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Peace is the Prize When we Forgive

Friday I mentioned that next to meditation the greatest gift I have discovered in my own spiritual journey is the ability to forgive. Also, I listed a few reasons, which I had heard in my practice, for refusing to forgive. If you have not had a chance to read my thoughts you can do so here:  Forgive Whatever is Yours to Forgive

Today’s piece is going to be very short due to some health challenges which are keeping me from being able to give full attention to my writing. I do want you to contemplate some quotes from a couple of my favorite writers and then tomorrow, hopefully, we will tie this together.reading

Listen to what Pema Chodron says about why we are unwilling to consider forgiveness: “The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with.

Then ponder Paul Ferrini’s insightful words on the power of forgiveness: “I can preach to you about the power of forgiveness, but you will never know how great that power is until you experience it. The willingness to forgive yourself and release others from your judgment is the greatest power you can know while you live in this embodiment. The only power that is greater is the power of love itself. And without the gesture of forgiveness, which removes the veil of fear, the power of love remains unharnessed.”loving

Forgiveness takes courage. It relies on your willingness to overcome the fear which insisted that the original judgment was justified. Overcoming fear is never easy. It feels safe to hide behind the facade fear erects.

Finally, for today, I want you to consider a few more of Paul Ferrini’s profound words from Love Without Conditions and then tomorrow I will hopefully share some of the techniques I have used which set me free of the painful resentment I used to harbor.

“Take heart, my friend. Every time you forgive, you dissolve a condition you have placed on your own capacity to love. Every time you forgive, love is awakened in you more deeply and your capacity to extend that love is increased. That is the nature of the journey. Be at peace with it and it cannot fail to bring you home.”

I know those are pretty big promises, but I have seen this Truth manifest in my life and I look forward to sharing my techniques with you tomorrow or whenever I am healthy enough to do so.

4 comments… add one
  • Yay! You are back! I love these quotes and the truth they express! opening the door of your generous love is very hard once the heart has been betrayed and broken. I think forgiveness is the ability to continue to love the person deeply, but not to allow yourself to have unrealistic expectations of them. To love them where they are. Sometimes you have to shift your position to them in order to make this change. Learning to live with what is is hard, but its always about how I can change myself in order to do so. Love you Elliott and I am so delighted to be responding to a Secret to Peace!!!! Looking forward to tomorrow’s!

    Reply
    • Thank you Peggy for commenting. I hope in today’s Secret (which is two days later than anticipated) I explain how forgiveness is always about me shifting my perception of the wound and about the supposed offender.

      I love you and thank you for being here.

      Reply
  • I, too, have discovered the freedom of forgiving, first myself and then the other. The fear magically seems to disappear. Should I continue to have bouts of fear returning, I have learned that I can restate those characteristics about myself or/and the other that are lovely and loving. Sometimes, I must search diligently. And, when I do, I can rediscover the freedom. Thank you, Elliott, for allowing all of us to participate in this important discussion.

    Reply
  • Dear Elliott, I love being part of your life.
    Forgiveness, for me anyway, is easy when I decide I don’t want to carry around anything but the beautiful energy of love. Things that need to be “forgiven” are usually very heavy. Best to let them go.

    Reply

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