forgivenessWhat is Forgiveness?

I was watching Deepak Chopra on Bill O’Reilly and the notion of forgivness came up for me. We hear the phrase – I forgive you – all the time and yet, I notice in many of these situations, there appears to be residual angst in the consciousness of those forgiving.

Wikipedia – Forgiveness is typically defined as the process of ceasing to feel resentment, indignation or anger for a perceived offense, difference or mistake, and ceasing to demand punishment or restitution.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I’m keeping a chart.

Martin Luther King, jr.:  We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Forgiveness involves both the heart and the mind. In my experience, the heart opens so wide, it can hold the entire situation, all the pain, suffering and betrayal. In this extraordinary vastness a magical openness and acceptance and kindness arise that frees the heart of anguish.

The effect on the mind is like erasing a slate – beginner’s mind. The past is still the past – events happened. But the past no longer defines me or the other. Not only is the other truly forgiven, the other is free to emerge in a whole new light in my world.

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