Does Forgiveness Take a Long Time? It All Depends!
Today we’re looking at the fallacy that “Forgiveness is a LONG Journey.” I will start off by saying with spiritual healing itself is never a long journey. It is always an instantaneous and immediate shift. Nonetheless I understand why we think that forgiveness is a long journey – because we attempt to forgive using will power. I have heard stories about people who have forgiven others because every day they would practice forgiving them. They would draw their attention away from their pain or their anger, and they would refocus it on wishing the person well. Over time that intentional shifting of energy was able to reduce the anger and the pain, and they became compassionate towards that person.
That is one way of achieving forgiveness. One of the problems with that is it’s basing its action on denial. You’re in pain but are deciding to focus on something else. You’re no longer paying attention to the pain but that doesn’t mean the pain is gone. I’ve met with people who really thought they’d forgiven things in their lives, and then thirty years later they have chronic health or emotional struggles, attached to what they thought they’d forgiven.
Instant Healing with the Soul!
So that would be one version of the long journey of forgiveness. It might be effective to a degree, but I think there are limitations. For one thing, not all of us can do that. Not all of us have that level of willpower, to everyday refocus our attention. For another thing, I’m not sure it completely solves the problem.
As opposed to that long journey of forgiveness, when we come to forgiveness from spiritual healing’s perspective it is instantaneous. There’s this passage in the Christian Bible which talks about how time isn’t the same to God as it is to us. For God one day can be a thousand years or a thousand years can be a day. This saying expresses the understanding that, although on the earthly level we experience time as linear, that is not the way time is experienced on the spiritual level. In fact time doesn’t even really exist, which means from the spiritual level – from our soul’s perspective – things can happen in an instant.
So Why Aren’t We Healed Immediately?
The reason why we might not experience spiritual clearing is never because the healing is not possible, but rather whether we’re ready for the healing. One reason we might resist healing is because we’re holding a grudge. We simply decide that we are not ready to forgive somebody because they don’t deserve to be forgiven. We put ourselves in the position of maintaining justice. We figure that, by not forgiving them, we’re going to rebalance the equation. The fallacy there is that we are really not in the position to create justice, or to balance the equation. That is a cosmic responsibility. You can hold that responsibility if you would like but you will discover that you’re not in a position to accomplish it.
The second reason we might not be ready to forgive is because we think that there is a lesson in our pain. We actually hear this idea repeated a lot in our culture, that pain is a gift. We get stronger because we walk through pain, or we become better, more compassionate people. That’s a belief system that you can have, but I will say that belief system will make pain a constant companion. You’re writing the life that you want. If that’s what you believe – you believe pain is valuable – you’re gonna hold on to it and even if someone offers you healing.
The Role of Pain in Spiritual Healing
The way I understand it, in spiritual healing pain is not the teacher, it’s just the catalyst to the lesson. Pain simply tells you something is wrong. Instead of focusing on the pain we can ask what the pain is showing us and move into the lesson. Once you get clear on what the pain was showing you, you can make the adjustments you need to make. It’s actually so simple, but our minds make it complicated.
Our minds don’t want us to change, and learning these lessons is a form of change. In fact it’s transformative. The mind is very antsy around us making these changes. That’s why the mind tries to convince us that the pain is a good thing – if you can focus on the pain instead of the solution that will keep you distracted.
What You Believe Is Your Choice!
As I said before you’re in charge of your life. You get to pick the life that you want. If you think that pain is good for you, that it makes you noble or strong or compassionate, then that is fine. Everything is a choice. But try not to fall into the trap of believing that you don’t have a choice. Try to acknowledge that this it’s okay for you to choose the path that you want, but it you could choose something different if you want.
I want to close this with this idea that we struggle with so mightily as human beings. It’s the idea of unconditional love. We really struggle as human beings to believe that unconditional love belongs to us. So, for example, when the Christian Bible says that God loves us unconditionally, we create conditions. We say God loves us if we are baptized, if we believe a certain thing, if we take communion the right way, or if we pray a certain way. We create conditions because it’s so hard for us to believe that we are loved regardless of anything we do.
It doesn’t matter what you do, you are beloved. You get to make your choices because you are beloved. You get to have the life that you want because you are beloved. You’re not in charge of whether you’re beloved; it simply belongs to you. When you start accepting that – if you decide to – you discover that forgiveness is just par for the course. Because they’re all beloved too. It doesn’t matter how rude they were to you, how hurtful they were. It doesn’t matter how much they violated or betrayed you. They are beloved as well. I can’t make choices about what they do or what they don’t do. I just get to choose whether I allow the universal love, or love of God, to come into my life. The more that I do that the freer I am to learn my lessons and move forward without pain.