When Jesus gave the Lord’s Prayer to his disciples, he emphasized the dual aspects of forgiveness. Jesus asked the disciples to pray for forgiveness from the Father and to pray for the ability to forgive all others. Do we have enough humility to ask for forgiveness? And are we also able to forgive others? It is often easier to recognize damage inflicted by someone else than it is to understand the effects on others of our own misguided thoughts, words, and actions.
We tend to see ourselves as either a victim or a perpetrator. In truth, we are both and have been through time.
We are supported by society in claiming the victim status, particularly in the judicial system. One then seeks retribution. This is often legally necessary in order to protect others in society, and there can be justifiable anger and grief at the damage one has experienced. But what do we do with the ‘energetics’ of the grievance?
As a perpetrator, we have to learn the humility to recognize and accept what damage we may have done, even if unintentional. This requires laying the ego’s reactions aside. Asking for forgiveness through prayer is sometimes the only way to resolve an issue. The Father always forgives because He recognizes you as already whole and complete, whereas we see our humanness and feel regret.
Sometimes asking forgiveness from another person or group is important. In this case though, forgiveness might not be received. Yet how can we be responsible for the imbalance that results when the injured party decides to ‘hang on to the grudge’?
When the rational, direct, and compassionate approaches fail to elicit a compassionate and forgiving response from the injured party, one often feels the pain of separation. The heart feels this. How can we heal this separation, so we are open hearted once again?
About ten years ago, I learned the Ho’oponopono prayer, an ancient Hawaiian prayer of forgiveness. There are only four lines which you repeat for a period of time while thinking of the situation that needs resolution.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I love you.
At the time I learned this prayer, I was very upset about a vile act that had been committed against someone I love. I found it very hard to mouth the words as I thought about the perpetrator. But I kept at it and was very surprised when one day the anger had lifted. There was a sense of moving on with our lives despite the incident. I guess you could say that there was a release of holding on to the burden of sadness and anger in my heart.
What Ho’oponopono does is humble me, because when I’m repeating the lines, I am acknowledging that we have each played out the different roles of victim and perpetrator throughout time. I recognize that we’ve each had multiple lives where all things possible have played out.
Looking at hurts from this perspective allows us to open our hearts to acceptance and then to forgiveness. What I have found is that it is particularly important to sit back and allow. This doesn’t mean I approve of what is happening, but it does allow me to just accept what is. This is the foundational response, and it puts a halt to defensiveness and reactivity from within. It allows for the arising within of a non-egoic response.
Forgiveness is a necessary act that needs frequent re-visiting. I may strive to be heart based in my thoughts, words, and actions, but I invariably fail in some way almost every day. By asking for forgiveness daily, and seeking always to forgive others, I help to clear the karma which has been created. I release and start anew.
Make Ho’oponopono a daily practice as you continue with your Ascension. Do this in the shower, and let your karma wash away. The Mother Earth knows how to transform it. You will be cleansed inside and out!