I meditate every morning, and sometimes I receive some interesting imagery. I had been thinking about forgiveness, and was provided with a little newsreel of approaching a soul that I had harmed in either this or some earlier lifetime, and asking for forgiveness. The soul was clutching a dripping, tarry, black package to its chest and shaking its head stubbornly. The soul looked a bit like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings saga, shrunken and staring. I held a mirror up to the soul and invited it to have a look. The soul had perceived itself as upright and handsome, full of vigor and life. When the soul beheld itself in the mirror its mouth fell open in horror, and it dropped the vile thing as though it were poison, which was correct.
I told the soul, "If you forgive me, you can be free. And have peace."
I came slowly out of my meditation, marveling at the clarity of the vision.
Forgiveness doesn't say,
"It was OK what you did to me."
"I don't want that suffering and pain to stick to me anymore, and I release it."
Even that doesn't sound fair, does it? That a being has to continue to suffer an injury or event that happened that hurt them, even though it wasn't their fault? Well that's a karma question, we'll get to that in a minute. It looks like that the way it works is, yes. You will not be free of that harm and error until you truly forgive and let it drop. What's the point of hanging on to injury? Sometimes we play a thing over and over in our mind, how badly we were used, how unfair and unprovoked it all was. This helps us greatly to continue to suffer the same pain over and over.
"Forgiveness brings inner joy and inner peace. Forgiveness is a golden key to living a healthy and happy life" Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha
I was blessed recently to have a story published in Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha's new beautiful little book, Divine Forgiveness. I related how I had held a grievance against a man who had failed to pay me for some work I had done. I fussed and carried on about it for weeks, making myself miserable, and everyone around me as well. One day I encountered this gentleman in a nearby park as I walked my dogs. There was a moment of looking at one another, and abruptly I said, "I forgive you." It must have been my soul speaking, it certainly didn't feel like me.
He threw his arms around me and said "Thank you! Thank you. God bless you."
I experienced an actual physical rush of tingling energy that started at my feet and shot upward like a fountain. It was the sweetest relief, like I had been in some kind of semi-dark, and the lights had come on, my heart felt open and happy. We hugged, and went our way. That was my first real adult experience with the immediate effects of authentic forgiveness, and I have never forgotten it.
People, particularly in the Western world, resist the notion of forgiving, because of the mindset of, "But he did that to me!! How can I forgive that? OK, I might forgive a little, but I'll never forget." Which is the same as not forgiving in the first place. This is the intransigent, stubborn holding on to, "I'm the victim here, and I'm right and did nothing at all to bring it upon myself." Bring up the concept that they might have caused truly awful harm and would benefit from asking for forgiveness, and you run into real resistance. Now we enter the realm of many lives and how karma affects us.
“Your believing or not believing in karma has no effect on its existence, nor on its consequences to you. Just as a refusal to believe in the ocean would not prevent you from drowning.” anon.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Whether you believe it or not, karma is. It's the sanskrit word for "action." Good actions, good karma. Negative actions, negative karma. The scales of karmic justice are exact and nothing is overlooked.
I have grasped this in a somewhat vague way, I believe in reincarnation and karma absolutely, but have not always understood its real implications in my current life. From a reading done for me some years ago I gathered that I have ancestral karma from a period in which a family dynasty ruled harshly and punitively for generations, causing great impoverishment, hunger and suffering. This group was entirely indifferent to the pain it inflicted, and in some cases enjoyed it. In this life I have experienced significant and persistent financial challenges. Bam. This is high, ancient karma, and requires a lot to clear it. Sometimes the beings shake their heads no, and mean it. I keep trying.
I am now experiencing what seems to be mysterious blockages in my service life, I have a great deal to offer in the way of healing modalities, knowledge, consultation, that are of a high energy, frequency, and light. It's my heart's desire to be a healer, to serve, to teach. And yet almost no one comes, it's like I am invisible to the beings that I would offer these blessings to. A dear friend and Master Teacher gave me the gentlest possible reading last week, saying,
"There has been betrayal. Ego. A closed heart. There are trust issues."
And the lights came on. In some past lives, maybe even this life I have greatly betrayed others, abandoned them, lied to them, ignored them. I have let my ego run the show, which ego loves to do. My heart has been closed, distanced, apart. Bam. Karma.
And so it's personal, and very real to me, not some far-off amorphous theory that has no bearing on my life. After the sting of that information wore off, I saw it clearly. That's it! That's IT. I have violated trust, and must take steps to earn it back. When we can look with honesty and courage at the havoc we may have wreaked, the real suffering we have caused, that clears a lot up right away. Square our shoulders and look directly at it. I am doing a large amount of spiritual practice, the centerpiece of which is an authentic, sincere and heartfelt forgiveness practice.
It's so important to feel real compassion and concern for those we are asking forgiveness from, that we deeply care that they can be free of the pain that we have caused them. We don't want them to look like Gollum, clutching the darkness for fear of what they would be without it, we want them to shine like the sun in their soul perfection. Asking for forgiveness is not about our success, but theirs. As they succeed, so do we.
I often end a forgiveness practice by saying,
"Please forgive and release me and my ancestors, so that your souls can soar to their highest possibility of love and freedom, light and oneness, wholeness and plenty"
And I mean it. Don't be afraid of the dark, that's where new seeds take root. Plant light. Plant forgiveness. Plant Love.
Kristin Strachan compassionbuddha.net, heavenswriter.com
Never forget the flip side of forgiveness, gratitude. I look at my life and think, ala Julie Andrews, "I must have done something good." I have a beautiful marriage, children and grandchildren, house, home, gardens, dogs. I am healthy, seem reasonably intelligent, we have food, light, heat, air conditioning, two cars. I follow the most amazing teacher and healer in the world, I have been blessed with a warehouse full of treasures and healing blessings to bring light and wholeness. Beings of light walk with me. I have wonderful friends, I have a bed to sleep on, significant work to do, I laugh a lot. I love a lot. I have a lifetime of incredible experiences both behind and in front of me. I am truly, humbly, and profoundly thankful.