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It's Forgiveness: What does it really mean to forgive?

Today I have been contemplating something that I felt needed to be shared. It's about the word 'Forgiveness'. As I write this, I must admit, it brings emotion to the surface, as it always does when I share from the heart.

Being that we are coming into that time of the year that many celebrate as Christmas, and also knowing that there are many who do not, or can't, I felt that this may offer something that may help assist healing some wounds.

For so many years we have been taught the power of Forgiveness, and what it does to a person's heart and soul. However, I feel that there is a certain nobleness that has been placed on what the meaning of forgiveness really is, without really uncovering the layers around its true validity.

When you refer to the definition of Forgiveness, it is an act of granting a pardon on another's wrong doing.

A wrong doing from a religious, spiritual or moral perspective, involves an act of communication or behaviour that has left another feeling wronged or deeply wounded.

When we feel wronged in our heart, all we can think about is the pain and the injustice of the wrong doing, causing our heart to become fixed with conditions. Those conditions are made in the moment from when we have been wronged in the past or wronged in the now. Those conditions are there as a way to show another how wronged we have felt by their wrong doing, and also at times becomes an agenda to inflict a punishment or earn their forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not about pride or taking a higher ground, nor is it about being the bigger person (as this also comes from a place of looking down and placing self on a pedestal), Forgiveness is removing the power of the wound that another has placed upon you.

When we look at the wounds we accumulate in life, most of them are from relationships. Relationships are the hardest experience to have on this planet. Everything at some point revolves around a relationship. Whether having them, or being completely lonely for them.

The wounds we suffer from being in the battlefield of relationships are mostly created by others unknowingly, however, there are times when it is deliberate or can be perceived as deliberate. It can be a one off doing of wrongness and other times it can be several years of accumulation of many, many small ones. However, the severity or accumulation of the wrong doing, and the constant unresolved feelings within self or with another around it, can make the time of non-forgiveness longer.

Forgiveness is not a noble act. It is a courageous one. It takes courage to forgive. It takes courage to know and be okay with another never knowing what they did to hurt you or how deeply they did. It takes courage to no longer keep yourself wounded so as to constantly expose it as a bitter trophy of injustice, and instead, transmuting it into a scar of enlightenment.

There are times when we want the other to acknowledge the wound they have inflicted upon us, yet we may never have that acknowledgement in the form we condition it to be, often making it mean that we are not worthy of their energy, time or love and not worthy of even being healed.

Forgiveness is not for the faint hearted. It is for the wholehearted. It is for the person that is willing to risk all of their conditions made from wounds of the past or present and letting them go, handing them over and giving them up and healing them for something more. Openness, authenticity, vulnerability and peace.

We can never fully know the consequences of every choice we ever make or the impact it will have. But we can catch ourselves if we are present enough to stop making the same choices or reacting in the same way that lead to the same places.

Forgiveness is ultimately about you. It's never really about the other. This is what makes it the most underestimated, misunderstood act of the heart there is. You are not better than the other just because you forgive them. You are better for yourself because in Forgiveness you become free from the burden and constraint of being wounded.

It may never stop another from behaving the same way that created the original wound in the first place. Not everyone is capable of that sort of growth or awareness, but it can show you a way to see that their behaviour is something that they may never be free from. Many don’t know what they don’t know, and in your knowing of this, you no longer need to carry the burden of being the one who must reveal the punishment of their need to know.

Forgiveness is sometimes accepting your fate or a punishment, even if you have been wronged for something you are genuinely not guilty for. It's wearing the cross imposed by the judge and jury of other's claims, without a fair trial, and inflicting the wounding upon yourself out of your own degradation. Forgiveness of self is the hardest forgiveness there is to face and one of the most meaningful wounds to heal.

When you forgive, your heart allows for the wisdom of its light to work though you, opening you to new levels of understanding and viewing the situation in a new way, therefore allowing the energy of life to flow through you, directing your course.

I hope you find your peace in your heart.

Author: Aliki Nektaria, The Path Clearer.

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