“Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing on those who hurt you.” “Do you think you deserve credit for merely loving those who love you? Even the Godless do that! And if you do good only to those who do you good-is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much!” “Try to show as much compassion as your father does.”
Luke 6:27-28, 32-33, 36
As we enter Spring, we open ourselves up to new beginnings and possibilities. We prepare ourselves for our spiritual cleansing by looking within and at our relationships with ourselves and others. We cease to go forward on God’s glorious path for us until we can release fear and embrace the love we long to share, this is our true nature. To forgive is to release and to realize we are One with Christ.
I’ve always been told that forgiveness is a difficult thing to do, but is it? Forgiving is the letting go of negativity and the hold it has on us. It seems to me, it is the vengeance and pain we experience repeatedly that is difficult. It is astonishing how long and how deeply we can hold onto our ill feelings.
My grandmother, Mabel Ash, was attacked in her home in 1985 by two men who preyed on the elderly. The assault left her broken, both mentally and physically. She lost any sense of security she ever knew. Eventually her wounds resulted in multiple strokes and robbed her of her memory and ultimately her life. When I remember her and presently feel her essence around me, I think of her compassion, beauty, kindness, humor, and love.
I truly believe we are all children of God and we all have a soul that yearns to reconnect with God. It would be understandable, yet a shame, to hand over our power and our existence to vengeful thinking; to get lost in the punishment and “our” version of justice. However, trusting in God and believing in His ability to take care of His children, especially in times of need, I feel no desire to punish, no desire to see justice “my way”. I will not forget the pain my grandmother endured, but I will choose to forgive. If I am to believe God is part of who I am, then I am to believe God is also within the men who acted out of fear and anger, no matter how disconnected they may have been. God loves us all equally without condition. It is not my place to judge, nor would I want to. We learn about life through different contexts. We are unique beings with unique situations. How can we judge anyone’s actions on any scale, when we have no idea or concept of their context. These men have to live in an environment of their own making. I don’t look for gratification in that. It just is. I do, however, free myself to live, love, and enjoy life to it’s fullest. In order to be “the greatest, grandest version of me” that I can be, it would not be possible to hold onto any form of negativity, whether I feel it is justified or not.
As I feel my grandmother, I feel her love – nothing else. Pure love and affection, what is greater and more important than that?
“Forgiveness that is learned of Me does not use fear to undo fear.”
– Course in Miracles