Forgiveness has many facets worth exploring. For now, let us focus on the forgiver’s viewpoint. Each of us will remember some instance when we chose to forgive but still experienced that sour aftertaste of unfinished business. In other words, we forgave but could not easily forget. Whenever this happens we should ask ourselves whether we truly let bygones be bygones. A closer look at the nuts and bolts of forgiveness may clear things up.
Like all genuine, selfless giving, forgiveness is effective only without strings attached and without any sense of superiority on the giver’s part. Its true aim is not to pass judgment but to restore everyone’s perspective of balance and harmony.
In God a Present Help, H. Emilie Cady describes it as giving for, that is, repaying every perceived wrong with only good. Otherwise it constricts the free flow of Divine energy and hampers our development of spiritual awareness – instead of seeing perfect Oneness with our world we perpetuate our personal illusion of separation. The choice is ours to remove that obstruction and “let Christ in.”
Cady concludes: “This spirit of perfect love and forgiveness will often heal the worst disease by opening the channel for omnipresent love and life to flow through unobstructed.”
The very first step in genuine forgiveness is also the one most often overlooked: “I forgive myself for repaying wrong with only good.” It helps relieve the mind of that nagging sensation of “unfinished business”. Each human being is a whole universe. The others in our individual universes serve as messengers. By acknowledging the Christ in ourselves are we able to recognize the Christ in all our messengers, including those who perform actions that appear objectionable to us. Thus, self-forgiveness relieves us of any resistance to look them in the eye and see God. It flings open the gates to the flow and ultimately leads to unconditional self-acceptance and deep gratitude.
Within the framework of the Twelve Powers defined by Charles Fillmore, self-forgiveness can be regarded as an act of Renunciation, of letting go of attachments. It will make a powerful addition to our daily Denials and Affirmations. For instance, how often do we catch ourselves on an undesirable thought or emotion and then blame ourselves for still harboring it? Let us deny such criticism any power over us by forgiving ourselves and loving ourselves. Along the way, we make one of our greatest discoveries: forgiveness is only a road map to the deeper knowledge that, at any moment, I am beloved and One with the Divine Source. On the level of Christ consciousness no forgiveness is required – we find only balance and harmony:
Wherever we are, God is, and all is well. (after James Dillet Freeman)