Forgiveness One – B4Peace

Forgiveness - B4Peace

Part One of Three

I am contemplating various facets of forgiveness and several different views on this topic; this post is the first of a short series.

Why do we often feel that we need to forgive someone, or that we wish and hope someone will forgive us? Usually we take forgiveness to mean to excuse for a fault or an offense; to pardon and also to renounce anger or resentment against someone.

The origin of this word dates back to before the year 900: (Old English forgiefan: for = “completely” + giefan = “give“) the meaning was basically “to give up desire or power to punish” and also “grant”; “allow”. From this I sense the emotional content of forgiveness: a generosity, an opening of the clenched fist, becoming magnanimous. This last term is very clear as it is composed of the two Latin words for “great” and “soul”. We are pointed toward our capacity to be “great-souled”, or, as we might say: noble-minded.

The state prior to forgiveness is usually some form of anger and resentment, which are states of limited perception and thus small-mindedness.  I was recently impressed by a life-coach who reported his particular way of transforming his propensity for road-rage. On a certain day, when an aggressive driver cut in front of him on the freeway while he was driving his child to school, he suddenly exclaimed: “Wow! How cool is that! Did you see that Billy? That guy just swerved right out into the traffic in front of me! That is just TOO COOL! Some people are amazing, aren’t they?” He reports that he then started laughing, because he felt such a release from the anger that habitually grabbed hold of him and possessed him, turning him into a monster bent on revenge, no matter what the cost!

What happened, according to him, is that he suddenly was expanded into another realm where he could see all the little cars down there from above, and it was just too amusing to see the one driver being aggressive, possible endangering himself and others. While all of the immensity of the cosmos was above and all around him, he had such constricted vision that he only saw this one little strip of asphalt and the car that he felt compelled to get in front of. I enjoyed his report and have enjoyed myself immensely upon remembering it in similar situations on the road.

(To be continued)

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22 thoughts on “Forgiveness One – B4Peace

  1. Here’s a little story for you, a true one:
    One winter evening I was walking my daughter home. It was dark but not late. We took the usual shortcut along a quiet back road. A man was walking ahead of us with a big plastic bag. he saw us, turned, and asked for money. My heart rate increased; having my daughter with me, I opted to say no and carry on walking. To cut this down some, he became very aggressive, veering nearer to us, threatening me and my daughter. He had a thick accent so luckily my daughter didn’t pick up on the threats but she did pick up on the behaviour. I kept walking holding tight to my daughter’s hand, trying to ignore the threats. Another man, up ahead, turned and saw what was going on, He diverted the man’s attention, talking to him, and he chose to give the man money. My daughter and I were able to get safely away.
    I was very upset when I got home. I have never felt in any danger before in this city, and I’ve lived here for 10 years. I kept going over the threats and my reaction, and what could have happened – how would I have reacted?
    Over the next 2 days I realised something – to heal the fear in me, I had to forgive the man, see things from his point of view. And I was able to do that – and in mentally forgiving him for his actions and behaviour, I was able to heal the fear and negative emotions in me.
    This experience taught me a lot – about myself, about others, and forgiveness.

    • Great one, Heidi! Now I imagine the world in which we all are able to look out of each other’s eyes real-time – not only after letting the emotion settle and then reflecting on the experience ~ we’re getting there! love to you and your daughter ☼ tomas ♥

      ps: I just came across this and thought of you:
      “In fact the more Light you carry you will find that your life becomes less stressful. Your higher vibrations will bring calmness around you, and you will be less likely to encounter physical or vocal attacks. Nothing can harm you unless you have attracted it to yourself. That really brings us to karmic experiences that can occur at any time it is appropriate and when the best conditions present themselves. Bear in mind that when it takes place amongst friends and families they all get involved to some degree, and each in turn can learn something from it. We will not tire in emphasizing that karma is never punishment, but is a means of presenting a lesson in life that will help your spiritual advancement. You do not necessarily have to experience everything yourself to gain some value from it. Set yourself up as a good example of Light in action, and others will see how beneficial it can be. For those of you celebrate Easter it is the remembrance of a great Teacher who came upon the Earth, to show you what could be achieved when you have reached the level of being able to express yourself by Unconditional Love.” SaLuSa

  2. Pingback: Forgiveness – a Bloggers for Peace post | Becoming a writer

  3. Love the idea of looking at the bigger picture from high above. Our lives are like little games that if taken too seriously become traps. Thank you so much for this new view of forgiveness, Tomas. I love the etymology lesson. Like Tracy from FEc-this said, forgiveness is a gift. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • Yes, it holds great treasures in store for us the deeper into it we go, s I am now noticing! Thank you for the Peace Challenge Marching Towards Forgiveness, which focused me on this topic, especially after our recent exchange on forgiveness. ♥ tomas

  4. Pingback: Forgiveness Two – I Set Myself Free | heartflow2013

  5. The idea of practicing forgiveness certainly puts our lives into perspective given the magnitude of existence itself, this limited perception of I, my, me certainly pales.

  6. I have always looked at an event such as anger toward another driver as just an opportunity for the outward expression/experience of the inner emotion. However, I really like this experience. It’s taking the energy and transforming it into something positive with laughter. That has to even more healing. Wonderful!

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