When you forgive, the ego becomes undone, and you wake up out of suffering. Forgiving is not excusing the crime. It means you’re no longer willing to be the victim.
As long as you don’t forgive those that have wronged you, you stay tied to them. If you’re the wrongdoer, you stay hooked through guilt, continually paying back the wrong you did. If you’re hooked through suffering, you continually demand payment from those who wronged you.
Forgiving also applies to yourself. In forgiving yourself, you let go of the results of decisions you made when you knew less than you do now. Then you are free to extract the learning, let go of the rest and move on.
Without forgiveness you cannot be whole. A part of you will always be held in the past. Forgiveness corrects your perception of others. Always keep in mind: if their past, their pain, and their level of consciousness were yours, you would think and act exactly as they do. With this realization comes compassion and peace. When you forgive, you don’t change the past, but you change the future.
Forgiving is seeing others just as they are, not as you want them to be, as you think they should be or as you thought they were. If others don’t keep to an agreement, allow them to walk their path and realize that whatever they have not given you, you will not miss. They are not your source, you are. You learn something new about yourself whenever you engage with another. Feeling hurt is your choice. Forgiveness is not holding others responsible for your experiences, nor seeking to change those experiences by manipulating others.
Forgiveness retrieves power. If you seek revenge, you regard yourself as victim. Blaming circumstances for your internal wrestling is an act of giving your power away. To forgive means re-claiming that power.
Cultivate and maintain an attitude of gratitude. Count your blessings. Expect nothing and appreciate everything. Try to live with gratitude and appreciation as sole commentary on what is. Practice gratitude whenever you feel sorry for yourself because it expands your perception. Gratitude widens your point of view, expanding your world and its possibilities. All your experiences then become valuable, whether good or bad, because they are all opportunities to be Self. Gratitude loosens your bondage to ego’s fear of pain and pursuit of pleasure. It helps to free you from your attachments and aversions.
In the attitude of gratitude, you’ll see the gift in everything. You’ll realize that you’ve created every situation as an opportunity to grow and feel grateful for each challenge.
A warrior cannot complain about or regret anything. He takes everything on as a challenge, while the ordinary man sees everything as either a blessing or a curse. The warrior’s life is an endless challenge and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges – Native American Indian Wisdom
Gratitude in relationships
The attitude of gratitude applies especially to relationships. When relationships ’ go wrong’, it is not the heart that is broken; it is the mind with its expectations and beliefs, that is. The heart loves regardless. Don’t blame people for disappointing you, rather, take responsibility for expecting too much of them. If you’re attached to another and they don’t reciprocate your level of attachment, know that you feel separation only in the mind. You can either be sad that the other is not in your life physically or you can choose to be glad that they are in your life on other levels. The first is ego-based grabbing while the second comes from Self. In Self you are free to love unconditionally and to experience this fundamental unity with the other.
Gratitude allows the build-up of Chi, of life-force energy in you. You gain energy by consciously appreciating everything in your environment. Then you’ll be open to all the moment can give you and it will feed you. Finding the silver lining in every event, you build enough energy to move your assemblage point and to face the unknown with. In other words, you return to life in the moment, ready for whatever happens next.
The following visualization by Ken Wilber is very useful for removing yourself from the thick of things. Imagine yourself in a tidal pool. Dive from the calamitous waves of the surface to the quiet and secure depths at the bottom – into the quiet depths of Self. Lie stretched out there and look up at the surface commotion that held you so transfixed. It can no longer seize you from behind because you’re facing it head-on. Centred in Self, you are in harmony and from this wholeness, you can let the surface game flow, prepared for whatever may come.
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