The release that you call forgiveness is releasing yourself from pain. It is excusing yourself from continued punishment. What you do to another you do to yourself.
You know that when you give happiness to another, you feel it as your own happiness. It is the same with pain. When your heart hardens towards another, it is your heart that hardens. The punishment you wish to inflict on another, you inflict on yourself. You stick a knife into your own heart again and again. Now you will take it out.
You release others so that you are released. You release your hold. You cannot hold something tight in your hand or heart without tensing. That which you hold on to has captured you. You got caught in a snare, and you pulled someone else in with you and kept them by your side.
What is the unforgivable sin that someone has committed against you that you hold it so tight to you? What oversight? What slight? What act did they commit when they were not paying attention? What pain of their own were they making you the brunt of? You were merely an excuse for their anger or snobbery or forgetfulness to come out. You were merely handy. Why do you take it so personally?
In your tour of life, you are learning to let go. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. You don’t want the past to cling to you. Don’t make the past present.
Clinging to hurt is clinging to the past. You cling with your thoughts. Your mind holds on to an error of one dimension or another. You need to love yourself enough so that you will let yourself go from another’s offense.
You know you don’t need strictures in your heart. The surgeon’s knife will not remove your accumulated outrage. It can only bypass it.
For every offense committed against you, deliberate or careless, it was a mistake. Hearts are meant to love, not hurt or be hurt. Be the instigator of love. Do not compound someone else’s error. Don’t make it your own. Erase offense. Offenses are erasable.
When you release another heart from its bondage to you, you lighten the world. A hardened heart is a burden. It is felt in the rafters of the universe. It creaks across the firmament. It puts out stars in the sky and it clogs the earth’s air.
All offenses you make testify to yourself. All offenses another makes testify to himself. So why would you make another’s burden your own and carry it around with you?
There is no hurt without your compliance. There is a silent contract between you and the other. It is love gone awry. You pledge your troth to them. You promise to never forget them or what they have done or what they have said or what they have not done or said. You promise to keep them close to you. You make an icon of them. You raise an altar to them. You keep them in a corner of your heart, and take them out frequently to renew your vow. You hold your hurt like a treasured artifact. You polish it.
Now it is time to clear out your heart. Empty it of old rusty tin cans. Take the knife out. Disempower the cruel knife of unforgiveness.
Forgiveness is merely letting go of that which was not yours to take in the first place. Your initial error was in taking an offense to your heart. Take not offense, and you will never have to let go of it. You were not born to take offense. Therefore, you are not wonderful to forgive.
In your heart, apologize to all those whom you still store in a cellar of your heart, and let them go. You don’t need your stale thoughts any longer. You never did, but now you know, and now you release all prisoners.
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