Forgiveness

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 WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT FORGIVENESS
By Aba Gayle

What is Forgiveness? What does it mean? Why is this such a difficult concept?

First, I must establish that Forgiveness is a Process. There is no time frame. Each person will work through the process at his/her own pace. There is no magical saying or act that will produce instant results.

Students at a forgiveness workshop were asked to list words under the heading What Is Forgiveness? Here is a sampling of the words that came up:

Faith, unconditional love, guilt free, sinless, letting go, love, intention, willingness, choice, liberation, healing, trusting, fearless, release of guilt, grace, blooming of a seed, personal evolution, compassion, release of pain, turning it over, etc.

These same students listed the following words under The Shadow Side of Forgiveness:

Loss, despair, anger, distrust, hurt, revenge, betrayal, stuck in the past, frustration, grief, attack, defense, projection, attachment to results, spite, regret, hate, judgment, jealousy, no faith, control, shame, shattered dreams, etc.

What are some of the things you might encounter when you talk with others about forgiveness?

Again the students came up with a long list and I share a few:

They are guilty! An eye for an eye, abuse will continue, not making it real, canít ever trust again, attachment to status as victim, people must be punished, not willing to let go of pain, they must suffer, blame someone, someone has to pay, etc.

What are your "words" for forgiveness? What do you feel when someone talks about forgiveness? What I have noticed is that the words for the shadow side are about pain. The words about forgiveness are about healing and joy. If you have read or heard my story of forgiveness you will understand why I consider forgiveness to be a miracle. The following is a definition of a Miracle written my good friend Linda Garth.
 

MIRACLES

Miracles are those moments...
When we forgive ourselves
And our brothers completely.
By doing so...
We defeat the power of our ego,
Allowing the Holy Spirit
To help us correct our misperception.
At that moment,
We hear the voice of God.
Time collapses...
We feel peace and love.
In His perfect light and truth,
We see differently.

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Forgiveness strengthens our healthy self-esteem and frees us from our past.

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Hanging onto anger brings consequences other than the physical. We extend enormous energy on our anger. Think of someone who you are angry with. Can you feel the power the person or event has over you? Do you feel yourself reliving the event every time you think of it? How are your family or coworkers affected by your anger?

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  Buddha said, "You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger".

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"Forgiving enables us to let go of the past in order to create what we want more of, now and in the future." -anon

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Forgiveness is not something you give to someone else. It is a gift you give yourself. Forgiving the perpetrator for his action does not mean you stop judging the deed. You forgive him/her, not the action. Forgiveness allows you to live in the present and leave the past behind. Forgiveness will bring you peace.

On my path of light I learned that we are all one. We are all connected to each other by the God Spirit within each of us. If we are cruel to one person we harm all mankind. If we hate someone we also suffer from that hate. The good news is that an act of kindness or love extended to any individual benefits all mankind.

There are dozens of people giving seminars and claiming to have a "method" that will help you Forgive. Some will work for some people and not for others. Do not become discouraged. The method for you lies within. Once you have a sincere desire to move from pain to peace the answer will come to you. It may come in the form of an enlightening book or set of tapes or your spiritual counselor and a workshop. It may take time. I guarantee your quest will not be in vain and you will find the help you need and you too will travel your own "Journey of Light."

I am listing a few of the books that I have found especially helpful. If you find a book that you would like to recommend, please send us the title and author. I will consider adding it to this list.
 


ABA GAYLE'S FAVORITE BOOKS ON FORGIVENESS

A COURSE IN MIRACLES
Foundation for Inner Peace

REAL MAGIC-Creating Miracles in Everyday Life
by Wayne Dyer

   FORGIVENESS-THE GREATEST HEALER OF ALL  

                            by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.

 

WHY PEOPLE DONíT HEAL AND
HOW THEY  CAN

by Caroline Myss

FORGIVENESS-A BOLD CHOICE FOR A PEACEFUL HEART
by Robin Casarjian

THE ART OF FORGIVENESS-A Practical Guide
by Virginia Sara Fair

FORGIVENESS-The Key to the Kingdom
by John Roger

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND FORGIVENESS
by Edith Stauffer

LOVE IS THE ANSWER-Creating Positive Relationships
by Gerald G. Jampolsky and Diane V. Cirincione

THE 22 (Non-Negotiable) LAWS OF WELLNESS
by Greg Anderson

MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING
by Victor Frankel

THE SUNFLOWER
by Simon Wiesenthal

RADICAL FORGIVENESS-MAKING ROOM FOR MIRACLES
by Colin C. Tipping

 

ABA GAYLE'S FAVORITE QUOTES ON FORGIVENESS


Forgiveness is the answer to attack of any kind. So is attack deprived of its effects, and hate is answered in the name of love. A Course In Miracles

"Forgive, forgive, and forgive some more: Never stop forgiving. For the temptation to project and judge will always be there as long as you are living in the body.  Forgiveness is the key to peace and happiness, and gives us everything that we could possibly want."

- Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, Out of the Darkness into the Light

 "When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a personís emotional resources. The challenge...is to refine our capacity to love others as well as ourselves and to develop the power of forgiveness."

Caroline Myss, PH.D. Anatomy of the Spirit

 "You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness." A Course In Miracles

 "We have all been the betrayed and we have all betrayed others on different levels at different times. We have all done the best we know how in a given moment of our consciousness, and what is required for us to move forward is the spiritual practice called forgiveness."

Mary Manin Morrissey, Living Enrichment Center

"Forgiveness is the way to true health and happiness. By not judging, we release the past and let go of our fears of the future. In so doing, we come to see that everyone is our teacher and that every circumstance is an opportunity for growth in happiness, peace and love."

Gerald G. Jampolsky M.D. Teach Only Love

"What could you want forgiveness cannot give? Do you want peace? Forgiveness offers it. Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, and a rest so perfect it can never be upset? All this forgiveness offers you." A Course In Miracles

 "Forgiveness is not a lack of discrimination whereby we let all the criminals out of prison: it is an attitude that permits us to relate to the pain that led to their errors and recognize their need for love."

Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson

...Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms Ė to choose oneís attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose oneís own way.

Viktor E. Frankl, Manís Search For Meaning

"You who want peace can find it only by complete forgiveness." A Course In Miracles

 All spiritual masters have talked about the importance of forgiveness:

"You simply cannot manifest miracles in any area of your life when you are tangled up with such negativity as hatred and vengeance toward anyone or anything."

Wayne W. Dyer, Ph.D., Real Magic

 "Anger and rage against another person is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." ----unknown

"What Would Jesus Do?"  WWJD?