Day 20 – Hope Offers Forgiveness
“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.” – Samuel Smiles
In today’s meditation, we explore the role of hope in the healing process of forgiveness. We learn that blame, judgment, and resentment are based on false perceptions of our ego and do not come from our true self. When we begin to see things from the place of present awareness, we dispel the illusion that our core being could ever be hurt, disrespected, or vulnerable. Living in the present moment is living with that clarity of hope, and in that state we automatically forgive ourselves for the misunderstanding and hurt feelings associated with it.
I’ve always loved an ah-ha moment. When you hear something that opens up a window in your mind and reminds you of your life and your view of life in a completely new way. I once had something even bigger than an ah-ha moment; I call it one of the most transcendent moments. It was when I fully understood the meaning of forgiveness to find in this away. A guest on the show said, “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” That resonated so deeply with me. It’s being able to let go and not being held hostage for another minute by the past as you know, and accept, that it could not have been any different.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone a behavior or make a wrong into a right. It simply means you give yourself permission to accept and release; that what was done has been done. If you haven’t been able to forgive then you’re holding onto something. You want it to be different. It takes a lot of energy to hold a grudge. The truth is if you’re holding a grudge, that grudge is also holding you.
Here’s a huge misperception. Not forgiving someone doesn’t give you more, it’s actually poisoning you. Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for the person who wronged you. And by giving up the hope and accepting that what has happened has happened, you tap into the healing power of hope; you shift; you become a source of hope for other people and especially yourself and other people’s own need to forgive and be forgiven. So forgive yourself. Forgive others and the light of hope gets to gleam brighter.
Let’s listen to Deepak explain how hope offers forgiveness.
As hope grows as a force of strength and understanding it also becomes an agent of healing our past through the power of forgiveness. We cannot forgive when the hurts and disappointments of the past linger in the mind. Hope allows us to begin the process of forgiveness by bringing forth our true self which is never hurt, never afraid and always open to present experience.
The first step to forgiveness is to bring your grievances into awareness instead of letting them simmer beneath the surface. That’s a prospect often filled with unease. Hope gives us the courage to look at our past hurts as well as the security that we can heal them and not be re-traumatized.
The hope that springs from our soul assures us that our true nature cannot be hurt by the thoughts and actions of others. It shows us that blame and resentment are false perceptions from our ego-self. All the qualities we associate with forgiveness, such as letting go, forgetting the past and making a new start are shifts in consciousness that occur when the healing power of hope grows.
The healing process begins with an intention to be fully present. This connects you to the power of hope. You bypass your revenge fantasies and you stop listening to the voice of blame. Instead, from the perspective of present-moment awareness, you see that blame, punishment and resentment are counterproductive feelings based on false perceptions. And you see with a compassionate heart that everyone, including yourself, is doing the best they can from their level of consciousness.
Having taken the responsibility for the healing process of forgiveness, let it unfold inside you. It’s enough to get out of the way which means that you don’t push the other person’s buttons and you don’t lash out when they press yours.
The healing process requires patience, understanding and loving kindness. Offer these first to yourself. Reach a level of self-forgiveness before you approach the forgiving of someone else. Remember that forgiveness is not an action or thought. It is a spiritual quality of healing that is supported by the light of hope growing within us. Live that level of hope and that quality of forgiveness will become who you are.
Every day I move toward forgiveness.
Om Sarvatva Namah
The wholeness of the universe is my true nature.
Forgiving myself has been my greatest healing. Loving myself for who and what I am is the icing on the cake; finally I can be comfortable in my own skin. This forgiveness did not come overnight nor easily. But being willing to learn and improve my life and myself through meditations such as this and from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous has taught me to live in the moment, learn from my past, and be hopeful of the future.
I have come to realize that everything in my life has happened for a reason and that reason is to make me the person I am today. It is up to me what I want to do with that person. Today I have a purpose, that has come from my past, and that purpose is to share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my Dee bubble.
I only have so much space in me. Today I choose to fill myself up with positive energy and be rid of the negativity that has come into my life through the many, many experiences I have been blessed to have had in my many decades on this planet. And when I let that negative shit go, there is so much more room in me to embrace all of the good in this world. And then I get to attract more goodness. What a concept.
So love yourself. Forgive yourself. Forgive those who have wronged you. Heal yourself. Free yourself!
From Deepak & Oprah’s 21-Day Meditational Series on HOPE.
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