"To be truly liberated, we have to make an effort to communicate with those we dislike, to try to understand and accept them as they are and to experience our mutual humanity. This is forgiveness."
Jean Vanier, Becoming Human
What is more difficult when it comes to human relationships than to wash away the negative thoughts and feelings one has for another human being, especially if they are the cause of your pain? Where do you start? How do you do this without feeling like you've compromised yourself?
There's a huge difference between assertive forgiveness and passive forgiveness. One is when you ensure your self esteem and integrity remain intact, whereas the other is a forgiveness which compromises your confidence. The first is liberating. The second passive kind still feels like a self imposed sentence.
We are in control of how we react and act in any situation, which of course is easier said than done isn't it? When the dam of feelings bursts through the sluice without any way of redirecting or holding back, our reactions and actions take on a radiated passion too hot to secure. When our emotions take centre stage.......when they override our more cognitive thoughts, we lose clarity. WE see RED.
When we are hurt emotionally, .........we see orange and yellow and neon flashes of RED. Forgiveness doesn't come from a red hot searing place. Forgivness comes from a more earthy toned calmer place in our hearts where all colours blend to ground us.
Sometimes forgiveness takes a lifetime. Sometimes it takes that long to gain the calming insight to recognize the other person's humanity. Sometimes, however, we are just not capable of forgiving. The pain is too deep........the act too evil.....the other person too mean and wounded. Is this when we reliquish our role of forgiving and pass it onto our Higher Power?
Is this when we say....................Hey God, can you help me on this forgiveess thing? I'm having a very tough time with this one..
One thing I have learned is that if one can't forgive, one missed out on that relieving sense of liberation. A continued feeling of being shackled to the tense by-pass will persist. Who wants to be a slave to hatred?