WHAT??!! That was my gut-wrenching reaction when I recently read that statement. What made it worse, for me, is that it came from a book specifically written to assist in healing. How many will be negatively impacted by this skewed perspective of forgiveness? It is a somber thought.
Forgiveness is about releasing; it is about personal freedom. I forgive so that I may be free of thoughts and feelings that bind me to a person or an event.
If I refuse to forgive because I deem the action unforgivable, then I will continue to hold it. I will continue to recreate the experience through my thoughts and feelings. I will forfeit my personal power. I will remain chained and imprisoned in my own personal abyss.
Forgiveness is not about the other person nor is it about their behavior. To believe so adopts the erroneous perspective that forgiving is equivalent to condoning. There are countless actions, e.g. abuse, that are atrocities against humanity and ought never be condoned; against others or against ourselves. As members of the human race, we have a responsibility to one another and ourselves to stand for the safety and freedom of everyone. The health and well-being of our society depend on our collective consciousness supporting this perspective.
Where condoning is external and collective, forgiving is internal and personal. Deepak Chopra states, “...we are the sender and receiver of every message in our bodies.” Consequently, we are continuously creating freedom or bondage and the opportunities to forgive, or not, will have a profound impact.
After I received the call informing me my son was killed, I spoke with the officer who is a liaison for what they identify as crime victims. We scheduled a meeting the following day at the accident site. As I walked to the road, I could immediately feel the destructive energy begin to consume me. I knelt and ran my hand against the pavement where my son’s blood had garishly marked the ending of his life. A rage exploded from my gut and I felt hate penetrating every cell of my body for the person who had killed my son; who remained unidentified and free of consequences.
I held this viciously destructive feeling for about 24 hours before I made the decision to forgive. I chose to release the vitriol feeling because it was destroying me; from the inside out. It was abolishing my ability to heal because my attention was consumed with a person, and what that person did. My decision to forgive had nothing to do with condoning the person’s behavior. My decision to forgive was solely for me; I wanted freedom. Once the decision was made, the release was instantaneous, and personal freedom was immediate. I was now clear and open to begin the process of healing.
For me, forgiveness is simply the only option for achieving the personal freedom I desire and which I am committed to receiving.
From my heart to yours,
Dayton ~ the holistic wellness coach