Final Thoughts on Forgiveness Part II

The light of day is waning, and I am drawn to continue the thread started yesterday, bringing closure to last night's post - especially, since many resonated with it. Are we not, after all, spiritual beings having the same human experience?

I would love to report that I had a day devoid of irritations - but it was not so. I am often most irritated when I have expectations - of how others should act or behave - and of how my days should unfold and interactions with others flow. I know. NOBODY appointed me Master of the Universe or Master of Ceremonies! But somehow, I manage to constantly forget it!

So, I offer these words by Caroline Myss, from her book, Entering the Castle, which I shared in my "Yoga of Forgiveness" class on the last day we met this past Wednesday. This passage was suggested by a friend. Perhaps, as this day concludes, or begins for some, we may find a kernel of wisdom or two in here that will illuminate the dark spaces within...

"Contemplate what it means to be called to love in a place you would rather not go...

Whom can you not love? How would you recognize if your heart opened and you were directed to embrace someone whom you had previously banned from your heart? Do you have to make an effort to fuel an old anger or bitterness? Your heart may begin to crack open. Do you discuss old hurts and traumas again and again, out of habit? You may be consciously preventing your heart from opening. Being judgmental of others and holding on to negative thoughts blocks the emergence of mystical love. You cannot be bitter or unforgiving and be a conduit for love and grace. Heal your heart! Allow it to give up old wounds.

Practice forgiveness, but also take this practice to the mystical plane... Forgiveness is an act of spiritual alchemy through which you detach your consciousness from the entire paradigm of human justice.You remove yourself from the center of righteousness and self-righteousness, where you usually find your personal justification for any behavior, no matter how grievous. Only the soul is capable of the mystical act of forgiveness, in which you surrender to the power of God, withdrawing any personal need or desire to remain attached.

Discovering this capacity to respond with transcendent compassion to one's aggressors is exactly the quality of love that John of the Cross discovered during his imprisonment, which led him to write The Dark Night of the Soul. A much greater and profoundly cosmic love lies within us, but we must break through the forceful power of our injured egos to discover this love. Forgiveness is truly a mystery, for it challenges every bit of common sense and rational thought operating within us, and yet that is precisely the way of the mystic - to transcend reason and act within the power of divine mystery.

Begin with a prayer such as: "I desire to forgive more than I am capable of forgiving, but not to forgive is even more difficult. Help me break through the walls of my ego and let me experience even a drop of the love that transforms resentments into compassion."

And there you have it, the answer is always to love more. You cannot be a conduit for love and grace and be unforgiving at the same time. Yes, the answer is always love...The Course in Miracles teaches us that everything is born out of love or fear. If we withhold our love - it is because we are fearful of not receiving it back - or not being able to give it fully - or perhaps where it may lead. We are fearful of loving because it leads to an opening of the truest and deepest kind. So, forgiveness, like charity, begins at home - in the cave of our hearts. All the great spiritual traditions teach us to go into this secret enclosure within our hearts. It is there that we meet the Divine, our Higher Power, or something greater than ourselves. And it is here that we will always find everything we need. It is not without - but within...

"All through love,
nothing through constraint."
~St. Francis de Sales

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