September 2022

Many spiritual teachings dwell upon the importance of forgiveness and the need to be non-judgemental and tolerant of other people however much we may disagree with their beliefs and their actions.

In his book ‘The Power of Now,’ Eckhart Tolle gives a good and rather unusual definition of forgiveness. On page 100 he says: “Forgiveness is to offer no resistance to life—to allow life to live through you. The alternatives are pain and suffering, a greatly restricted flow of life energy, and in many cases physical disease.” So, here we see that forgiveness offers benefits not only to the forgiven, but to the person who is forgiving. It can’t be a healthy thing to live one’s life whilst bearing a grudge against someone or feeling resentful.

A Course in Miracles (ACIM) is a spiritual teaching based upon forgiveness. In Lesson 122, entitled, ‘Forgiveness offers everything I want,’ we are told that forgiveness gives us happiness, peace of mind, and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world, among other things. Moreover, “Forgiveness lets the veil be lifted up that hides the face of Christ from those who look with unforgiving eyes upon the world…Forgive and be forgiven. As you give you will receive. There is no plan but this for the salvation of the Son of God.”  That’s how important forgiveness is.

But we have to teach ourselves how to practise forgiveness because the default position of the ego is judgement. Judgement is the opposite of forgiveness because if we judge someone or something it means we haven’t forgiven the person or the situation. It takes a great deal of daily practice and mind-watching to stop judging. But if we can remember to call upon the Holy Spirit/Higher Self and hand any judgemental thoughts over immediately, that is a good way of transmuting judgement into forgiveness. If we truly mean it.

I would just like to add that being forgiving does not mean we have to be a doormat! We have every right to speak our truth and stand up for what we believe in, especially if someone is trying to impose their will upon us in a way that we believe could be harmful to us.

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