Final Thoughts on Forgiveness

I had one of those days where I was constantly irritated, by the littlest things...At being made to wait - rudely at times - ignored by salesclerks at a pharmacy, and at a movie theater. I was irritated at not sleeping enough hours - and spending too many of them in the car this week. All these things made me reflect on forgiveness and accepting what is - lessons that must be learned and re-learned again...

The fruit of our meditation or yoga practice can often be noted by a sense of greater patience and capacity for love, compassion, and forgiveness. Sometimes I think I am making progress. Other times, it seems I'm being sent back to the drawing board. There are weeks and days where I am tossed between a mind and attitude trending towards expansiveness - and one that wants to suck on resentments like a lollipop!

Did I mention I was also irritated at not meditating as often or as long this week? But then, whose fault is it anyway?

This week, I finished my "Yoga of Forgiveness" course. The wonderful group engaged in a six week journey through the exploration of tools and resources to refer to on an on-going basis in order to help with this process. Forgiveness is a choice - and it is one we make over and over again in our lives. It is never an easy path.

On the last day, we experienced a long Yoga Nidra - meaning "yogic sleep" - a guided meditation of sorts that involves the rotation of one's consciousness and setting an intention to shift one's perspective and experience of a particular aspect. I also shared with the group some insights on this topic by Caroline Myss and her book, Entering the Castle. A friend had suggested the readings...

"Of the many challenges for the reasonable mind, few are more difficult than forgiveness. For a culture that believes in law and order, it is difficult to accept the spiritual imperative to forgive. Forgiveness is, in fact, the most irrational spiritual task you could be given because it stands in direct opposition to all that you have been taught about fairness and justice. And of all the many injuries that are difficult to forgive, among the most difficult is being humiliated. But forgiveness is a mystical necessity. The mind cannot fulfill such a divine order and in fact rebels against it, tossing out justifications for remaining unforgiving while tell us we should be forgiving. A true act of forgiveness is a leap into mystical consciousness, an initiation by choice into divine trust.

Your soul is inherently forgiving. We struggle with forgiveness because we want to forgive. It is an effort to be bitter and unforgiving. Such negativity does not come naturally; it has to be fueled and the source of that fuel is your mind. You must continually give yourself reasons to remain angry. You have to relive memories and traumas in order to keep the fires of rage burning. Granted, some traumas are so deep that they pursue you and require special healing; but even these enormous wounds need to be released. At some point, you need to silence your reasons for not forgiving and turn toward the mystery of forgiveness...

Reflect on the difficulties you face with this challenge. With each act of forgiveness, your mind will produce a list of pro's and con's. Pride always plays a role. It is for you to examine each situation and decide for yourself whether you are prepared to withdraw your soul from the battlefield and enter into the healing mystery of forgiveness."

Much to ponder here, and more to write about later....


Lavonne said…
Dear Olga,

These words were just what I needed to read this early morning.

Woke up at 3:45 stewing about some "missteps" I made yesterday, which I've gone over in my mind too many times already. Had analyzed what I did every which way before going to bed...except through the lens of self-forgiveness.

Maybe I'll even get back to sleep now ;)

Sending lots of love!
Olga Rasmussen said…
Ah yes, missteps - I like that - that exactly summarizes it for me as well! But each day, we can forgive, and begin again! Love and blessings back to you! Olga

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