In a world where suffering and pain – on a physical as well as on a mental level – are the norm rather than the exception, forgiveness is one of the most important attributes for people to nurture. It is all about love.
When someone has hurt you, you can be angry, resentful, and hold a grudge, or you can embrace that person and move on.
You may want to take into account that you create your reality in the first place and that really there is no “other”. So when you feel hurt, remember that first of all only your personality would be affected by this, but also that you must have been responsible in some way for that “other” person to hurt you. Since we humans usually create our reality in default mode – which generally is fear-based rather than love-based – you might not have been conscious of that fact. As long as we believe in the illusion of separation, however, there will always be an “I” and an “other”.
That aside, holding on to your feelings of resentment and pain will keep you locked down. These emotions will haunt you and loop through your mind countless times a day to the point where they will start making you sick – quite literally.
In other words, as long as you can’t forgive, you are only hurting yourself. You voluntarily stay in your mental prison. Dwelling on those negative feelings will generate more of the same, casting you head-on into a downward spiral. No one benefits from that and above all, it is self-sabotage.
If you can find it in your heart to forgive, you let go of the emotional charge of resentment and pain. You make space for peace and compassion to come in. You understand that the “other” only feels that way because of his/her own fear and pain. You not only forgive the other but you also forgive yourself for feeling misunderstood or guilty or whatever.
Forgiveness knows no expectations. It doesn’t judge or care what the other does with it. It is not a mental act but a choice coming from the heart. It is expressive and not experiential. With that, you not only feel at peace with yourself but you also give the other a chance to change his/her own emotional states. It always starts with you, however.
Forgiveness also means being kind to self. It means that you don’t identify with your emotions. Anything that does not make you feel good can’t possibly come from love and, therefore, it is an illusion. As I mentioned earlier, only your personality can feel hurt or judged.
In Hawaiian and other Polynesian cultures, forgiveness is something that is practiced often among family members or even whole communities as they believe that negative feelings are the cause of illness. This practice is called ho’oponopono. “Ho’o” means “to cause something to happen” and “pono” means “to be right, good, just and/or in alignment with all people, places and things”.
“When determining whether a thought, word, deed or action is truly pono – that is whether it serves the highest good – we consider how it affects not only our present generation of family and community, but also how it affects both our ancestors and our descendants.
All life forms are inter-connected. In land based indigenous cultures, family includes not only our human relatives but also all of nature. To be pono on all levels, a thought, word, deed or action will serve the highest good of all of creation.” – Pali Jae Lee, Ho’oponopono
They believe that healing can only come with complete forgiveness of the whole family.
This beautiful tradition ensures the well-being of the entire community and it shows the importance of forgiveness. It also demonstrates that these people are a whole lot more conscious in their interaction with each other and all of nature than most westerners. Something to ponder…
I feel we could all do with more ho’oponopono. Once we are on our ascension path and seriously start examining ourselves and observing how many times a day we judge — others and ourselves — we begin understanding the power of forgiveness. We let go of that which is not real and embrace love, time and time again. We feel compassion for the “others” and for self and we can move forward again.
The above article is freely adapted from the chapter about Forgiveness in my book Practical Ascension – A Guide.
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