Forgiveness is a powerful spiritual tool for evolving our Self; it is also one of the most misunderstood of the virtues.
Remember that Spiritual Life is a life of learning and growth.
We are all here to learn. We are all here to grow. In the course of growing ourselves up — no matter our age — we will make mistakes. So what is this great learning we are undertaking? We are learning to listen and build the relationship with our Spiritual Self in the physical. We are here to free ourselves from the separation of spirit, mind and body.
God gave us all free will. In childhood, there are benchmarks that let us know when our children are ready for more freedom. Freedom in childhood should be earned. This continues to be true until 18 years of age, when children become adults with the legal responsibility to choose for themselves. Learning responsibility is a matter of safety for our children, but it also serves their spiritual learning. Some children are eager to seek responsibility and embrace the challenges of growing up. Other children are shy, rebellious, or need more guidance in learning to create their life. When someone has built the responsibility for freedom such as playing outside alone, spending time at a friend’s house, and later when they learn to drive a car, they should have earned the privilege to do so because of the good choices they’ve learned to make. They should not receive the privilege because everyone else is doing it or because they have attained a certain age (in the case of driving at 16). For each stage of development, children should be directed towards building their own inner guidance, morals, virtues and responsibility.
In teaching responsibility, we give our children the character to make good decisions about their safety in the world. Spiritually, it guides them to loving themselves enough to put the relationship with their Spirit first. This negates peer pressure and rebelliousness and lets them make choices that bring the wholeness of spirit, mind and body to light within them.
The best way to teach our children to listen to their Spirit is for us to demonstrate that by living it in our lives as parents. The combination of living our truth and sharing our truth with our children is the most powerful way to help them lead productive, abundant, spiritual lives.
So what does learning have to do with forgiveness?
Sin and Shame. This has been taken far out of context and creates a fear of learning and makes it hard to forgive ourselves or others. “You should be ashamed of yourself,” “Shame on you.” These are harsh weapons used upon a child or adult: they take away the light of childhood and building self-worth. These words reinforce unworthiness. Most importantly, they do not come from a source of truth.
Ancient Hebrew & Ancient Aramaic. The Bible was created from scroll writings put together by the Council of Nicea under Emperor Constantine. The council scholars read and interpreted the original Bible, which was written in Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Aramaic. Neither of these languages have a word for sin or shame. The word in Ancient Hebrew is Chattah, which means to “miss the mark.”
Think about it. If we are learning to use a bow and arrow, we would first listen and observe someone with experience to gather the basics of how a bow is properly used. This is infancy, where our learning is to take in new information. Once we are comfortable and have a picture to work from, we go out and apply what we have observed. In childhood our job is to practice, practice, practice! We may make mistakes as we are learning. Should we feel shame for making mistakes during the learning process? No. We pick up our arrow, go back to the start and aim again. The only failures we will ever experience in life are because we throw away the (metaphorical) bow and give up the learning.
When you make a mistake, fix it. Right it in your life and move forward. If you have done something wrong, once you know it, you are not condemned to sin and shame. It is your responsibility to make amends, correct the issue and move on in your learning and growth. Sin and shame make us feel as though we can never move past the wrong we have committed.
If we are not sincere in our atonement to ourselves, we will put ourselves back into the same situation because we have not changed. However, Once we build the understanding and make a real change in ourselves, the change itself is our forgiveness. How do we know when we have completed a learning? We are happy and content with ourselves.
We are all held accountable for the truth that we know. If someone chooses to avoid change, there will be pain, for pain is merely the separation or disharmony between the Spirit, mind or body. It requires each of us to use our free will sincerely to make the choice to change. No one else can do this for us.
So how do you forgive yourself?
- Identify the mistake.
- Identify the truth and the change you want to make.
- Make amends for the wrong and heal it with anyone that was harmed.
- Live the new truth and learning in your life. This takes practice!
- Claim your changes and accept your own forgiveness.
Everyone deserves forgiveness once they make their change. It helps to be given encouragement, too, but enabling or trying to take away responsibility for another is disabling.
Essential Oils to promote forgiveness:
Bergamot, Frankincense, Myrrh, Helichrysum, Cypress, Rose Otto, Ylang- Ylang, Geranium, Lemon and Spikenard. You may use these in any combination that is appealing to you. If you are unsure, start with one and add others as you build confidence.
Affirmations to promote Change and Forgiveness:
You may memorize this affirmation and say it several times daily; or write it down and read it several times each day. Read it before you go to sleep and first thing in the morning, too. Apply a diluted essential oil or blend to your wrists or diffuse it into the air before you read this aloud to yourself. Reading aloud is helpful to fully embrace the change in your life.
- I accept change and growth in my life.
- I reach for changes and responsibility in myself that I may know God.
- I forgive myself for my imperfections,
- I forgive others for their imperfections, too.
- As I change, I grow and I receive forgiveness from myself.
- Love is my guiding light.
- I AM Love and I share this guiding light with all I meet.
Written by Char Milliman on March 4, 2016.