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April 1998 E-Zine Issue

A PAGAN IN THE MIDST

Monthly Column by Jennifer Rogers©1998

Forgiveness

The power to forgive is one of the most valuable gifts the Universe has provided us. As human beings we all make mistakes at one time or another. Although, we strive for perfection, hurdles are thrown in our path and due to our weaknesses we do stumble and at times hurt others in the process. Once we recognize the error or our ways, it is the usual course of action to ask for forgiveness. This seems like an easy solution to put the problem behind us. It is not as simple as it might seem. First, before we ask forgiveness from others we have to forgive ourselves. Once we come to terms and realize where we went wrong, it’s time to move forward.

As soon as we recognize where we faulted, then the repair starts. We have to begin by putting things back the way they were. It is something that takes time, but as long as we are working on it, time is being used productively. Time does heal, but only if the same mistake is not duplicated. After all, scar tissue does not heal as well if re-injured.

Now that we have come to terms with ourselves, it is time to mend and ask for forgiveness from the injured party. This is where it’s bound to get tricky. We are dealing with someone else’s dreams, reality and expectations. Are they willing to overlook their views on the situation and be open to explanations? Can they comprehend the anguish that the event has already caused the person that made the blunder? Or, are they so busy feeling sorry for themselves that they are not willing to listen? Is forgiveness easily attained? No, it is not. To forgive, you have to step outside the hurt, outside the confusion and sometimes overcome the fury of revenge. It doesn’t sound simple, does it? Believe me, it is not. Probably one of the hardest things we have to deal with as human beings.

It is easier to be angry than to be kind and understanding, a lot easier to lash out with insults than to offer loving words to the person that has tormented us. Of course, one must keep in mind, in this article we are primarily talking about mistakes, not actions of malice that are preplanned and intentional. Those too require forgiveness, but they require a lot more fortitude, and in some instances even time alone, without the aid of a professional, cannot heal the pain quick enough.

Let’s go back to our premise of forgiveness. Someone inadvertently does you wrong. They see their mistake and realize what the mistake could bring to them and their loved ones, possibly the destruction of friendship, the devastation of a broken home and family. Now it’s time for action, not just from one side but from both, asking forgiveness, accepting it and returning it without reproach. From the party doing the forgiving, it is a lot wiser to listen, try to understand and then once you forgive to release it and let it go. That does not mean that you forget, that takes awhile longer. As intelligent beings we have choices. We can go on and try to make things better with the rest our lives and strive for being happy. Alternatively, we can hold on to the anger and the hurt and be miserable till the day we die. Personally, if I have a such a choice, and we all do, I would rather be happy……Anger and revenge require a lot of energy, they are not healthy reactions. They can literally make us ill if harnessed for a long time. Revenge in itself can land us in prison if acted upon.

Beating on the subject and making the person feel bad about what they did, is not going to make it disappear. It happened, for whatever reason, and cannot be undone. Sometimes, understanding the reason behind the slip might help both parties with the healing. In some instances the reasoning behind our actions is so deep rooted that even the person that errs does not know why. But life is a learning process, sometimes we make mistakes and after we make them we may realize where our priorities lie. We find out things such as, what it is that we truly value. Who are we bound to and where do we want to remain.

Forgiving can set all these things in a path to happiness and fulfillment. We constantly have to remind ourselves that we are human and that we are equal, no one is perfect. If we think we are so high and mighty that we wouldn’t fall victim to making mistakes ourselves, if or when we do, we will find that asking forgiveness is so much harder, simply because we set ourselves up for failure when it comes to been forgiven.

Life is a wonderful journey with an exciting path, along the path there will be temptation, along the way we’ll face perils. We know at times we are going to get lost and even fall. The goal that keeps us going is knowing that those who know us and love us will love and respect us no matter what. When we fall or stray from the path they will be there to lend a hand, to forgive us for taking a detour and help us up so they can join us in the remaining journey.

Forgiveness is a treasure to be shared. So much peace would come to all if in instead of getting even, we forgave. I know, it is not an easy task, but you know what they say, if something doesn’t come easy, practice, practice, practice……

You must forgive me, I’ve ran a little long on this article. Till next time.

Jennifer Rogers

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