A Perspective in Forgiveness
Is there someone in your life, or maybe even yourself, that you are having trouble forgiving?
Consider with me just for now, a viewpoint that might change your mind.
Here it is…“No one does anything wrong given their personal perspective of the world.” When I first heard this in Neale Donald Walsh’s Book 2 of his Series, Conversations with God, I’m sure I had the same reaction that you may be having now. It is one of those statements that at first makes you angry. You may be thinking, “How can that be? There are people who have done some pretty atrocious things-how can you say they did nothing wrong?” Actually, this standpoint is not saying what someone did wasn’t wrong. It is saying given their particular perspective of the world, what they did wasn’t wrong. This viewpoint is not an easy one to accept, but it can also go a long way in helping you to forgive yourself or another for past mistakes.
To help, consider this-think back to what you believed when you were in middle school or when you were a teenager, depending on your current age. Now compare that with your viewpoint today. Most likely your thinking has changed on a few things! You can look back and see how ignorant and naïve you were compared to how wise you are today (hopefully). Were you wrong before? Were your behaviors inappropriate to you given your view of the world at the time? Of course not!
We are all at different stages of spiritual growth, awareness and evolution. None is better or worse than the other, it just is. It is not better to be in 10th grade, than it is to be in the 4th grade. They are just different levels of learning and understanding according to a particular progression. What is true for you today may be different or only partially true for you 1, 5 or 10 years from now. We live and learn, so to speak.
And we learn through contrast. Once you perceive something is wrong, your perspective changes about it and you grow. You would not make the same mistake today, you know that. When someone else does something to hurt you, consider that their perspective is skewed. They may not “perceive” that what they are doing is wrong; it may be a learned defense mechanism that is literally “unconscious” to them. When you stand up for yourself and communicate to them the hurt they caused you, you can help them grow. When you forgive them, you help yourself grow. Compassion is the key to forgiveness. It doesn’t take away the anger or sadness, it just acknowledges what has happened, and blesses the transgressor and their human weaknesses.
And we all have human weaknesses! Your particular perspective about something is based on years of conditioning unique to you from your life experiences. Much of this conditioning is unconscious and ingrained into your belief system. When you “believe” you are right and you take action to defend your “rightness”, not everyone is going to agree with you. To them you are wrong! But you are not wrong according to your personal perspective of the world! (At least in this particular situation and in this particular point in time) Get it?
I know, it’s a brain squeezer! But when you look back on your life, what mistakes did you make that you can honestly say you would not have made them if you knew what you know today? Haven’t you ever said “If I only knew then what I know now”? How powerful is that in giving yourself a break and forgiving yourself for “then”? Even if you what you were doing was wrong when you did it, there was still a reason you did it that you were not fully “awake” to. How do you know this? Because the YOU that you are now, now knows that it was a mistake, and the YOU that you are now would not make that same mistake again.
I would love to hear your comments!
Debra Betterly, PhD is an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach and Metaphysician whose passion is to help women expand their health, joy and purpose in midlife and beyond.
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