Practicing Forgiveness

Original post December 1, 2015

To forgive a person, for a time in your imagination, be that person.

There are a great many benefits when we stop blaming and instead open ourselves to forgiveness. Blame is an investment of mental and emotional energy that pays no return. The same energy can be redeployed to deliver a positive return.

I am faithful to what I see as the common core of all religions, not as religions but as scientific truth. My hypothesis and conviction is that there is only One of us. And if there is only One Spark of Being populating all of us, then anyone who has offended us has done so because his or her experiences have led that originally perfect tabula rasa into a condition in which giving offense is possible and perhaps inevitable. This awareness makes it much easier to forgive.

If, for example, my friend, whose mother belittled him because of her own childhood conditioning, has become carping, surely I can understand and forgive that. If I am him, living a different life with different experiences that have made me less carping than he is but imperfect in other ways, I can have an empathetic understanding.

 To forgive all, be all. — Bill Harvey from Mind Magic, page 233.

If we can forgive everyone including ourselves for all the influences that drive each of us to become what we perhaps only temporarily are, it may free us from having to continue to be exactly the same today as we have always been.

What has already happened could not have been otherwise, since all events are merely the resultant of their causes, which are themselves events dependent on a constellation of prior causes. Everything happens for a reason.

We can become a more potent cause for positive future events by being less critical of whatever happened that caused us to feel resentful, and instead reimagine the situation, decide what should have happened and then seek to do that in similar future situations. We can do nothing about the past. The goal is to simply set new policies to put into practice going forward.

Guiding others to adopt more useful new policies requires gentility; often it is best to simply ask the right questions to have the desired effect. Honesty and gentleness are essential tools in this endeavor.

To forgive a person, for a time in your imagination, be that person.*

If you are having difficulty forgiving someone, create space for an empathetic perspective: set some time aside and imagine living through that person’s role from the beginning to now, seeing if we could have played any parts better, and which blocks are likely to have prevented them from seeing or taking these options Then figure out how to help the person get past those blocks. This of course also works for self-forgiveness.

Communicating in some way what is in our heart, and then letting go and forgiving, will at a minimum stop tying up some of our energies deep in our psyche.

Instead of squandering our energy by blaming or being unforgiving, seeing situations with an open heart and an empathetic perspective can lead us to more positive outcomes where we can realize solutions that are a much better investment of our time and energy.

Best to all,

Bill

*From Mind Magic, p. 233.

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Originally posted 2015-12-01 11:57:26. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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