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Forgiveness & Love ~ Illusive Phantoms
Truth is absolute! Without truth, there cannot be �forgiveness,� and without forgiveness, there cannot be �unconditional love.�
There are certain times in our lives when we experience unique transit points. I have come to believe this is when our spirit is nudging us. These significant periods elicit our full attention, for we are being summoned into a holy transformation. When we reach the crossroads of a new horizon, God puts us where we need to be and patiently waits to see how we will respond. September 11th, 2001 opened the door to the question . . . would we succumb to thoughts of vengeance and violence or to forgiveness and compassion?
Thich Nhat Hanh says, "When you understand the suffering of others, you do not have to force yourself to feel compassion, the door of your heart will just naturally open."
Our soul, always aware of life's experiences, knows "compassion" and "forgiveness" are stepping-stones to "unconditional love" . . . these are the true virtues of freedom and salvation. Compassion helps us understand the connection between our own individuality and that of our global sisters and brothers. It also brings awareness that whatever we create in thought always manifests itself in our actions, therefore we must recognize forgiveness and love as the foundation of our soul's light.
When we are hurting it is difficult to release our anger. Rather than let it be or let it go, we want to cling to it, thinking it ease our pain and help us feel better. Emotions such as rage, hostility, prejudice, and fear are toxic, robbing us of our spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. Envisioning ourselves as instruments of love and not hatred and retaliation, helps us to not allow anger and rage to overwhelm us.
Our spiritual self strives to exist without judgment or blame and like an avalanche, the momentum of spiritual growth increases with the gift of forgiveness. This incredibly difficult action brings a peaceful resolution to our own spirit. It has little to do with accepting or embracing a person or act that has caused grief or devastation. To forgive is not to disregard or diminish the atrocity of any wrong-doing. When forgiveness becomes the focus of our life, it is an act of hope helping us come to terms with whatever is keeping us from moving forward and draining us of healing energy. To forgive is to regain control of whom we choose to be and to accept responsibility for our thoughts, deeds and actions. The beauty of forgiveness is that it frees our spirit, removing obstacles, one by one. No longer chained to past events, people or places, we move toward acceptance.
More words from Thich Nhat Hanh, "Forgiveness is not opposed to justice, especially if it is not punitive justice but restorative justice, justice that does not seek primarily to punish the perpetrator, to hit out, but looks to heal a breach, to restore a social equilibrium that the atrocity or misdeed has disturbed. To have compassion in this situation, is to perform a great act of forgiveness."
Forgiveness is a prelude to peace and cannot arrive until we learn to be more tolerant and compassionate, not only to our own sense of self but to all of humanity. With the practice of looking deep within, we realize we cannot allow our sorrow to become a springboard for escalating injustices, cruelty and suffering.
I like to think of "forgiveness" as the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, for it expands and augments our soul making room for "unconditional love" to grow. And love, as we know, is the food that nourishes the essence of our being and opens us to receive the blessings God intended.
To understand how intricately woven forgiveness and unconditional love are connected is a compelling eye-opener. This revelation helps us see that love is much more than a mere thought, feeling or action, it is an experience . . . one of soulful living. Love, is the culmination of our journey here on earth. As we cultivate and share that love, we learn to transform a crisis into a triumph.
Both forgiveness and love arrive in stages, always teaching as they manifest. Love is flexible and expanding, cultivating gratitude. Gratitude is a way of infusing love in all things and can be looked at as a benediction, transforming judgment into compassion.
Can we learn to love without judgment and expectations? Of course we can. Will it be easy, absolutely not! There will be times of restlessness and times we will feel vulnerable and frail, but the miracle of "soul birthing" will always arrive from impossible situations if we are willing to trust and have faith.
When the road seems long and tedious, if we thank the Creator for His nearness and trust Him, He will always comfort and uplift us.
Let the words "forgiveness and unconditional love" reach out and connect your head and heart, to the essence of your spirit. Instead of allowing wounds to influence your behavior, free yourself from the burdens of �what was,� accepting �what is� and recognizing the potential of �what can be.�
This awakening or �summoning of the soul" urges us to become aware of our spirit�s presence. We have had a wake-up call. Let us try to envision ourselves as instruments of love and not hatred or retaliation.