When we read different spiritual texts we also see a constant flow that speaks about the importance and necessity for forgiveness.
• Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.
• So watch yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says , ‘I repent,’ forgive him.
• Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.
• To understand everything is to forgive everything.
• You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger.
The above quotes are very powerful and reflect that often un-forgiveness is accompanied by strong emotions such as anger or even rage. When someone has hurt us or abused us in some way, it is quite natural to feel:
- Let Down
- Repulsion – the list could go on.
I am sure that all of us here today have been hurt in some way and yet, despite all the self help products and spiritual texts that are currently available, forgiveness continues to be one of the hardest things for people to do.
Today, I want to share a story, a true story, the story of a client, some of the information has been altered to protect the individual, however the main theme is true.
Peter was an older man, very quiet in nature, very much a homely man; he enjoyed his life with his wife and children. He worked hard and also liked to get out and enjoy life. He was never particularly close to his birth family although they all got on well.
Peter always seemed to see his glass as half empty rather than half full, he married a woman who always saw the glass as half full, it was as if he recognised on one level the necessity to find a balance.
Peter had suffered from health problems since leaving school, much of it was put down to being a Hypochondriac, until things became worse, then Dr’s started believing him. Later on in life he started to suffer what appeared to be minor heart attacks, but once again, Dr’s treated him like he was a Hypochondriac. He talks about a specific event in his life when he went to A & E or Casualty after turning ‘grey’ and suffering incredible pain in his chest. The Dr. had put Peter on an ECG machine to check his heart, but it appeared ok; what bothered Peter the most was how the Dr. smirked at him and told him:
‘..there is nothing wrong with you, you are fit and healthy, go home and enjoy life.’
Since that incident, Peter had several more attacks leading to hospitalisation, which eventually led to him being diagnosed as having severe Vascular Heart Disease (VHD).
Since then, Peter also developed Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and other degenerative diseases including a Blood Disorder. On and off over the years Peter had felt like ending his life, even though he was happily married and had all he needed in life including regular vacations abroad. You could think what tough luck, or you could think, what else is going on?
When Peter came to see me, he had just informed his wife of 35 years that he was sexually abused as a child. Abused by someone who should have been there looking after him and keeping him safe, his dad. Some of the atrocities he talked about are not to be discussed here, but imagination can play a good part.
As a six year old boy, I can only imagine the fear, the anger, the confusion that he must have felt which could only have been aggravated when he tried to tell his mum, but she wouldn’t believe him.
It would be very easy for us to permit our own anger and resentment to rise up; purely out of disgust and in retaliation for such indignities. But all that would do is unsettle our own inner being. From the outside looking in, it would be easy to say people like that should be hung, gassed, or executed, but what would that solve other than perhaps give a momentarily and fleeting feeling of sadistic satisfaction?
As Peter continued to talk, his emotions became apparent, all the anger, the resentment, the un-forgiveness and all the rest of what was eating away at his life; there is no wonder he often felt like taking his life, for within, he already felt it had been taken.
Such a beautiful soul and yet so broken inside.
Talking about the abuse was a huge step for Peter, it had at-least enabled him to clear the air from hidden horrors in his life. What makes it even worse is that Peter was one of six with one brother and four sisters, all of whom had suffered the same atrocities.
As Peter talks about his birth family he is able to start to see that mum was too scared of his dad to do anything about it, so denial was the easier option. Both of Peter’s parents are now deceased. Dad died six years ago and mum four years ago, perhaps that is what has given Peter the strength and the courage to speak out and although there cannot and will not be any criminal justice, we can only hope that Peter will find peace within himself and be able to move on.
Ironically, the only way Peter will find peace is by moving on through forgiveness.The thing is, although there is NOTHING that can excuse what has been done, there is also nothing that can undo what has been done. What has been done is done, the damage is already done and the only thing left that Peter can do is to heal, not get over it, because he never will, as in so many other traumatic experiences, the only way through is via healing and forgiveness. I believe in such traumatic states, the individual learns to heal and live with the memory.
We all have to accept what has happened without blame, without guilt, without judgement. At the end of the day his dad was the way he was because of what had happened to him, because of his life and because of the choices he made. Although abuse is seen as a generational cycle, in an ideal world he could have sought help. But what help would he have got, other than persecution, rejection, anger, violence and judgement perhaps? What help would there have truly been for dad? What would mum have got? probably the loss of her six children who would definitely have been taken into care, what a dreadful choice to make!
