With a new year approaching this might be a good opportunity to think about forgiveness. One common perspective arises if we think about making resolutions for the new year. If we observe carefully, our resolutions usually involve judging some of our past behaviors and then wanting to “improve” ourselves to conform to some “better” outcome. Overlooked in this process is the extent to which we judge and label our past habits and tendencies as negative, bad, or undesirable. Moreover, we rarely consider the idea of self-forgiveness for our past so-called lapses, or perceived deficiencies, and thus our judgmental minds persist into the future, the new year.
I’ve employed a variety of methods in an attempt to overcome the voices of the internal judge, the superego, resulting in a greater understanding of my personal habits and behaviors, past and present. When we identify the source and character of the old judgment standards we can appreciate the extent to which they've influenced the beliefs by which we currently judge self and others. These are almost always rules and standards that we learned from others, not from our own direct experience.
Recognizing learned beliefs provides us the opportunity to acknowledge that ordinary human behavior results from influences of which most people have no awareness. It becomes obvious that everyday behavior is predominantly a product of one’s genetic structure and history, together with conditioning, both conscious and unconscious. In other words, the actions of most of us are automatic and reactive - so the question of “free” choice becomes apparent. (for more visit No free choice ) My experience is that noticing the automatic and choiceness behavior of this mind/body, and those of others, the question of forgiveness became moot. It makes clear the words of Jesus upon the cross saying “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do”. Thus, forgiveness isn’t something that one chooses to do, rather it becomes an attitude or understanding from which the question of forgiveness never arises, but is often replaced with compassion.
If her past were your past, her pain your pain, her level of consciousness your level of consciousness, you would think and act exactly as she does. With this realization comes forgiveness, compassion, peace. The ego doesn't like to hear this, because if it cannot be reactive and righteous anymore, it will lose strength.
~ Eckhart Tolle
To understand everything is to forgive everything.
~ Gautama Buddha
Self-criticism perpetuates the personal "I". Both forgiveness and acceptance lead to the same softening of the personal "I". Bring the idea: "Just accept it as it is," in whatever you can. Flow with what happens and forgive as you go.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
Compassion naturally gives rise to tolerance and forgiveness. It allows us to appreciate that even someone we think of as an enemy is a human being with a right to be happy. This is one of the reasons why it’s said that your enemy can be your best teacher. He or she teaches the possibility of unconditional compassion.
~ Dalai Lama
Forgiveness holds the possibility for expanding our capacity to love. There is only one reason to forgive. If we want to be free, if we want to live as the full and unlimited expression of ourselves, if we want our hearts to open to ourselves and everyone else, then we are being invited to put an end to all stories that keep us closed and contracted.
~ Gail Brenner
God may forgive your sins, but your nervous system won't.
~ Alfred Korzybski
The mind is afraid to let go of its demand
because the mind thinks that if it lets go,
it is not going to get what it wants — as if demanding works.
This is not the way things work.
Stop chasing peace and stop chasing love,
and your heart becomes full.
Stop trying to be a better person, and you are a better person.
Stop trying to forgive, and forgiveness happens.
Stop and be still.
If there are people you haven't forgiven, you're not going to really awaken. You have to let go.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Forgive yourself. The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you've created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows.
~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Every adult was once a child free from prejudice.
~ Mother Teresa
What does Self-realization mean to me? It means enjoying during the waking state the kind of peace I have in the deep sleep state; which means being comfortable with myself and being comfortable with others. I am comfortable with myself only if I do not have a feeling of guilt or shame about anything I think I have done; I am comfortable with others only if I do not bear malice and hatred towards anyone for anything I think they have done. Moreover, I never need fear God, or ask God’s forgiveness. No human being ever had the power to do anything against God’s Will.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
To err is human; to forgive, divine.
~ Alexander Pope
Forgive others, forgive them. Because of a lack of understanding and their wish to be loved they have hurt you. They have not hurt you consciously, forgive them. Love them more. Infuse your love in them. Infuse yourself with love again and again. Forgive. Again and again with great love cultivate love, divine love.
~ Sai Maa
Forgiveness begins the healing process - when you forgive God, life, yourself and other people - magic happens within. That's why every religion talks about forgiveness.
~ Brandan Bays
Love manifests towards those whom we like as love;
towards those whom we do not like as forgiveness.
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan
Judge nothing, you will be happy.
Forgive everything, you will be happier.
Love everything, you will be happiest.
~ Sri Chinmoy
Forgive them, Father
They are exactly as I am
They are undivided and vast
They just cannot see it
~ Jeff Foster
Forgiveness is just another word for freedom.
~ Byron Katie
Forgiveness: This is the complete letting go of the past, and the full embracing of the new. It is a freshness, an openness, a new beginning. When there is no Forgiveness, there is an attachment to what has happened in the past. The memory of the past determines what one experiences in the present, and disposes the future towards certain patterns.
~ A.H. Almaas
Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past.
~ Jack Kornfield
When you truly wake up from the mind and the world,
you realize there is no other, there is only you.
You see that everything and everyone is an aspect of you.
All love is self love, all doubt is self-doubt,
all forgiveness is self forgiveness.
In your original form.
From the beginning, you were whole.
Worthy of love.
Worthy of good quality attention.
Worthy of empathy.
Worthy of safety.
Worthy of dignity, respect.
Your feelings mattered,
even the uncomfortable ones.
Your body was beautiful,
even with its imperfections.
Your voice was sacred,
even when they didn't agree.
Your success mattered,
but your failures were also pure.
Your world mattered.
Your being mattered.
Your in-breath mattered.
Your out-breath too.
They taught you that you were small.
They told you that you were incomplete, limited.
That there was something missing.
Some deficiency. Something wrong with you.
That you were 'less than'.
And others were 'more than'.
They were mistaken, always.
Yet forgive them, Father;
they knew not what they were doing;
for they were taught the same.
~ Jeff Foster