Forgiveness

In an Eastern Rose Garden: Will, Human and Divine

There is no reason for anyone to feel discouraged by his weaknesses or deficiencies, or by his actions that have dissatisfied him, or by anything in life that has failed. He should forget the past that has failed him, and begin to construct and mold his future as he would wish it to be. Considering that as a branch is not separate from the bough, and the bough is not separate from the stem, so with all our limitations we are not separate from the will of the Unlimited One.
Hazrat Inayat Khan

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgement when we desire to help and improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is.

And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is. Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult. In actual life it requires the greatest art to be simple, and so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life. That I feed the beggar, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ – all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ.

But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all beggars, the most impudent of all offenders, yea the very fiend himself – that these are within me and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness and that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then? Then, as a rule, the whole truth of Christianity is reversed – there is no more talk of love and long-suffering; we say to the brother within us “Raca” [worthless!] and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide him from the world, we deny ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves, and had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock crowed.

Carl Jung, Psychology and Religion

 

The passages below ring true, beyond mere platitude, because they are spoken by Edith Eger who, as a teenager, endured the hell of Auschwitz, and the murder of her mother and father. Having experienced the darkest face of life, she had to reconstruct a positive sense of self.

…it is the willingness to release yourself from judgment and reclaim your innocence, accepting and loving yourself for who you really are—human, imperfect, and whole. Edith Eger
When we’ve been victimized, there’s a part of our psyche that identifies with the victimizer, and sometimes we adopt that punitive, victimizer stance toward ourselves, denying ourselves the permission to feel good, depriving ourselves of our birthright: joy. Edith Eger
Perfectionism is the belief that something is broken – you. So, you dress up your brokenness with degrees, achievements, accolades, pieces of paper, none of which can fix what you think you are fixing. Edith Eger
The hardest person to forgive is someone I’ve still to confront: myself. Edith Eger

From New Rain Online Series: Self-Forgiveness and Positive Self-Regard — March 2022

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