This is part 1 of a 4 part series on forgiveness. The topic of forgiveness is much to large to cover in a single post. It is central to living an inspired life and can be very difficult to accomplish. This first part, Why Should We Forgive? covers the benefits of forgiveness and the harm of withholding forgiveness.
The parts in this series are as follows:
- Why Should We Forgive?
- Building Deep, Meaningful Relationships Through Forgiveness
- Overcoming Trauma Through Forgiveness
- Forgive Yourself and Find True Inspiration
Resentment Blocks Inspiration
Resentment weakens our immune systems, clouds judgment, impairs our ability to move forward in all our relationships, even those with whom our resentments are not aimed. It gives tremendous power to those we resent. In fact, it takes power away from us and gives it to those we resent, which leads us to resent more, thus perpetuating resentment.
Resentment separates us from God and distorts our vision of God. It is the force behind endless wars, gang violence, divorce, sibling rivalry, and much more. The answer to reduce all of these problems is simple: forgiveness.
When forgiveness is withheld from even one person, we can not wholly experience inspiration. When forgiveness is practiced indiscriminately, peace of mind and a deep connection to God are inevitable.
How Does Forgiveness Help?
Forgiveness mends the wounds of the past. It makes inspiration possible. It allows us to live in the moment, build new relationships, fix old relationships and to connect with God by being more like God.
Peace of mind, gentleness, tolerance, freedom, clarity of thought, the ability to make sound decisions and follow through with them: these are all side effects of forgiveness.
The primary reason for forgiveness is not to benefit those who we forgive, but rather it is something we do to release ourselves from the damage of the past. It takes power away from the object of our resentment and gives us the power to live inspired and to inspire others.
Forgive those who have harmed or been disrespectful to you. Forgive those with whom you share love. Forgive traumatic events from the past. Forgive yourself for your mistakes and wrong doings.
Forgiveness is Simple but Not Easy
A Course in Miracles simply puts it this way, “Forgive the past and let it go. For it is gone.” As with most spiritual principles, simple does not necessarily mean easy. That is why I have written a four part series to help accomplish forgiveness.
Remember that forgiveness, like any principle of inspiration, is a journey to an ideal. The ideal is to be like God. In our human form, it is impossible to be just like God, but we can become more like God every day. This is inspiration. A spiritual journey with destinations arriving on God’s time. Our job its to focus on the journey.
Daily Action – Practice Forgiveness in a Small Way
Look for an opportunity to practice forgiveness today. If you become angry at another driver on the road, acknowledge that you are displeased with their driving habits, choose to forgive them and move on. If a disagreement leads you to anger, realize that differences of opinion are normal in human interactions and forgive. When you find yourself becoming angry about anything, use the experience as an opportunity to practice forgiveness.