It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
We often hear people talk about why we should forgive but rarely do they explain the how. Forgiveness! I’ll be the first to admit that forgiveness is sometimes a struggle for me. I just completed seminary school and during my studies, every time we had to randomly pick a topic in class…I would pull forgiveness. But, I firmly believe that all things always work together for my highest good and greatest joy and this journey of forgiveness has taught me some things about life, myself, and allowing this Divine Energy and Essence that I call God access into the inner most parts of myself. The Rev. Johnnie Colemon, used to say…lessons are not taught they are caught. Which means experience is the greatest teacher.
So what is forgiveness…have you heard that it’s to give for…for example…give up hate for love...give up fear for faith. That’s a simple way of explaining forgiveness.
But where do we begin? First we must make initial contact with the presence of the Divine by going within through prayer, surrender, and allowance. We must be willing to forgive any and all transgressions, hurt, ouches, and pain. As we forgive others, we are forgiven. It is through forgiveness that true spiritual healing is accomplished.
Does forgiveness negate or cancel out your experience? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Forgiveness does not negate or erase the experience. We in our humanness can do some really nasty things to each other. Just turn on the news and we see the underbelly of the human experience. But let’s not forget that we are spiritual beings, living in a spiritual world that is governed by spiritual laws having a human experience. But here’s what I know that’s true…you survived that. So why are you allowing this screenshot moment in your life to define you? Your past is holding your present and possibly your future hostage. Right now, you get to decide Bondage or Liberty?
Does forgiveness mean that you have to reconcile with the person? Maybe. Let this be a case by case determination. I recently went through a friendships’ purge and I had forgiveness work to do for myself and around our relationship. I wrote them all letters thanking them for being in my life. In that moment, I had no desire to rekindle the relationships. However, forgiveness work around my brother and our relationship needed to be immediately reconciled.
Who benefits from forgiveness?
Say it with me…We DO!
your unwillingness to forgive creates roadblocks
When you forgive, you open up a channel for God to instill the natural healing abilities that already exists in your mind, body, and soul
Let’s take Jesus as an example. I love Jesus! Anybody else… But sometimes… that Jesus’ saying of “These things and greater shall you do” feels overwhelming and weird to me. It makes me uncomfortable. Am I alone? Look… I am the youngest of eight and my brothers and sisters are amazing people and sometimes just living in their shadows is overwhelming. So you know when a master teacher like Jesus tells you that you can supersede the great works that he has done. That’s a little scary. I don’t know about you but raising the dead, feeding the multitude, healing the sick, and that whole being nailed to the cross and dying and resurrecting yourself seems like a lot of hard work.
But you want to know when I love Jesus the most…when he is really human. Like those 7 last words on the cross. Let’s unpack the story. I believe that Jesus unlike many of us here, had a pretty good sense of his calling or mission in life. He was the one who was promised to come throughout the Bible. He was described as God’s Word that became flesh. But in that moment on the cross... Jesus was very human. He asked God to spare him and gave an important key on how to practice forgiveness. He said,”forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” I used to think how humble. You ever think about how humble that was of Jesus to ask for forgiveness for others as he was suffering on the cross. Now I think…Jesus was in his feelings as the kids say… Have you ever had the thought of who do they think I am to treat me this way. I am Anjie. How dare they?
In this moment, Jesus is asking God to forgive them because he couldn’t. Have you ever had a hurt so deep that you think you can’t forgive? I am here to tell you that you have to ask God to help you forgive them. If they knew how wonderful you are and you are wonderfully made. If they knew how beloved you are and you are so beloved. If they understand that your life matters and your life does matters, they would have never mistreated you… or betrayed you…or abandoned you. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
Let’s practice forgiveness together right now. I invite you to still your thoughts, and ask the Universal Presence of Unconditional Love to reveal to you the person you need to forgive first. It could be yourself…or it could be someone from your past…it could be someone who might have transitioned from this earthly experience…be open and allow the answer to come. Allow the image to gently enter your mind. Try not to judge how you are feeling or who appears…breathe through it and just observe. Take another deep breath and if you are ready quietly say to them…I forgive you. I bless you. I release you to your highest good so I can have my heart’s desires. I am free. (repeat this three times)
If you aren’t ready to and you need a little help…That’s okay too. Take a deep breath and surrender to the Universal Presence of Unconditional Love. Divine Love is the corrector of all things. It heals, restores, and repairs. Breathe in Divine Love right now. And whisper these words…Forgive them Father for they know not what they do. (repeat this three times). You are now free. When you are ready gently open your eyes.
Remember to keep practicing, because the more you forgive, the easier it becomes and the Holy Spirit will keep revealing more areas in your life that need forgiveness.
Here are some final notes on forgiveness:
1. Forgiveness is a gift that you give to yourself
2. Forgiveness helps you move beyond your story and pain
3. There are no magic words, or shortcuts, for forgiveness. It is a practice and process
4. Forgiveness requires honesty
5. Forgiveness does not automatically mean reconciliation
6. No one can make you forgive. You have to choose it for yourself
7. Forgiveness helps you live fully in the present moment of life
Remember to keep practicing, because the more you forgive, the easier it becomes and the Holy Spirit will keep revealing more areas in your life that need forgiveness. You can achieve the life you desire through the power of forgiveness.
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