• Judy Mortellaro


Taken at the Botanical Garden in Buffalo NY

Forgiveness is less an action than a state of being. It isn't something we logically do as a function of the mind or the ego but a deep spiritual awareness. It is a knowing that we are all united; we are all one. Whatever harm I have caused you or you I, ripples out to all of humanity. No one is truly spared. As spirits incarnated, we can know this from a higher perspective, a higher vibrational consciousness, but as humans, it becomes somewhat of a quandary. For how can I forgive another who kills my beloved? How can I forgive another who causes me great pain or suffering?

In a cosmic sense, compassion is the way Source (or God or whatever way you label the One without a Second) sees the dynamics of Causation. To have compassion is to embody the knowledge that we are all doing the best we can, with what we have to do it with, at the time we are doing it. It is not a justification. It is not about justice, rather, it is about letting go of blame, consciously acknowledging that we each have a journey in this life time with many paths possible. We have free will and many choices. The consequences of those choices can be harmonious or not.

As humans, we can struggle with this act of forgiveness. By having to forgive someone, we are pointing a finger. "I blame you for what happened, therefore you were wrong and I am angry." "How can I forgive your for the pain and suffering you caused me? Why should I?" In truth, when you or another asks to be forgiven, it is about wanting to be rid of guilt. It's about wanting the victim to say you are OK and it's OK, no matter the consequences of the action. But why should you be forgiven? If your actions cause another harm, pain or suffering, why should that person forgive you?

What possible reasons, then, are there to forgive? Carolyn Myss labels forgiveness as a "selfish" act and further address this conundrum: " Forgiveness is a mystical act, not a reasonable one.” From my own perspective, after many periods of mental, emotional pain and needless suffering, I began to see that harboring blame and anger causes me great distress. Any harm from the original insult is magnified. Thoughts of revenge create greater mental, emotional and physical dis-ease. Happiness, even contentment are elusive. I am blocked from truly knowing the Love that is my Divine Birthright. And yet, the harder I try to forgive, the more challenging it becomes. Truly, it is not about logic or reason, it is about the mystery.

The longer we believe that we are separate, the longer we play the blame game, the deeper we fall into an abyss of darkness that not only sickens us, but, in many cases, furthers the perpetrator's aim. If her ego state enjoys watching your suffering, she will certainly be entertained. Conversely, if she is remorseful, her discomfort will only be intensified. Inevitably, when we see that we are not free from inharmonious acts that have caused another pain, we are then faced with the reckoning of how to regard our "goodness" compared to another. It is not about black and white, right and wrong anymore. It's about shades of gray. How much pain have I caused any being compared to how much they have caused another? Can any of us say that we have rigidly followed the greatest of all Yogic niyamas (observance) - that called Ahimsa?

Above All Else, Do No Harm

Further, forgiveness of self is necessary if we truly wish to forgive others. If we think we are above wrong doing, then forgiveness of others would be an act of righteousness. Self forgiveness reminds us that we too are human and are not better than other. Without self forgiveness, we fall into the separatist, divided ego driven view of reality.

When I see or know harm to my self or loved ones, I am truly in a conundrum. I can't say, "It's Ok, I understand". Logically, I don't. But when I see things from a higher perspective and when I know I am only greatly magnifying my pain and losing sight of what is my reality, my path of Love and Compassion, then I know that forgiveness is the greatest liberator. Then I know it to be one of the greatest mystical gifts to kindle enlightenment.

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