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The Purpose of Real Forgiveness


The world now seems to be a collection of people with differences. We divide ourselves in every way imaginable, from gender to belief to color. We pride ourselves on our differences and go to elaborate extremes to defend them. We say we value peace and we spend much of our lives looking for what will bring us happiness. And yet it is our need for differences that keeps us apart and so separates us from where our peace and happiness is.

The image of ourselves and the world we see depends on how we see our brother. Condemn him and walk apart and we are separated from our source of peace and happiness. Without him a part of what we are is missing and nothing in the world will ever be a substitute. We will never find a lasting peace while he is an enemy or a stranger to us.

It is not the things of the world that will make us happy, nor will defending our differences keep us safe. While long forgotten it still is true: we are all connected to a single Source. We share a single Mind, “each of us” a thought depending on all the rest to know our Self. This is what is true about us and in this awareness is where our peace and happiness are; here we remember how to love. Forgiving all the judgments that have hidden this awareness is how we reach this goal. This is the purpose of real forgiveness.


The Journey of Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a progressive learning experience.  Once the journey has begun you have unleashed a process that inevitably will bring the truth of who you are to your awareness. There may seem to be any number of “reasons” we are moved to begin the forgiveness process, but whatever their appearance, it is in response to an innate knowing there is a peaceful and loving Self that we have overlooked. 

The journey of forgiveness may take different forms or go by different names, but all are needed to free us from the misperception of our guilt—the cause of all our pain and suffering, our anger and our hate. Once begun, the freedom we find from releasing our judgments opens our mind to discovering a self and a world that we could not have previously conceived. The experience of peace and happiness expose the loving Self we had only hoped was there before.

Three Levels of Awareness

Forgiveness is a journey that progresses through three levels of awareness.  The time it takes seems to vary in the ego’s use of time, but the outcome is inevitable and waits only on our acceptance of it. The clarity of our wish to be free is what sets the tone for the nature of our experience of these three stages, each of which is needed to lower our resistance to the next.

  1. The traditionally accepted purpose of forgiveness is the attempt to overlook what someone has done to us.  Forgiveness is attempted despite how “deserved” the guilt may seem. Behavior judged unacceptable is frequently excused because “they are doing the best they can.” This inevitably results in one elevating themselves to a “higher” moral status and prevents any real joining from taking place.

    Since the issue of the reality of sin and guilt has not been addressed, our belief has not fundamentally changed here.  Yet something has significantly shifted in our awareness.  We have touched a loving place in us that will never again be satisfied to hate and judge as we have before.

  2. As we learn it is our thoughts that make our world and take responsibility for creating our own experiences, we begin to see that our judgment of others is meaningless.  It is here we discover we only have judged ourselves and then tried to make others guilty in our place.  The purpose of forgiveness now is changed.  Here we can begin to look at why our own thoughts are charged with guilt. Forgiveness now becomes self-directed. The defenses against a “guilty” brother are no longer are needed.  This is the beginning of real forgiveness.

    Real forgiveness is now possible, but unlikely if left to the devises of our ego or separate self that does not know how to forgive. We must surrender to our inner Guide, the Presence of our God Created Self that is in a perpetual state of forgiveness seeing everything from the perspective of Its wholeness. Forgiveness is the means of the journey from our false separate identity to our Real Self.

  3. Realizing it is untrue thoughts that make our world, its reality can at last be challenged.  We now have basis for realizing it has no more reality than a dream.  We now know that nothing “real” happens here. We now understand that guilt was self-imposed and we had become lost in a cycle of attack and defense. Now we see there is nothing real to judge—nothing to forgive. The figures and the adventures they have are meaningless outside the story they tell.  This realization is the freedom of “real” forgiveness.
 
 

Read The Journey of Forgiveness in its entirety (PDF format)

Steps to Forgiveness

 

  1. I accept that all my experiences are a reflection of my own thoughts. 

  2. I no longer want the experiences my negative thoughts bring. 

  3. I trust that if I ask, I will be shown the way to change or surrender those thoughts, opening my mind to the happiness I want. 

 

Practice holding this intention and watching the way your mind changes when you seemingly did nothing yourself to bring it about. Reality already holds a replacement for everything you think you see now.