A memory flashed into my mind of myself about 9 years old, thinking: “One day I want to be able to forgive like that.” I had just finished reading a book about the Teutonic wars where a man, tortured in unspeakable ways for years, had his torturer brought before him bound hand and foot – and lifting the dagger put in his hand - he cut the cords and let him go free. I was in tears and my one deep desire in that moment was to be able to forgive like that.
For a few years now I had been trying to forgive my son’s willful murder by a man who, in a fit of jealous rage, drove his car into him. Albert had invited that man’s ex-girlfriend out to dinner and was now in a coma between life and death. For ten days my hopes of a recovery were raised, then shattered, then raised again as finally, he started breathing on his own. A few hours later he was back on the life-support unit and died, without recovering consciousness.
I was the one who had to take him off the life support and watch him really die.
It seemed like my life was ended. This drove me to a depth of hopelessness and sense of futility I had never experienced and also, even if it’s hard to admit, to feeling a victim, thinking “why is this happening to me?” when I was already on a spiritual path. I felt abandoned by God and the only way out of the downward spiral was to understand, and forgive. And for some reason came this flash-back from my childhood, asking for an opportunity to forgive unconditionally.
In one instant I understood that I myself had set up the whole scenario of my son’s death, to fulfill my desire to become a better person. Now, many years later, I was in a situation where that desire could be expressed. I only had to choose to do it. In that moment I knew that Albert and F. and I had all agreed, before we were ever born, they would be the catalysts for my deeper spiritual awakening. The gratitude to both my son and F. that arose in my heart is impossible to describe. I understood the divine love that had made a human being act in a criminal way. I could even see further back, to the author of the story that sparked my desire to become more than I was. I had discovered the gift hidden in the tragedy and could only be grateful for the opportunity - which I had actually asked for - to choose a higher response than the grief, anger and incomprehension I felt. I could sincerely thank F. for his huge gift of accepting to play the role of the villain at the expense of his own human life, which quite possibly was shattered in the process.
There was no more need for forgiveness, no harm was done, there was no victim, we had all agreed to a soul contract that has played out for the highest evolution of everyone concerned. Of that I am certain, even if I don’t know how, for the others. So forgiveness is more than the recognition of a gift. It’s also the acceptance of the gift into our deepest Self, so it becomes the love and gratitude we can offer to others.
We operate on two levels, the human and the spiritual. A spiritual being can only act in this world through a human being. When we look from the spiritual level, where all beings are pure goodness and only striving to help the incarnated part of other spiritual beings to awaken to their true nature, we realize that every human behavior is only there to help us remember that. And I am deeply grateful for that realization.
On the human level, we feel justified in being angry or resentful when we have been hurt in some way; but that feeling is poisoning our own life. Unforgiveness is the cause of so much distress, including financial lack. I know this may be hard for you; you may even feel you could never forgive. That is not true; I have proved it for myself, so you can do it too. But wherever you are emotionally is OK. You can only start where you are.
So now I would invite you to just think of some place in your life that needs forgiveness, and forgive yourself for harboring that anger or resentment; see that angry part standing before you and say to it “I understand, you were hurt and felt justified in feeling that way. But I love you, and it’s time to stop being unhappy. I will just keep loving you until you feel better; just let in my love.” Do this often, every time the hurt comes to mind. And watch, as all that anger, sadness or feeling betrayed just melts away.
You will know you have truly forgiven when you can sincerely wish them all the very best. To have every success and the abundance they may desire.
That’s lifting your consciousness a little closer to that of Spirit, which sees no wrong. You have just chosen a higher response than previously, one that is congruent with your true nature. It’s a process of love and recognition of who they also truly are; and you don’t have to contact them at all. There is nothing for you to physically do; it’s your consciousness that matters and does all the work.
Remember, forgiveness isn’t a just a destination, it’s a journey, a way of life. Be gentle and patient with yourself on this journey - and enjoy the ride!