“And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespassed against us.”
— Matthew 6:12
In one of the classes I was teaching at our church 20 years ago, in which each person was free to express feelings about different concerns, when the group would talk about forgiveness, this one person would always bring up the same story about what had been done to him by someone in the past.
It was a business deal that had gone bad. This person said there was no way the people he held responsible would ever be forgiven by him.
This person carried this feeling and story with him all the time, and would tell the story to whoever would listen.
But all he was doing was adding acid to the stew of resentment in which he was self-marinating.
Each time we think about trespasses we believe have been committed against us, it only reinforces what we believe to be justified bitterness; but that makes it more difficult to release the growing load of hard feelings we bear, and to forgive.
As long as you harbor ill will against others, there is no way you can forgive yourself, regardless of how much you try.
Take a moment and think about someone you feel has wronged you, someone you resent or someone in whose presence you don’t feel comfortable.
Bring whatever hard feelings you harbor to the top of your mind, and if you feel hurt, pain or anger then let yourself experience the feeling — but then release it. Uncouple it from your train of thinking and send it on its way elsewhere.
If at first you feel sadness at feeling this burden leave you, then healing and forgiveness are taking place and you are on your way to getting on with a life of peace and joy.
A person you feel has wronged you does not have to be present for you to forgive them. You can say to them in your silent prayers that you forgive them for whatever happened in the past, whether intentional or unintentional. You could say, however, “you may have caused me pain, but I forgive you.”
When next you think of this person, just see good coming to them and see them expressing only good in their life toward others.
The good feeling you get from that takes away the pain of the past and allows you to move on with your life. There comes a time in every person’s spiritual journey that the slate has to be wiped clean and allow the Creative Intelligence of the Universe (God) to express Its good through you as you.
The sooner people realize that forgiveness is one of the keys to a much happier life and call upon the Creative Intelligence that dwells within them then life on this planet is a joy. The person who does not forgive themselves and others will create a life of ever-increasing discontent for themselves.
When forgiving everyone you think did you wrong, then forgive yourself and enjoy a life of good from the Universe. The Creative Intelligence did not create life on this planet out of hate and anger, but created everything out of love and love should be expressed by every being on this planet the way it was intended to be.