Justin Taylor | Genesology


Forgiveness - Yourself And Others

Forgiveness in one sense means being absolved of our wrong thinking and wrong action. However real forgiveness means more than just the forgiveness of our wrong actions. Divine forgiveness involves illumination. Our ignorance becomes not just temporarily absolved but transformed. We change ... within.

Forgiveness of Ourselves

Sometimes it is easy to forgive others, but it can be more difficult to forgive ourselves. When we do something wrong we can feel terrible and, consciously or unconsciously, we cherish an idea of guilt. It can be hard to let go of these feelings and emotions. However cherishing a notion of guilt does not help us in any way. It actually harms us on a deeper level.

"The wretch who constantly says, 'I am bound, I am bound', only succeeds in being bound. He who says day and night, 'I am a sinner, I am a sinner' verily becomes a sinner." ~Sri Ramakrishna

A better attitude is to focus on doing the right thing. True we have made a mistake (an error in thinking and acting), but if we have done the wrong thing there is no reason why can’t change our behaviour and do the right thing. We should not dwell on the past, but look forward and concentrate on the right path of action.

Real Forgiveness of Others

To be sincere in our forgiveness of others we should not even remember the incident. Sometimes forgiveness can be conditional, we shall tell somebody we have forgiven them, but maybe later we will bring it up to use it against them. This is not real forgiveness. Only when we do not think about the experience have we really forgiven others.

When we forgive others, we should not feel that we are just doing somebody else a favour; through forgiving others we are helping ourselves immensely. We are releasing ourselves of the burden. By remembering the misdeeds of others we live in the critical and judgmental mind. However through forgiveness we learn to appreciate the good qualities of others. Through forgiveness we become aware of our extended reality. If someone does something wrong a good attitude to take is. “I could've easily have done that myself”. Even if we wouldn’t have done this action, it makes us more humble.

In Christian Scripture, Jesus is quoted as saying:

“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

This is a supreme example of forgiveness. It was Jesus’s sense of oneness with others that enabled him to make such a all-encompassing statement. He identified with their limited perspective but at the same time he didn’t want those living in ignorance to remain bound. His only aspiration was for everyone to transcend their ignorance and see the world from a Divine perspective.

Forgiveness releases you of the guilt and burden of carrying it. When you truly forgive yourself and others, you will experience a freedom that comes with just letting it go. Giving up is defeat, letting go is victory.

~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.