09242017Headline:

Forgiveness is More Than an Afterthought

By KM Huber

Forgiveness may be the heart of peace but giving and getting forgiveness from the heart is never easy for any of us. At best, it is an afterthought or even a consequence.

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.” (Mark Twain)

Always, we wish to know the fragrance of the violet but must it always come at such a price? It seems to be the history of humanity that it does, yet it is also the history of humanity to know peace, compassion, love, and equanimity, all inherent in the fragrance. We begin where we can, within ourselves.

Consider The Four Agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz:

  1. Be impeccable in your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best.

waters of forgivenessInherent in the agreements is maitri, of which compassion is certainly a form, but maitri is the complete and total acceptance of one’s self. No conditions. Maitri is where forgiveness begins, a seed that we all may plant, and as the seed grows, so grows our ability to accept ourselves.

In accepting ourselves, we pursue compassionate truth, regardless of outcome. We do not deceive ourselves for outcome is often a sticking point, but if we do not take things personally and do not make assumptions, we are doing our best to be impeccable in our word.

Anger has a role in forgiveness as well as in peace, and not to acknowledge anger is not to pursue peace. There is the anger from a closed heart, the kind we all readily recognize, and then there is anger that is not personal or based upon any assumptions, the anger of the impeccable word, the anger-with-the-heart-open:

“For when there is no desire to wound or punish or blame, we become able to speak with great clarity and power. We may roar like a lion, but it is a healing roar. We may be challenging, but we are infinitely fair. We may be outraged, but we are respectful. This is ‘anger-with-the-heart-open’ and it has a beauty, a passion, and a clarity that is unmistakable”
(Processing Anger With An Open Heart).

In forgiveness, we leave the past where it is, when it happened, who did it, and what occurred. We accept that the past cannot be changed:

“Forgiving someone can mean giving them another chance, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because they need it. When you forgive, you love. You stop being a victim and you let go of the pain. Forgiving others can give us back the laughter and the peace in our lives.”
(grandmalin.wordpress.com)

We immerse ourselves in the acceptance of all that we are and are not, our wisdom and grace, our missteps and shortcomings. We accept that all the life we have lived up to the present moment is the foundation for our being here now. On our impeccable word floats the fragrance of forgiveness.

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KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry but as an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, she prefers prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com and may be found on Twitter @KM_Huber.


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