Saturday, February 28, 2009

Forgiveness... What is it really?

A few days ago, I used a quote from my favorite rabbi, Yehuda Berg. Rabbi Berg talks about God by using terms like the Light and the Universe, terms not "hooked" to any specific religion. Kabbalah is defined by many as "Jewish Mysticism," but it doesn't seem mystical at all to me. It seems pretty grounded. But, then, my spiritual journey has always been riding on the outside edge of everything, so take what I have to say with a grain of salt. What works for me certainly is not going to work for all.

So anyway, Rabbi Berg teaches that we are all connected. Pretty radical stuff, huh? But, I am over-simplifying.

I receive a daily lesson, or "tune up" as Rabbi Berg calls it. I have edited slightly the lesson that follows to make it a little more palatable and a little less over-the-top for my Christian friends, but the lesson remains the same and is an important one that addresses the necessity for forgiveness.

When we forgive, we can look at the person who hurt us from a whole new angle. Maybe this person is here to show us we are not open as we thought, maybe they are here to push us to go to a new level, maybe they are removing judgment from our life.

Whatever the reason, forgiveness brings empathy, it brings understanding, and it brings us out of the inner-dialogue of blame and regret.

Today, put the scales of justice away and say "shush!" to the vengeful voice in your mind. Just forgive. ....You can never know..true peace..unless you know forgiveness.

How many of us approach a situation by having to be right? Make our point? Win the argument? Prove we are better or smarter or kinder or wealthier or happier or more spiritual or more stable or whatever than someone else? I'll admit it. I do sometimes. I try not to, but revenge or spite or sheer arrogance just rears its ugly head and I just lose control trying to be in control.

For me, that's what it is about. Control. Sometimes when I say I want to help, it's just about control...not just control, but who's in control and that "who" is me. And I do it when I feel I am out of control of myself; out of control of my emotions, my circumstances, my life in general. But, control is heavy. It's a burden. It's like carrying rocks in a back-pack 24/7. It's always a struggle to maintain an upright position and the constant weight of it periodically creates a balancing act and you wind up trying to get more control and when you do, you add more rocks and the weight becomes heavier and finally unbearable. Its a vicious cycle.

Letting go and forgiving is giving up control. It's hard to do even if you want to do it. But, if you can forgive...even the smallest forgiveness lightens your load. You will truly feel the difference in your body. You'll breathe better, deeper; stand straighter; your muscles will relax. Best of all, it quiets those angry voices in your head and heals your heart.

Speaking only for me...

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