Day 29: February 27
The thought for today is FORGIVENESS.
Seventy times seven.
That’s how many times the way-shower Jesus said we are to forgive those who hurt us. It’s not a literal 490 times, of course. Jesus was saying that Love is unconditional and without limit and the depth of grace is infinite.
“Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves.” ~ Sidney and Suzanne Simon
We have two choices when we are injured by another: we can choose to hold on to the pain and anger we feel or we can let it go. Why would anyone want to hold on to pain and anger? Nothing good comes from it. It destroys us from within and creates a bitter experience of the world around us. By withholding forgiveness, we think we are punishing the one who wronged us, but the reality is that we end up doing much more harm to ourselves than we do to them.
Forgiveness does not make an excuse of the other’s behavior. Metaphysical principles are still in effect. What we put out comes back to us and we reap what we have sown. The one doing harm will have to face the inevitable consequences from their actions, not as a punishment, but because that is how Law works. If you try to defy the law of gravity by stepping off a cliff, you will plummet. That is not punishment, but merely the law at work. This is the meaning of the passage, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay,” says the Lord your God.” The consequences of our actions are not a punishment of God, but rather is God (Love and Law) at work.
What forgiveness does is bring you out of the past and into the present; it releases you of the energy surrounding the event. If you are holding on to a wrong done to you, you are struck in the past and bound to that moment, replaying it over and over in your head, imagining possible reasons why this person did this thing to you (which are often not true), and unable to move forward. The wound which otherwise would have healed quickly is re-opened again and again, thus causing more harm to your whole being. It manifests in your emotional state, your physical health, and in your mind. This then affects how you relate to others as your ego-self becomes more suspicious, distrusting, and protective.
Forgiveness brings restoration to both parties. It is a healing experience that allows us to see Unity by seeing ourselves in each other. We are all capable of doing harm. But we are so much more capable of Being Love.
My grandfather was a carpenter. Something I learned from him was that a piece of wood that is broken and glued back together is usually stronger at the glued joint than the wood itself. Our relationships are like that. When our relationship has been broken and, through Love and forgiveness, put back together, it will be stronger than it was before. Forgiveness opens the door to understanding and a knowing that whatever happens, Love prevails. Where sin (error in our thinking and action) abounds, the Christian scripture says, Grace does much more abound.
I open my heart to Grace and forgiveness by letting go of the past with all of its hurts and disappointments. I release the one who wronged me from the energy I have been misusing through thoughts of vengeance and retribution. I allow others the room to make mistakes and grow from them, just as I hope they would do for me. I offer mercy and compassion and allow Love to flow through me, bringing restoration to the relationship and binding us together anew, stronger than before. I breathe easier knowing that I don’t have to carry the pain, anger, and disappointment around any longer. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I can now move forward in my life with renewed vigor.
breathe Peace ~