It comes down to understanding. We all share the same one humanity. To forgive is to understand is to find within yourself what motivated the behavior of another. Remember that true Oneness means being one with everything, not just the things you approve of. To be one with everything, means to understand everything. Understanding (not over standing) means standing under… Humility is built right into the word. This may not always be easy to do. Some behavior feels so deplorable that you may not even be willing to consider the possibility of finding such motivations within yourself. In such a case, true forgiveness is not possible.
Some think that to forgive, you must forget. That is not correct. In fact, it is not even a good thing to do. You must not forget. You must remember. It takes time to know another’s heart. This is done by remembering how they behave. It does not mandate judgment. But it does provide information. Do not forgive and forget. Forgive and remember. In so doing, you come to know the person better and better. In so doing, your love for them can grow… can become deeper.
It is hurtful to remember a hurtful situation. Some hope the time will come when it no longer hurts. If you think about it, that makes no sense. It is a form of denial. So remembering does not mean reliving the experience. If you burn your hand a bit under hot running water, you remember to not do that again. That is a good thing. But you do not have to relive through recollection all the pain you experienced. The same sort of remembering is important as you come to know another person. It is of course good to keep the door open for them to grow and become a better person, but it is oblivion to forget the past.
This all applies not only in your relationship with others, but also in your relationship with yourself. It is wise to forgive. It is important to remember.
Very timely for me. Thank you, Jai Guru Dev
So if what someone did feels unforgivable, as you said ‘sometimes true forgiveness is not possible’. How do you let it go enough to move on and move forward? Sometimes the inability to forgive seems as though it is doing me more harm then the person who is unforgivable. They do not really care if I forgive them, yet the anger and hurt still affect me. Do I just have to make peace with being unable to forgive the person and let the charge around it fade with time and through purification?
Alex, it is what it is. You do not have to and can not force yourself to feel forgiveness. The answer to your question is ‘yes’. Give it time. No sense dwelling on it. At the same time, if you try to push it out, it will just stay with you longer. Also, as a general principle, activity stabilizes… so do keep on your schedule.
Also timely for me. Thanks Brahmarshi. I love how you turn conventional wisdom upside-down to reveal deeper truth.
For me too. It felt like Mars Retrograde and Lord Shiva got together today and decided to help me destroy an aspect of a relationship. Hard, emotional work today but as of now we are still friends. I will remember this day always…
This beautiful and valuable lesson has been a hard one to come to in my life. It challenges my conditioned notion of “forgiveness” (with naive forgetfulness). To be open to the person and their full potential has been easy for me… but to also have “open eyes” about the nature of the person or situation, at least for the current time, has been hard.
Sometimes it’s hard to hold both sides, as both can be so emotionally loaded for me. On the one hand, I’ll want harmony and communion so much I overlook common sense. Or on the other side, I’ll be angry and disillusioned about the person or situation. I guess in both cases, I’m have a hard time holding the simultaneously valid yet contradictory realities … accepting that while perfection, resolution, harmony exists at the depth, it doesn’t on the surface. And although it doesn’t exist on the surface, it never wavers at the depth.
Moving to Mount Soma gave me a reality check I so needed. (Actually, living here is one constant reality check!) Everything makes more sense from the reality you help us to see and live. Thank you Brahmarshi for bringing invaluable and essential rationality and insight into the world.