The words that truly landed for me…
The reason forgiveness matters so much is because when the heart is open to focus on your innocence rather than your guilt, to focus on who you are today rather than the mistakes you made yesterday – not just giving a person the benefit of the doubt but give them a break. When the heart is softer that way then it’s an act of self interest in a way because that kind of emotional generosity doesn’t just serve the other person – it serves us. At the same time the critical attitudes, the judgmental attitudes, the “no, I will not forgive you,” doesn’t hurt you – it hurts me.
Forgiveness requires nothing in return. There are no conditions. It gets rid of old baggage and clears up unfinished business.
You want to give yourself a gift? Forgive.
Forgiveness is the highest form of letting go resentment and ego. Like love, forgiveness benefits the giver and the receiver. As Plato once said, “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
So the idea of forgiving ourselves and loving ourselves – that kind of gentleness towards ourselves is extremely important because whatever it is that we’ve been doing that’s dysfunctional, or that is mistaken, self-sabotaging, self-destructive, or even destructive or sabotaging towards someone else – if after I’ve done it I’m involved in a never-ending hatred of self that will actually tempt me to do it more. You know, the ego mind – the fear-based ego – is both that which sets us up to do the wrong thing and then punishes us savagely for having done it. So, gentleness towards self and others is literally a spiritual strength.