Thursday, March 01, 2007

Peeling Onions part 5

Originally, I was going to call this Forgiveness, the Sequel, but it turned into some introspective crap. And it made me shed a tear while writing it...

I was reading A FORGIVENESS TECHNIQUE by Emmet Fox, and once again, I am faced with the realization that I need to forgive those from my past. I found 3 parts of the passage especially helpful:

When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a cosmic link, a real, though mental chain. You are tied by a cosmic tie to the thing that you hate. The one person perhaps in the whole world whom you most dislike is the very one to whom you are attaching yourself by a hook that is stronger than steel. Is this what you wish? Is this the condition in which you desire to go on living? Remember, you belong to the thing with which you are linked in thought, and at some time or other, if that tie endures, the object of your resentment will be drawn again into your life, perhaps to work further havoc. Do you think that you can afford this? Of course, no one can afford such a thing; and so the way is clear. You must cut all such ties, by a clear and spiritual act of forgiveness. You must loose him and let him go. By forgiveness you set yourself free; you save your soul. And because the law of love works alike for one and all, you help to save their soul too, making it just so much easier for them to become what they ought to be...

People have always made such a bogey of forgiveness because they have been under the erroneous impression that to forgive a person means that you have to compel yourself to like them. Happily this is by no means the case – we are not called upon to like anyone whom we do not find ourselves liking spontaneously, and, indeed, itis quite impossible to like people to order. You can no more LIKE to order than you can hold the winds in your fist, and if your endeavor to coerce yourself into doing so, you will finish by disliking or hating the offender more than ever. People used to think that when someone had hurt them very much, it was their duty, as good Christians, to pump up, as it were, a feeling of liking for him; and since such a thing is utterly impossible, they suffer a great deal of distress, and ended, necessarily, with failure,and a resulting sense of sinfulness. We are not obliged to like anyone; but we are under a binding obligation to love everyone, love, or charity as theBible calls it, meaning a vivid sense of impersonal good will...

Everybody should practice general forgiveness every day as a matter of course. When you say your daily prayers, issue a general amnesty, forgiving everyone who may have injured you in any way, and on no account particularize. Simply say: “I freely forgive everyone.” Then in the course of the day, should the thought the thought of grievance or resentment comeup, bless the offender briefly and dismiss the thought.

This got me to re-thinking my outlook on forgiveness. I have had some crappy things done to me. I often dismissed some of them as a lack of understanding on the part of the transgressor, but realistically, they knew exactly what they were doing in most cases. One who comes immediately to mind is my past supervisor at work. I've wished nothing but disease and pestilence for her. I'm trying a new technique; I am going to forgive her, and whenever I think about all the bad things she did to me, I'll simply say a prayer for her, and dismiss the thought. I don't have to like her. That may have been one of my biggest hang-ups. She is not a very pleasant person, she was actually evil, but by not forgiving her, she continues to make me miserable. And that is just stupid. So, for today, I wish her no ill will. I hope I never encounter her again as long as I live, but if I do, then perhaps she will have changed into a decent human being.
I also need to forgive some family members. I truly believe that, to a degree, they did what they did out of ignorance. It is a pretty lame excuse, but that is not mine to decide. To move on, I simply need to forgive them. For today, it is done.
The most important person to forgive, and indeed the most difficult, is myself. I have made a number of mistakes in my life, and heaven knows I have paid for them in spades.
But it is time to move on. The self-flagellation must come to an end.
Sure, I screwed up, but I will forgive myself for today. I'm especially focusing on the liking myself part. I'm glad I don't have to do that today, because I sure as hell don't. Maybe in time, I'll start to grow on myself and win myself over.

By the way, the entire passage, along with some other very spiritual insights are available at


roqban said...