Why We Forgive
Heal Your Life Blog
Why We Forgive
I was having dinner with my friend Ram Dass not long ago and talking about forgiveness, a subject I’m studying for my new book. He leaned over and said to me, “Wayne, I’ve never believed that it’s up to us to forgive anyone. That is not our role.” Let this profound statement sink in and think about how it might apply to your own experience. First, we have to face the notion that in order to consider forgiving someone we must have been blaming them for something. We must have anger, resentment, blame, even hatred going on in order to feel the need to forgive. Forgiveness is really an act of letting go, releasing the anger, the hatred, the bitterness, the thoughts of revenge that we have been carrying around. We can do this letting go without even encountering the person we want to forgive. It was one act of profound forgiveness toward my own father, whom I never saw or talked to, that turned my life around from one of ordinary awareness to one of higher consciousness, achievement, and success beyond anything I had ever dared to imagine.
We forgive by releasing all resentment, anger, and bitterness and thus set ourselves free from the negative feelings that weaken us. First we have to get past blame. Then we have to learn to send love to all. One of the great lessons of forgiveness is the report of Jesus’s words on the cross: “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” They really did not know the harm they were doing to themselves and to all of us. Meet hatred with love.
Taking all the anger and hatred that is standing in your way and replacing it with love is the most healing thing you can do. Fill your soul with love, rather than anger and so many things will change in your life. None of us needs revenge, but we all need love. It is all we really have to give away. I advised a recent caller to my radio show to contact the abusive father she hadn’t seen or spoken to in 30 years. Finding the courage to call the show was the signal to her that she needed to heal her painful past. Rather than saying, “I forgive you,” and opening old wounds, all she needs to do is say, “I’m here, I care about you, and I send you love.” She has the power to heal and set both of them free.