By Bhavna Bhen

Is there any one of us who has not been hurt in some way? We remember the times we were slandered, injured, falsely accused, cheated or maligned in some way. The depth of pain having left such deep impressions on the soul that we feel them to be un-forgivable. To assist us in holding on to this feeling are many, of the same mind, who through their own sufferings and inability to forgive, give consent and permission as it were, to stay in this non-forgiveness mode. I wish to shut the book on the one who caused injury, to shut him out, to cause her as much pain as she has caused me. And so digging my heels in, I make the firm declaration, “I will never forgive that one!” “Never!”

The question arises. Who is being hurt by this type of thinking? I know that my suffering has not subsided by holding on to anger or hatred, and I equally know that my sorrow can only increase by holding on with stubborn resolve.

“She said something that caused me to lose my job.” “You’d be upset too, if it happened to you.” However, she, is still in the office working, unaware, unconcerned and definitely not upset about it. Yet I hold on to this feeling of anger or hatred thinking it will in some way cause her pain. I am hurting only myself by not forgiving.

The situation is finished. It is not a question of changing that. The question is of only, what will I do with it now? When I was a child my mother used to teach me “two wrongs do not make a right”. And “do not come down to their level”. How right she was! The main point I would like to stress is that it’s not a question of right or wrong, but simply is there benefit in what I am doing. Are my actions and my way of thinking beneficial, are they yielding happiness or sorrow, not only for the self but for others as well. Everyone around me also experiences my lack of forgiveness. My family, friends and myself, all are affected.

So realizing this, I begin to let go, to forgive. Something that holds a lot of us back from forgiving is thinking that forgiveness means condoning. It does not. Forgiveness means to give. Forgiveness is primarily for the self.  Ask yourself, “Is my life for giving, or for taking”? If your life is for taking you will often suffer the pain and inability to let go of things and situations that create sorrow in your life. Your arms will always be full with past hurts and injuries. Carrying this huge burden, the feeling of lightness will be gone. You will instead experience stress, anxiety, fear, loneliness and sorrow. Put the burden down, or better yet, give it to God. Experiment with forgiveness!
Let me ask you a question. Have you ever made a mistake? I am hearing a resounding “Yes”. Did you want a second chance? Again, I hear everyone replying “Yes, in deed”. Karmically speaking, if I wish to receive second chances, I’d better be giving them! You get what you give. Perhaps you are thinking, “No-one gives me second chances, so why should I give them”? This way of thinking is exactly why no-one gives you second chances. I must begin to change myself first, then, the world in relationship to me will change, guaranteed!

Another thought had by many is the feeling of justice. We feel that one should be punished in some way. Don’t worry about it. We each suffer for our wrong actions, just as each will benefit from our right actions. You know this is true from your own experience. Nothing can stop it. But, it is not my job to dole it out. Nature will take care of that. It is my job to not add to the sorrows of the world. It is my job to let go, to forgive.

My life is for giving. In so doing I have not only had mercy for that one, but mercy for myself. I begin to live in harmony, to re-emerge my innate power, the power of virtue. My life is for giving.

Bhavna has studied metaphysics for more than 35 years and has been a Raja Yogi for more than 13 years. On the teaching staff of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU), she is the director of its Delray Beach branch, The Transformation Station, in Florida. She travels to the BKWSU headquarters in Mount Abu, India on a yearly basis for advanced training.  She also travels to London, Oxford and New York for further training as well. She goes into the local community to speak at varying venues including libraries, bookstores, and in the prison system. Her practical and down to earth approach to deep matters coupled with her sense of humor help to make her a most enjoyable and enlightening speaker, teacher and author.

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