When we look back at our own lives we can all see and remember things that we have done and shouldn’t have done, we are all at fault if anyone needs to be blamed. If the society we lived in was better structured and caring, perhaps people who do such things could be helped in a more appropriate manner, but we don’t, we live in a judgemental society which often prevents people from feeling they have the freedom and opportunity to step forward and cry – help.
Chances are, dad himself was sexually abused as a child, and although that doesn’t make it ok, it does reflect to some degree how ‘screwed up’ he himself must have felt.
So how can we get ourselves ‘Moving Forward through Forgiveness?’
There is only one way, that way is compassion. Through the eyes of compassion we can slowly but surely start to understand, not what happened, but we can start to understand that the individual concerned was deeply disturbed within their mind, within their being.
Some will say ‘It’s Karma’, others will say ‘You made a contract for it to happen before you came into the world’. If that is the case, why are we punishing paedophiles and rapists, surely then they are simply part of the contract? UTTER NONSENSE and if that goes against your beliefs then I apologise for offending you, but if it was your son or daughter that was raped, or your wife or husband that was raped, or even yourself, I am sure you wouldn’t be saying or meeting them with the words ‘Well love, you clearly contracted for it before you came’ or ‘Well love, you must have done something pretty bad in a past life’ or ‘Well, you obviously have a lesson to learn’. I DON’T THINK SO!!!!
People are people, we are all here learning, evolving, living or regretting. The only way to move forward if anyone has harmed us in any way is through compassion, it doesn’t make it alright, but what it does do is release us from the toxic and poisonous energy that will live in us and off us like a parasitic demon, eating away at us, our life, our relationships, our mind, our body.
Un-forgiveness is like a wild fire that rages throughout our being destroying all in its path. We can learn to manage it as Peter did, but it won’t stop the effect. We can manage symptoms of the measles, but it won’t stop the red spots from coming out. The only way is to heal them, whether our pain is psychological or physical is from the inside out as with all illnesses.
You may be here today and you may be the perpetrator, you need to seek help, you need to forgive yourself and you need to try and make amends, try to rebuild your broken relationships, you too, need to find compassion and forgiveness for those who also perpetrated your life.
You may be here today and you too may be like Peter, a victim of circumstance. You too need to find compassion, forgiveness, not only for yourself but also for your perpetrator. We need to find the love that God gave us, the love that the Divine Source gave us and use it to work for us, use it to heal us, evolve us.
One of the most difficult things to do in life is to forgive someone when they have implicitly violated not only our mind, our soul but also our body.
Some of you may be thinking ‘why should I forgive them?’
I’ll tell you why – 1) Because Divine Source, Divine Energy is built on love and only love and compassion can help the next seven generations to become better people, better parents, better nurturers and – 2) BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH – AND YOU DON’T DESERVE TO CONTINUE TO SUFFER – FINDING COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS WILL HELP YOU TO RELEASE THE PAIN, RELEASE THE HURT AND MOVE ON.
The further you move on, the further you will be from the memories and the anguish, but don’t think for one minute you will magically forget all what happened – YOU WON’T! But over time, as you heal and the more you are able to forgive, the pain will lessen, you won’t remember it so many times a day and it won’t take over your life or your health. Although it may be hard to imagine now, in time you may find that you are able to help someone else to find forgiveness to their perpetrator.
Perhaps you are here today and although you may not have been through what Peter went through, you still have your own hurts, your own story of pain and suffering, you too need to find that same forgiveness, that same compassion. When the world is full of compassionate people, it will be less filled with un-compassionate people. It doesn’t matter what you have been through in life, no pain is greater or smaller than the next persons, you matter just as much as Peter so don’t think that you don’t.
Compassion and forgiveness truly is the only way through, you may be able to find some healing and recompense on your own, or you may need some help, PLEASE don’t suffer alone because you don’t need to. If you do need some help healing, seek out a reputable Healer / Shaman; if you need a Counsellor or a Dr. seek one out. Go within and find out what YOU need for you, find out what is going to help you to reach down and find some forgiveness.
Life is short, too short, in a blink of an eye it could be gone, don’t use up what is left of your life on the past, on un-forgiveness, I encourage you all today to set yourself free, make the choice and start Moving Forward through Forgiveness.
Always Walk in Peace – Kenzo