So many of us live in a world created by our ego-driven thoughts of duality and separation. It's Win or Lose. Us or Them. Give or Get. Good or Evil. It's understandable why these beliefs naturally arise. It's easier to understand a thing by comparing it to its "opposite." The full experience and appreciation of life, though, is enabled when we let these ego-centric ideas go and simply experience what is happening around and within us. Whether “good” or “bad,” try simply noticing without judgement and the letting go. It’s hard. It takes practice!
Perhaps the most difficult situation in which to embrace this non-dual way of seeing is when we feel that we've been wronged, attacked, ignored or disrespected. These situations hurt our ego, and it's our nature to attack back. To begrudge. To seek an eye for an eye. The simple truth, though, is that while our instincts may protect us in the short term, they only serve to prolong our emotional pain. Sure, we feel validated by that pain, with thoughts like "That really DID suck! Ouch! I'm justified in feeling this way and am going to even the score!" But it doesn't even the score. Why?
Forgiveness and harm are both two-way exchanges of energy. All things are, because we are connected in ways that few understand but each of us has experienced. When we hurt others, we hurt ourselves. When we forgive, we feel peace. Why is that? Perhaps that's because we're accessing our higher self and acknowledging our connection to the wrongdoer. Perhaps, if you're not ready for that, it's because, as Nadia Bolz-Weber beautifully shares, forgiving frees us from the wrongful act itself, from the past, from resentment, and from the inability to see beauty everywhere. Forgiving both yourself and those who have wronged you is perhaps the most powerful way to turn any event into an opportunity for growth. In forgiveness, we receive. When forgiving, we shed the anchor that is dragging us down so we can connect to the unlimited potential that lies ahead.
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