Key to Forgiveness
“Key to Forgiveness” 11/1/2015 by Rev. Christine
Today I’m talking about the Key to Forgiveness, and how forgiveness is the the key. Yes, forgiveness unlocks the Kingdom of Heaven. A reminder that heaven is an internal state of consciousness. As Jesus said, Heaven is within you. Therefore, forgiveness is the key to happiness, peace of mind, health, love and wealth.
Not forgiving is like a poison that we wish to give to the offender – the one who hurt us, but we are the one that takes that poison. When non forgiveness is not dealth with, it will take root and begin to grow into bitterness and hatred that can take over a person’s whole life. The act of non forgiveness is made up of anger, resentment, regret, and affects every area of life.
This poison doesn’t just stay directed to the person or people involved, but over pours into all aspects; our physical and mental health, our relationships with friends and loved ones, our ability to focus on work, blocks our prosperity, and puts up a wall in our relationship with God - especially if God is being blamed.
I hear so often the question, “Why would God let this happen?” This comes from the belief that God is separate from us, that God is like us with human qualities. Yet we’re told in Genesis, that God created us in his image and likeness - pure spirit.
Instead of us being like God, we like to make God like us that judges and punishes. We read about this in the Old Testament. Then the idea of God evolved to a loving presence within us, as Jesus said, “I of myself can do nothing, the Father within does the work.” So then the real question becomes why would humanity let this happen. It is through our sense of separation from Infinite Spirit, that we experience fear, and from that act out in so many different ways that is harmful to others and our self.
Many years ago, I read that we are always doing our best. At that moment we are doing our best, according to our consciousness. That takes away a lot of judgement, when we realize that the other person wasn’t able to do any better; that they were acting out from their sense of separation and fear, and may even be what we call today insanity. If they could have done better they would have.
We are also told by Jesus, to not judge others, or be self-righteous. Jesus said in Matt. 7:3-5, “Why do you see the splinter which is in your brother’s eye, and not feel the beam which is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, Let me take out the splinter from your eye, and behold there is a beam in your own eye? Oh hypocrites, first take out the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to get out the splinter from your brother’s eye.”
He is telling us, that what we see in another has to be first within our own consciousness; otherwise we could not know of it or see it. Some may call this projection. Or, when we point our finger at another person to realize that we have three fingers pointing back at our self.
I like the expression, When you judge another person, you get to walk in their moccasins. Meaning we will find ourselves living those experiences - we become what we judge.
Forgiveness was a key to Jesus teachings, even in the Lord’s Prayer, In Matt. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Also, “When you stand to pray, forgive whatever you have against any man, so that your Father in heaven will forgive you your trespasses.” Then Peter asks Jesus, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Til seven times? Jesus said, “I say not unto you, until seven times; but until seventy times seven.”
Jesus was letting us know that we couldn’t take all these worldly concerns into our prayer time. That mind chatter would only distract and prevent from going deep into the inner stillness of Oneness, or what we call the Christ Mind. All of Jesus teachings were for us to be in right alignment with our inner self, our consciousness; mind, body and soul.
Jesus taught to pray and do good works towards our so called enemies. Sometimes are enemies, or those that challenge us, can be our greatest teachers. Jesus was teaching about our Oneness; and what we do to another we are doing to our self. Then we also have the great teacher of cause and effect, or some call karma.
The word forgive in the Aramaic language means to cancel the debt, to make restitution - to give back. First I think of a loan or something stolen, but then there is the deeper hurt by a loved one or someone we trusted.
In the first case, in restitution we can give back in kind. And, to cancel the debt is an act of knowing that all really comes from God - in truth there is nothing lost in sprit. But, the other kind of loss is really about love. The flow of love is blocked. What we give is our love to open the gateways.
The best thing we can do for our self is to forgive the other person. Just because it will free us! When we are holding someone else in bondage, we are holding our self in slavery to them. We are the one getting the poison, we are the one feeling the pain and suffering, and the offender is always somewhere in our mind ready to take center stage, and spill out touching others in our life.
Seems to me the benefits of forgiving out way the benefits of not forgiving. We’re also talking about the most difficult or challenging to forgive, and that is our own self. If we haven’t been able to forgive the other person involved, it is usually because we still need to forgive our self, even if we were the victim.
