The Grace of Forgiveness


Life can be seen as a learning process, like going to school. This long journey is one of earned evolution and transformation. Difficulties arise; these are trials that test what we have learned and, those areas that need more work are tested further. We call them opportunities for growth. These stumbling blocks are our emotional issues that we have not quite mastered yet. Themes like judgment, anger, fear, intolerance, and all those other sticky, repetitive, overshadowing energies that we can’t seem to shake loose from our lives. Sometimes these feelings become quite dark; we lose the light of clear consciousness and these energies take us over producing a drama of pain and suffering. It is usually certain that they become harmful. The more overshadowing they become, the more we fail to see the lesson structured within them. They are assured to come back again and again until we “get it.” Then the dawn of realization arrives with a deeper grasp of the purpose and perfection of what that emotional issue was all about.

But there is another piece of this artful process. Do we have the ability to let the dramatic energies release their grip on our emotional body? This “letting go” process is a necessary step in our personal growth. We must find some degree of resolution in the difficulty, and feel the energetic release of the drama, past and present, with a feeling of freedom for the future.

In my experience of true healing, both personally and professionally, the greatest virtue in service to our liberation from past attachment is the energy of forgiveness. This is undoubtedly a profound healing spiritual energy. It has the ability to free us from the attachments to the past. Whenever there is a drama full of pain and suffering, the themes of separation and judgment will be in play. If I’m hurt by someone’s words or behavior, or I have hurt someone in a moment of confusion or fear, my emotional body reacts. Also, I may have harmed myself through the viciousness of my own self-judgment. In every case, separation has occurred. Hopefully I notice the distance increasing between myself and the other and take corrective action. But usually, the defenses are activated, barriers are created, and judgment is imminent. Judgment furthers the separation and erodes the sense of connection I had with the other, along with the ability to communicate from our hearts. This is the fertile ground of emotional drama and it creates a situation that my ego feels justified holding onto. This is where that feeling of holding a grudge comes from. It is the ego-certainty that I am right and the other is wrong. Sometimes the loss of trust in a relationship or loss of our sense of safety will reinforce our polarized, opposing position. The ego uses any trick in the book to maintain the separation and perpetuate the drama. This is one of the most unfortunate tendencies that human beings possess. Therefore, our tendency toward polarization and the dramatization of life must be a powerful lesson for all of us to learn.

Spiritually, we have within us that Inner Knowing which is always available, (though we may doubt it), which can provide the opportunity and pathway to a way through these dilemmas of our stuck ego. The spiritual virtues are energies that are specific remedies for our low-vibration attachments. Forgiveness is that specific vibration that neutralizes the separation and judgment in our life. When I forgive, I let go. When I forgive, the energy moves again and I am no longer stuck to what happened before. When I forgive, my heart opens again to its essential nature and I feel peace. I return to a state of nature which acknowledges our inter-connection and interdependence. We play roles for each other; even unconsciously we are part of the teaching. Spirit moves us around in each other’s life as part of the grand theater of evolution. Forgiveness comes when we sense this purposefulness. The blessing of forgiveness comes to move us across boundaries to embrace life more fully.

Forgiveness is not a mental choice. It is an emotional healing. I may think I should forgive but that isn’t going to create genuine forgiveness. My heart is the source of forgiveness. It comes by itself in its own time, when the timing is right. It comes in the midst of an expansion of consciousness. As I watch the clients go through their processes, some gracefully and others with angst, I notice that time is needed to effectively release the blocks that allows forgiveness to be possible.

One aspect of forgiveness that many people misunderstand is the idea that when I forgive that somehow I’m trying to forget what has occurred, condoning the act, or in some way, “giving in.” This is not the case. Forgiveness is not a form of victimization or self-sacrifice. Its dignity lies in the fact that forgiveness is an act of strength which purifies the heart of the heaviness of past suffering. I can disagree with what may have happened and at the same time free myself from its associated burden. Spiritual energies, such as forgiveness, elevate the consciousness. We manifest a new point of view; one that brings more clarity. From that point of view there is no need to punish another or ourselves any longer. My heart is free.

A Forgiveness Prayer

Dear Sweet Spirit,

Please remind me of your mercy,

Help me to see that I am forgiveness,

That I have the divine power to let go of past suffering.

Forgiveness is that elegant healing that brings me back home.

As I forgive, separation dissolves,

As I forgive, I experience unity once again,

As I forgive, love gently arises.

I feel this blessing with such gratitude.

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