FORGIVE! Refresh your Soul
September 22, 2009 by KitabuRoshi
Calista, the daughter of Pedro and Kelly Silva, demonstrates Forgiving Mind.
If you live long enough someone is going to do something that hurts you. The wound could be physical but more than likely the blow that upsets your equilibrium the most will be emotional or spiritual in nature. Sometimes a single act passes through all categories. Sexual abuse has a physical side but imbalances the mind and disturbs the spirit of its victims also. We can be bothered by the taunts or misdeeds of strangers who are quick to find and underscore our inadequacies or take advantage of our weaknesses but nothing harms us more than malevolent acts of family members and friends, real or imagined. We may find ourselves filled with rage. Rage, however strong, is a storm. It does not last forever. If we are able to pass through the worst of it without acting we come out of the other side with nothing worse than a headache. What is far worse and far more dangerous to our longterm well-being is lingering anger, hatred or borderline hatred. This emotion tears into our psyche, eating away at out soul while masquerading as an assault on our antagonist. The one you have labeled “the enemy” may be aware of your feelings but the one who is damaged by them is you. You have taken a cancer into your mind. Its tentacles will reach into your soul and sap your life unless you take a deep drink of an elixir that may seem bitter at first. I highly recommend that you drink of this special solution blended from the essence of Mind and Spirit. It is called forgiveness. Forgive!
Ill-will is like holding a hot stone in the brain. It easily becomes the central focus and motivating factor in your behavior. Pain, even cerebral pain contorts the facial muscles and hardens our responses to the people around us. We find that we are more defensive than we have ever been because we unconsciously superimpose our negative feelings for one person or a situation on whoever or whatever we happen to be facing in a given moment. Like the hot stone we become hard and virtually untouchable because our tender and sensitive nature is obscured by a wound we have chosen to prod with the fingers of thought over and over. In this way we keep the wound open to fester.
When a clam is irritated by a grain of sand (In our case, a word or deed) it secretes a protective fluid that hardens around the intrusion. Eventually the sand is transformed. Not only does it lose its power to irritate but it becomes a pearl, an object of great beauty. It does not work that way with us. As human beings when we heap great attention upon a negative experience we only amplify the effect. The irritation does not become encased in something beautiful and positive. We become consumed by it. We begin to lose our luster as living souls.
There are those who think they are justified in holding onto grudges. Perhaps the acts against them cut deep. Perhaps they lost so much from the callous behavior of others., Nevertheless, the greatest danger lies not in what others have done or will ever do to us but in what we do to ourselves. Another person can take many things away from us, people walk out of our lives, places are suddenly off-limit and things can vanish without a trace. Yet, for all their taking, no one can take away the very essence and true treasure of life, itself. That is...they can never take away the vehicle of joy that is your own being. Only you can shut that vehicle down. Only you can cut off the flow of healing that is yours alone. Your soul is your treasure.
- Gotama Buddha found bliss by letting go, not by holding on to thuughts. Christ also taught his disciples to go beyond thought.
Ironically, perhaps, the only way to make room for deeply healing your wounded psyche is to pardon the offender. You must escape a double bind-double-mind situation. When we perceive that a wound is caused by another person that person takes up residence within our mind. Like a noisy upstairs neighbor he or she generates distractions that constantly bring attention to itself. If you are listening to noise you cannot appreciate the music. How a soul responds to music is vastly different from how it responds to noise. A decision must be made. Do you want to hear the music or the noise? If you decide to listen to the music you can wear headphones. Suddenly, the music prevails. The neighbor may still be noisy but that noise cannot disturb you because you have made a place of refuge in the midst of it.
In order to forgive, we must put aside thoughts of retaliation. We silence the negative buzz of those barbed thoughts by giving a blanket amnesty to the offender. This only works when we can do that sincerely. Only with spiritual input can we experience the kind of transformation that permits us to turn back the clock before the offense. It is taught that the forgiveness of God in Christ washes the sinner as white as snow. In other words, the person is made pure and faultless by God's forgiveness. Like-wise, enlightenment restores the mind to its original perfection, all blemishes vanish in The Light. This is not a process we earn. It is an act of grace. You must learn to offer grace.
Seekers of forgiveness rejoice to learn that their darkest deeds can be erased but it is far easier to desire forgiveness than to give it. It is a great virtue to forgive. It brings with it great blessing.
If there is some one in your life you harbor ill-will toward, consider what you feel as you contemplate that. Who receives the pain? It is time to let it go, to really let it go, to cast it out of your heart and mind. If Man is in the likeness of God then you, too,have redemptive power. You can redeem a person by offering your unconditional forgiveness but there is more to this challenge than just saying “I forgive you in secret.” You must make it real, you must make it clear. You must throw open the door of your heart. Forgiveness is not real until you give of your self. Forgiveness dissolves hurt, pain and guilt in one spiritual application. It is a way of emptying the mind and setting the soul free to soar, to breathe to live again. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself, most of all. If you find it hard to summon up the mental strength to set your grudges free, remember that grace is not mental. Use the power of prayer to seek a change in your attitude. Meditate without a goal...just meditate. Forgiveness really is divine. Surrender your ego to The Divine and something extraordinary will happen.