A portion of this blog is a reproduction of a letter – with permission from the person to whom it was originally sent. It was sent to him because he had committed a transgression which I will not reveal, but which caused him to be in disgrace with most of his family, and he was sent to prison. He is my friend, but I had lost track of him for several years, and no amount of searching, e-mailing or phoning uncovered where he was until I finally reached someone who gave me his address in prison.
He wrote to me about what had happened, and was very open about his feelings. He said he could never forgive himself for what he did, and from the way he wrote I felt that he was suffering from such self-loathing and condemnation. I began to think about this a lot. After a couple of days, I wrote to him, and, as I wrote, I had the feeling that the words I was spilling on to the page were not entirely from me – they were words that had a higher essence to them, and I simply let them flow.
My friend has since worked hard to forgive himself, and I think in so doing, he has also learned how to view others with a spirit of understanding and forgiveness.
I recently thought about this letter again, which was written over a year ago, and I wrote to ask my friend if I could post it on my blog. He agreed.
One more comment: I refer to God in this letter. I do not see God as an old person on a throne with a beard, or long hair, sitting quietly and meting out judgments, or smiling and loving everyone. The God I refer to is an intelligence, a consciousness so vast that it is incomprehensible to us. The entire universe is the manifestation of this God, this consciousness. Look closely at a pansy, a honeybee, a butterfly. Think of the miracle of a group of cells dividing over and over until they make a decision to become a specific part of a body. And think of a small group of those cells suddenly moving slowly in a rhythm that defines the heart, and begins to send blood pulsing through the veins, and on to the brain. THAT is the manifestation of the consciousness I think of as God. Not religion; not someone who must only be spoken to through intermediaries wearing special clothes or performing ceremonies. The God I refer to is living and breathing every second through every thing on this planet – from stones to stardust; from germs to geraniums; from petals to people.
Okay – looong digression – but now that I’ve made myself clear, here, with permission from my friend, is the letter he received, with some small revision. What I want to make clear is that I received this message as well, and I’m just passing it on. It is about self forgiveness, but you can also think about it with regard to someone whom you know would like your forgiveness, who hasn’t forgiven him/herself.
The most significant relationship right now is your relationship with yourself. You have expressed such deep remorse, an inability and an unwillingness to forgive yourself, and such a sense that you have lost something forever. It is very important that you take a soul view of this; do not continue to believe that if you don’t forgive yourself, that will somehow ease the fact of your transgression. It will not.
Bear in mind, I am not saying you are to be excused. But forgiveness has nothing to do with excusing behavior, or condoning it. It has to do with coming to grips with the fact that we are such flawed beings, who make horrendous misjudgments and missteps. We are frail, and we do not do the right thing all the time, or even much of the time. Yet, if you believe in God – a consciousness so vast that it is incomprehensible unless we open ourselves to it by breaking down the barriers which the personality creates – if you believe in God, then you have to realize the extreme importance of forgiveness.
Forgiveness is vital to the survival of the human race, and it supersedes any self-pity or self-flagellation we may want to engage in, in order to make ourselves feel better. Yes, I said feel better. For if we can continue to berate ourselves about having done something horrendous, then we know we are not the awful person we thought – we have the good sense to be angry with this disgusting human who did such an awful thing – but we are separate from him. Yet if we step back, face who we are, and exercise forgiveness for the wretched mess which is (part of) our personal self, then we have set the stage for redemption. Because even as you are a human being, you are also God, as is everyone and everything around you. We all reflect God in all variations, including yielding to temptation.
I wish I were saying this better. I do not think that not forgiving yourself for the rest of your life is a good or wise thing. And I think forgiving yourself may be the most difficult thing you have ever done. I will say again that forgiving is not about condoning, nor is it excusing. It is acceptance and realization. I believe that you have begun the first part of the process of rebuilding the relationship with yourself – you have looked at, seen the truth. But the truth is not just that you surrendered to temptations, urges, whatever we would call them. The truth is also that you are a decent man who made a dreadful mistake, and it has hurt others, all of which you are looking at and seeing clearly. This willingness to see clearly is the beginning of re-establishing your relationship with your Self.
As a Soul you are whole, good, and full of love. And you must act as a Soul and forgive the stupid personality who risked so much for a moment, and lost so much. You must forgive him as an act of charity for the human race, and for God, so that the energy of this act can be transmuted, rather than held in a hard block of stone for eternity. There are so many who suffer from the same realization of having done something they feel is so dreadful. Forgiveness brings light, and shifts energy, to give all transgressors a chance to do better, to redeem.
Release it – you will do better in the future. You will atone, you will carry the remembrance of it, but to not forgive is as much a sin as any other. Forgiveness says, “God is Love, and I am part of God, and I accept that Love from myself, even as I know I have done something wretched.”
Remember the golden rule, which is the key to all human behavior: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you wish to understand how to forgive others, you must understand what it is to forgive yourself.
If it helps any at all, I forgive you – and I, too, am a reflection of God.
Davina – davinarubinart.weebly.com