Gratitude and Forgiveness

I forgive and I am free

My first Ken Wilber book was Grace and Grit. I read it in 2013 just a few months after my husband passed of cancer. Ken Wilber’s wife also passed of cancer and Grace and Grit is a book on their journey. He talks about forgiveness as being part of the healing process.

“The reliance upon forgiveness is a way to remember true self – our divinity.”

This is an excerpt from Grace and Grit:

The ego’s first maneuver in dealing with resentment is to try and get others to confess their faults. “You hurt me; say you’re sorry.” Sometimes this makes the ego feel temporarily better but does nothing to uproot the original cause. And, as often as not, even if the person does apologize, the likely result is now hatred of them.  “I knew you did that to me; see you just admitted it.!” The fundamental mood of the ego; never forgive, never forget. What the ego doesn’t try is forgiveness because that would undermine its very existence. To forgive others for insults, real or imagined, is to weaken the boundary between self and others, to dissolve the sense of separation between subject and object. And thus, with forgiveness, awareness to let go of the ego and its insults and revert instead to the Witness, the Self, which views both subject and object equally. And thus according to the COURSE (A Course in Miracles), forgiveness is the way I let go of myself and remember myself.

I found this practice extremely useful (…) My ego was so bruised, so injured – I had collected so many insults (real and imagined) that forgiveness alone could begin to uncoil the pain of my own self-contraction. The more I got hurt; the more contracted I got, which made the existence of “others” all the more painful, which made bruises all the more likely. And if I felt I couldn’t forgive others for their insensitivity (in other words, the pain caused by my own self-contracting tendencies) then I used another affirmation from the SOURCE: “God is the love with which I forgive.”

God is the love with which I forgive.

It is through the love of Creation I can forgive.

Spirit’s love is what is necessary to forgive.

I am Spirit.

I am Divine.

I am the drop in the ocean and the ocean in the drop.

I am.

I am love.

I am forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the willingness and the practice of letting go of ill will and moving forward into the truth of Oneness. To see and recognize God in all things, in all people.

I am the one that recognizes that oneness.

I am the one who moves into the space of the Witness.

I am the Witness of love.

I am the love that lets go of ill will.

We do not know all the reasons people act and do the things that they do.

Sometimes when we know it makes it easier to forgive. To have compassion. To let go of ill will. (Adapted from the book: Forgiveness made Easy by Barbara J. Hunt)

When my husband was ill there were people close to us that went a bit insane. They told us how wrong we were in the decisions we were making for his care and treatment. I was told I was not taking care of the house properly, or the kids, or my husband and it was because of my lack that he was ill.

It is easier to forgive and move past behaviors when we know it comes from a place of grief and stress.

My children have various allergies. The crazy thing about their allergies is that is messes with their personalities. They turn into people that are hardly recognizable from their regular natures. They turn mean, irritable, aggressive. Once a behavior is recognized as a reaction to something in their atmosphere or their food is very easy to get past any ill will toward the behavior.

What if we do not know the reason?

Luke 23:34: Forgive them – they do not know what they are doing.

This needs to be done from a place of non-arrogance, of love.

Everyone at one time or another believe and even ‘knows’ their viewpoint is the correct one. They believe with all their being that they are doing the right thing.

None of us are all knowing.

There are some that have a broader perspective, more knowledge, more integration. The growing into this more is a never-ending process.

If an ink jar is smashed against the wall, we will see a spot that is dense in the middle and less dense as the splat moves out. If we pretend that the dense part of the Big Bang, the first breath in the Universe and the tiny threads of ink splattered far from the center as us in the here and now. The farthest away specks are our perspective as human. Flat against the wall – tiny specks seemingly far from the Source.

There is no way we have the full perspective. It is like saying that our hand is having the same experience as our feet. (Example adapted form the work of Alan Watts)

Sure, they are both you, your hand and foot, but they each perform different functions from different perspectives to make up the whole.

This doesn’t mean we stop holding each other accountable.

If part of us becomes unmanageable, broken, diseased we don’t say to that part of us that it is worthless and ignore it. We know that mending, supporting, educating, and healing nudges things in the direction of wholeness.  

Healing is the bringing in of love into a situation. It is remembering that extremities are still part of the powerful whole.

When we offer forgiveness, we bring in that healing and love. It brings us to an awareness of what we need to do, what we can do from our own part of ourselves that felt less whole because of an event or action of another.

In the love – in the forgiveness, in the gratitude possible in each breath we find solace and action.

It is easy to hate. It is easy to be angry. It is necessary to allow our bodies to feel these things and not push them away. We can use these emotions to become clear, sharp, and focused on our fear, our perceptions, our outlook. It is easy to stay here, yet once recognized and felt it is necessary to choose or the perspectives on actions completed within anger tend to become justified. Know what you are angry about, know why hate is alive in your life and then choose the practice of forgiveness.

The Mayo Clinic shares research which shows that forgiveness practices allow for healthier relationships, improved mental health, less anxiety, less stress, less hostility, lower blood pressure, fewer symptoms of depression, stronger immune system, improved heart health and improved self-esteem.

The path of forgiveness is worth taking. It is worth taking for ourselves.

It is through God’s love that forgiveness is possible. We are God’s Love. We are the Universe Made Manifest. We are in charge of our forgiveness and loving. I forgive and I am free.

Gratitude and Forgiveness
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