Sanskrit is said to have been divinely revealed to meditating sages thousands of years ago; the sound of each word representing the subtle energy of its meaning. In this beautiful language, to forgive is to untie – meaning forgiveness is the untying of our emotional knots.
It is in this release of emotion, where we freely feel the flow of pain, fear, anger, loss and disappointment and where we also can experience empathy, compassion and ultimately joy. The harder you pull on the string the tighter the knot becomes: holding anger, resentment or a grudge is like pulling on the string, tightening up the knot. Letting go and forgiving is easing off on the pressure and the knot becomes looser and easier to untie.
That is how happiness is found in forgiveness.
The Truth of Who We Are
One of my beloved teachers, Dr. David Simon, was fond of pointing out our ego-self (our self-image) was always looking to be offended.
What David was showing us is that our self-image is not who we are; we are not our story we are a deeper reality, the true authentic self. When we know ourselves as the true authentic self, then we are connected at our source – the source of all happiness.
When we are not connected or don’t remember who we really are, we have no choice but to rely upon our self-image. Our ego identity, the personality, is a creation made from all the circumstances and event of our past, beginning at birth.
This is the part of us that is wounded and offended.
It is from this understanding that Dr. Robert Holden and Tom Carpenter approach a “dialogue on forgiveness.” It’s from Tom’s deep insights we learn that when awareness begins to dawn, and we begin to recognize our self-image for what it is; that’s “the beginning of the use of forgiveness.”
Forgiveness is untying the knot…
When we are connected to our self-image we are:
- Cut off from all things, we feel alone as if we are “skin encapsulated egos”
- Limited and exposed
- We lack creativity because we feel constrained and habitual
- We are insecure and fearful of anything outside our comfort zone
- We must work or struggle hard for all our “gains,” there is little sense of intuition or flow
Forgiveness is a doorway of transformation, leading us away from fear and to love. That is the beauty and wisdom of this dialogue on forgiveness.
Learning true forgiveness connects us to the greater part of ourselves and it is this place that happiness naturally arises…happiness is found in forgiveness.