone has been plenty for me to learn the art of forgiveness well. And since I have, I’ve felt a sense of freedom which has empowered me beyond words. This doesn’t mean that I also forgot about my past experiences. Oh no :) The memories are still there, but it’s as if I’m looking at those experiences as a grateful student, instead of a wounded victim. Victims are self-made. Who do you choose to be?
Namaste, my friends