The Art of Forgiving

Susyn Reeve, USA

Life coach and writer. http://www.self-esteem-experts.com/

The art of living is truly the art of loving, and the art of loving requires forgiveness. We all know we are supposed to forgive. It is part of every religious tradition. So why then is it so hard and seemingly unattainable? Humans seem to be the only species with the capacity to hurt ourselves over and over again by reactivating painful emotions based on past events, and experiencing continued suffering in the present. Yes, it is true that humans commit heinous acts that hurt others and themselves. It is when we fail to forgive that we continue to suffer through our anger, resentment and regret.

Without a doubt, forgiveness is not forgetting, nor is it condoning or making acceptable, hurtful, harmful and violent actions. True forgiveness begins with our willingness to look deeply and honestly inside ourselves, and to identify the thoughts we have that nourish our persistent pain and suffering.

So how do we put the art of forgiveness into action? We begin by acknowledging that each and every person is an expression of the Divine and that all beings are part of an interconnected matrix of
consciousness. We truly are One, sharing and creating our lives on Earth. From this point of view, it logically follows that if I hurt another I am hurting myself as well. This viewpoint requires that we
see all life through our spiritual eyes, with conscious awareness that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We then see beyond our seeming differences of gender, race, religion, nationality, education, financial status and sexual preference into the very essence of our being.

Through our spiritual eyes, we know that when we forgive, we are forgiving ourselves for believing that we are separate; we are forgiving ourselves for believing that we are victims, and we are forgiving others for their ignorance of our interconnectedness and for their judgments against us. It is our beliefs that perpetuate our suffering, long after an action has been taken.

To practice the art of forgiving in your life whenever you are feeling painful and hurtful emotions, ask yourself what you are believing and if your thoughts are feeding unrelenting suffering, then have a new thought that truly acknowledges that at each and every moment, each of us is doing the very best we can, based on our thinking at the moment.

Now is the time for forgiving: for giving compassion, for giving kindness, for giving unconditional love.

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