Forgiveness is between our self and God; although it is always good to make amends - take some course in action. Its never too late to forgive, even if the other person is no longer in your life or living on this plane. We’re all one in the Infinite Presence living eternity.
True forgiveness takes love and compassion toward the offender - and especially if its our self. Its being in that space of wanting to forgive to release more than being self-righteous. It’s a deep desire to be free. For me, I just don’t want to take it with me to the other side, and have to work it out there or on a return trip here. I also discovered that when there is a financial blockage that there is usually someone or something that needs forgiving.
When Jesus said to forgive 7 x 70; this is a way of saying until completely done in mind, body and soul. That is until there is no pull at the gut, no pain, or residue of negative feelings or thoughts toward the person or issue. The experience is not forgotten, but the pain is completely released, and no longer has any power to return.
For years forgiving to me was this strange thing. I just didn’t understand it. I remember being told to just forget it. As a young child I had completely suppressed the memory of being attacked, until I was married.
Then it came back first in flashbacks. Now I had much to deal with. So that didn’t work. Also, I recall being told to just say “I’m sorry” that was the right thing to do, and somehow the other person would accept the apology. The words “I’m sorry” can be empty words unless there is a true change in consciousness and actions.
I have a few experiences to share that help to shed light on this topic. The first goes back to the 1970s, I was living up at Lake Tahoe, when I was driving home late at night, and fell asleep at the wheel. I flew off the road, literally my car was off the ground, and I couldn’t steer. I saw the trees flying by, and then crashed head on. I ended up with a life long injury to my ankle. Mostly I couldn’t forgive myself. I knew I was tired, but kept on driving anyway. I could have hurt others, and was so thankful it was only between me and the tree.
Many years later, one night I had this dream. I was observing myself. I could see myself sitting in the car on the road driving home that night. A voice said, have compassion for her, she is still mourning the loss of a child. After that night I was able to forgive myself. I reminded myself I was doing the best I could at the given moment. Obviously it wasn’t the best, but it was all I could do in my state of mind - have compassion for me.
The next story is from the mid 1980s. My ex-mother-in-law called me, I had been divorced almost 20 years. Now my ex-mother-in-law and I had a history, I never felt accepted by my mother-in-law; she had someone else in mind for her son. Following the divorce I kept a relationship going with her for the children.
She called me for prayer. This was quite a surprise as she was a Catholic.
She informed me of having terminal cancer, and that her father had been a Christian Scientist, another surprise.
Immediately I went to see her, and brought my favorite book “Mysteries” to read to her from the chapters on illness and death. It soon was apparent that she needed to be in the hospital, and I went with her. I called my daughter to let her know, and offered to serve in her capacity. My daughter was living in Oregon, and would take a few days to get there.
During this time I stayed around the clock being her advocate. Then her friends came, and she introduced me as her daughter, not ex-daughter in-law, or daughter-in-law, but daughter. And, we embraced - I was now the daughter she never had. When all this ended, I felt I was given the greatest gift - I now understood forgiveness. Being compassionate. It still brings tears to my eyes.
Another example took place some 20 years ago. I had been enslaved for months by constant thoughts of having been betrayed. I could feel a knot in the pit of my stomach when thinking of this person. I deeply wanted to forgive. I no longer wanted to carry this heaviness with me. In 1994, I attended the INTA Conference with the idea of healing this situation.
One afternoon, I arrived early to the next speaker session, when this fellow began to play and sing. I sat in prayer, and his music provided the perfect setting for what was to take place. I called up in my mind, the person to be forgiven, and the words of Jesus came forth, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Then, “Father forgive me for I know not what I do. Father, forgive us for we know not what we do.” I could see this person standing before me, and we embraced. Then it seemed like huge angel wings surrounded us. By the time the song ended the healing was done. The pain was gone.
The words Father forgive them for they know not what they do, took me to compassion. For if we truly knew, we wouldn’t be doing it. But in our sense of separation we just don’t know, and can do terrible things out of our own fear to our self and others.
A few months later, this very same musician happened to be coming through town, and asked if we had an opening in our Sunday service for him to play. I didn’t know it was the same person until he arrived. It was Dwain Briggs, and the song Peace Prayer, or the Prayer of Saint Francis.
In closing, I’m going to play this song. I invite you to pick someone or a situation that you would like to heal - be forgiven, completely transformed and transmuted to love and compassion.