Monday, January 27, 2020

Find Freedom Through Forgiveness

Forgiving


Forgiving others for perceived wrongs is a practice that can set you free, however, it is a process that is not always understood. 

Some people believe that to forgive someone is to let them off the hook, or somehow give the impression that the hurtful acts were 'ok.' People can carry around their pain for years. To forgive can seem like giving up a part of oneself. Even if that part is a massive wound negatively impacting the psyche, it is a part. Letting it go through forgiveness would feel like a loss. If we don't have our pain, or the story of our pain, what is left? 

In this regard, whether realized or not, not forgiving can have a payoff.  It can feel empowering being able to hold something over someone ~ possibly for a lifetime!  This is seen in relationships. The one who feels victimized will guilt-trip their spouse or other person who they perceived to have wronged them to do things they may not want. This is not healthy, yet it happens all the time.

Not forgiving also has another payoff: attention. In our modern culture, you can receive the support of other individuals or groups who have also claimed victim status. What these people mostly need, but fail to see it is the love of their father!

Forgiveness =>>> Freedom 






Forgiveness is actually a process that frees us. It's not about accepting inappropriate behavior. It's about realizing that we have all done things we regret. We have all done things we knew we shouldn't yet did them any way. We can't help ourselves! 

Wait, what??? What do you mean we can't help ourselves? 

I have heard several people,  including Jesse Lee Peterson say, we are all living in a fallen state, and I agree! The forgiveness process I have gone through most recently while visiting my mother in Chicago was very illuminating to say the least. I'll discuss that in greater detail in a future post.






We are all living in a world that is upside down, and out of order.  In Vedic teachings, it is called the time of the Kali Yuga, where truth is rejected, lies are accepted as truth, and acts that go against the divine order are celebrated, while practices that bring about order and peace are vilified.

Unless we take the right steps to right ourselves, we are under the control of the great deceiver, and the dark forces of the world. These forces take over, and cause us to do things, even when we know we should not. We can't help ourselves. 

Just one small example: Let's say you 'identify as' a chocoholic, and you decide you need to stop eating chocolate. Pretty much as soon as you tell yourself you won't eat anymore chocolate, your mind will go into a frenzy, and you'll hear yourself thinking things like:

I'm not going to eat chocolate anymore.  

Well, anyway, I won't eat any chocolate for the next month. Or, well, for at least one week...

OR

I'll just have a tiny bite of chocolate, then I'll stop. Well, I'll just finish up this last square.  O.K., I'll just go ahead and eat up this whole bar, and then I won't have any more chocolate around, and then I'll stop.  

Or...Maybe I don't need to stop eating chocolate. I read that it's good for you! (Sub coffee, bread, ice cream, or any other substance you feel compelled to consume every day!)





Think about how many times you said things you later regretted because you were reacting from a place of feeling hurt, or wronged. Or, how often have you over reacted, later wondering what got over you?

How about the saying, 'the devil made me do it!'

What if that were more true than you realized?

In understanding that we all have fallen, and we have all said or done things we wish we didn't, we realize that we are in no position to cast judgement on others. They too had dark forces overcome them. They too were operating as if out of control to these forces, causing harm unintentionally. 

The deceiver ~ or Satan, or whatever you want to call it ~ may have literally made them do it!

Eve, Ego & The Fallen State


People may not want to believe we are in a fallen state, but we are. I never would have believed it in my past, however it is very clear to me now. 

Once Eve took the bite of the apple, she and Adam descended into a fallen state. They descended from living in the light as the spiritual beings they were created to be ~ free of worry, fear, shame, or doubt ~ to the world of the ego ~ where they were now filled with all those emotions, and more. It's an allegory or metaphor for our own spiritual evolution, or devolution!

The ego is the part of the intellect that identifies and labels. The ego has a function, yet what it knows is limited to what is perceivable in the visible realms with our physical senses. We put more stock in the capabilities of our ego ~ our intellect ~ and our senses than they deserve. Ask any detective questioning several witnesses to a crime scene. Our minds play tricks with us. We can be easily deceived by what we believed we perceived!

The senses and the ego easily get hooked by promises of bright shiny things, including fame, power, glory, riches, sexual liberation, and a promise of happiness through having all these things. For Eve, it was the lure of knowledge through the bite of the shiny red apple. The ego likes to define things, and accumulate knowledge.  It believes itself superior.

In the world of effects, we get easily distracted and hooked into the enticements of the material realm. In the material plane, the earthly world, Satan is in control.  As Jesse Lee Peterson and others say, it is a spiritual battle. We are in the spiritual battle of and for our lives!

A big step that can be taken to help us become sovereign beings, and win the battle of our life is to forgive. When we forgive others for the perceived crimes or harmful acts committed against us, we will in turn be forgiven by God. 

In the bible, Jesus makes it clear that it is important to go and forgive your brother, and to love one another. We can't really love until we have forgiven. We forgive to help us overcome our anger and emotions.

Forgiving the other requires our first recognizing that we are all in the fallen state, equally capable of doing things that are wrong. So, we forgive the person by acknowledging that we have held anger or hatred towards them for XYZ, and we realize they did their best. They were in a fallen state and didn't know better. They did not have the tools to overcome the darkness, and all that caused them to be in that fallen state from their early life development. 

Being ready to forgive someone who violated our personhood and sanctity may require time before feeling ready. That is okay too. Take time, although do yourself a favor. Do forgive so you don't carry it with you.

I spontaneously began this process over a decade ago. I don't know why, it just came over me to do so. Once I had the feeling that I needed to forgive certain people from my past, I was obsessed with trying to find their contact info so that I could reach out, and extend the olive branch.

One guy was extremely grateful. Yes he did some things that were wrong. Yet I realized that I had no right to keep that hanging over him. He had asked me to forgive him several years prior, and at that time, I wasn't ready. I guess it was all still too fresh. I walked away. 

At the time, I think I felt like that helped me reclaim my power. I had the power to not forgive. The thing is, it's not real power. It's indignation, and it served no body. Forgiving releases the attachment to the person and the story. It frees you, helping you feel lighter within.

What is even more challenging than forgiving someone who clearly caused harm, is to forgive those who we don't even realize harmed us! I am referring to our parents, and especially our mothers! I'll discuss this in greater detail in the next post!

Be sure to check out the Silent Prayer, to Be Still And Know in my previous post!



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