Friday, April 2, 2010

Forgiveness on Easter Weekend

Today is Good Friday: Christian Holiday honoring Christ's crucifixion that washed away our sins & transgressions. "Forgive them Father for they know not what they do."

Judaism also honors forgiveness ceremony with Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur in September usually, including confessions of acts to beg forgiveness for. Other ancient religions (pagan, Mayan, etc.) celebrate holy days of atonement as well.

Begs the question - what is forgiveness? What does that word mean to you?

How do you practice it? Who do you choose to forgive? Who haven't you forgiven?

Acceptance is key to truly forgiving those who've hurt you. Without acceptance of who that person is, can forgiveness really occur? Can you forgive someone who hasn't apologized or atoned for their actions?

Please share your thoughts. I'll share mine later.

Namaste -

1 comment:

  1. If forgiveness is about letting go of others' hurtful actions toward us, it was easier for me to forgive the man who slay my siblings than those who deliberately sabotaged me for their own ego & purpose.

    Luckily, sabotage by others hasn't occurred a lot for me this lifetime - just 2x that I'm aware of. But when it did, the betrayal was gut-wrenching. I was close to these people. It forced me to reassess my inner guidance system. That was the ultimate lesson - I'm so thankful for that.

    Took a while for me to understand why a person would deliberately hurt another for their own material or emotional gain. Without understanding, it's hard for me to forgive. Karma may play a role, but it's not the ultimate authority. We are, as individuals.

    To me, forgiveness also means acceptance. While wrestling with the personal betrayals, the phrase "consider the source" kept popping up. Sometimes it isn't important to understand why. Sometimes people exhibit a conscience on the outside, but in a crisis moment, it doesn't exist on the inside. Disasters like Haiti or Katrina show us that. Adversely, some who don't exhibit a conscience on the outside, may have an abundance of it on the inside! Such is the Heyokah trickster of life.

    For the man who was executed for the 1988 slayings, he chose not to have a conscience this lifetime. High on drugs, filled with emotional dysfunction, he lived in survival mode, like a bear. His quest for the next high was so extreme, he probably would have killed his own mother for the stuff. And we didn't know him before that fatal moment. Yes, he upended our lives forever, but consider the source. It wasn't a deliberate act of personal betrayal. Those hurt most. Those take longer to forgive I believe.

    If you need an apology from those that personally betray for their own gain, you won't always get it. I didn't for either 2 instances. Maybe because their conscience, or lack of, wouldn't allow it. Or maybe their ego. Who knows. That's their lesson, not mine. But we can forgive w/o receiving an apology. Apologies aren't a necessary part of forgivenes. I learned that too.

    During the execution, that man apologized for our loss for the first time. But by then, it didn't matter to me what he said. I'd already emotionally, mentally, spiritually moved on. I'd practiced prayers of forgiveness & letting go without ever communicating with him. During the execution, my mother hung onto his words because that was the last piece of hard evidence that her kids existed. We all see & react differently based on our point of reference.

    You don't have to forget, but in most circumstances, you can forgive. Forgiving yourself when others wrong you, can be the strongest act of forgiveness. Sometimes I feel it's necessary before forgiving the other person. But we're all different - based on our point of reference.

    Namaste - Robin Amanda