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A fresh look at an old idea: FORGIVENESS

I sat there wondering if he would forgive me.

I wondered if I could forgive myself.

I thought I had nothing to be forgiven for as in my mind I had done nothing wrong.

I thought that he is thinking he has done nothing wrong. I suddenly realized that un-forgiveness of myself or of his un-forgiveness of me were two sides of  the same problem.  The problem is not a problem of forgiveness verses un-forgiveness but in the system of “one way seeing or thinking.”   If the process is about who is right or who has wronged whom, it it becomes a perennial swirling into perpetual chaos.  It is a vortex into which we are subsumed.

Step out.  Step aside, step back. Step up.  Step where!

Then I had a “think attack.”  I thought what if it is not about forgiveness at all.  What if it is about letting go of being right or having to be proven right.  What if forgiveness is not something I do for another person but something I do for myself.  Not even God can forgive a person for the wrong they do.  So why would God ask me to do something he cannot do.  An old Japanese proverb states: “Forgiveness without repentance is like “writing on water.”  It does not exist.

Parakalein offers a way of seeing and a way of being that releases the propensity to frustration. Living in polar opposites internally paralyzes the system.  We live in extremes rather than finding balance to care for the extreme realities without letting them overwhelm.  Living in this dichotomy is like living in hell.  As Winston Churchill once said, “if you find yourself going in hell keep going”.  The polarization:  Forgive, don’t forgive is maddening. The polarization in me of wanting to forgive but not, needs a new way of seeing in this dilemma.  In “parakalein” the not being able to forgive is looked at in a new way it offers refreshing insights that can lead to growth and inner healing.

Parakalein invites a fresh look at the issue of forgiveness. One internal polarization that propels the conflict around forgiveness is the “constraint release” paradigm.   I see the problem as “he hurt me”, then I deserve to, in fact must, hold him responsible for that hurt.  I cannot release the person who has offended me as to do so would release him from being responsible and not honor my hurt. I withhold forgiveness lest I suffer the loss of self by dishonoring my right to hold him accountable for this action.  What I do not see is that this places a heavy burden on me.  I hold on to un-forgiveness which multiples the burden of the original offense.  Simultaneously that un-forgiveness has little or no effect on the perpetrator.  My burden is intensified.  The belief that my hurt needs to be honored is true and the offender needs to ask for forgiveness is also true. The idea that to release the burden of my hurt and pain through forgiveness removes the responsibility of the offender is itself a burden.  There is another way to see this dilemma.

Another dimension

Multidimensional thinking is a source of creativity.  If I only see anything in one way I miss seeing the multiplicity of things inside around above and beyond that “one way” of thinking.   Traditional way of thinking is that you have to forgive people or you live in the resentment and dungeon of un-forgiveness.  From the darkness of “one way” thinking we cannot see.  There is no light.  Light is the source of hope for change.

When we deal with forgiveness the basic assumption that we “have to forgive” creates a dilemma. A part of the problem is the toxic nature of un-forgiveness.  We also equally realize the toxic nature of forgiving someone only to unintentionally make it okay for that person to “do it again”.  We additionally know intuitively and internally that such forgiveness silences and so victimizes the “hurt part” within as it forced into the dungeon of darkness out of which rises resentment and dysfunction in some way.   It is not about forgiving others.  It is about forgiving oneself, such dishonoring of the internal system that needs to be cared for not silenced, to be heard not harmed, and to be healed not re-injured.

Forgiveness is a greater problem in human relationships than deciding who did who wrong and therefore guilty or who is right or innocent.  The issue of who needs to ask or receive forgiveness is also arguably unhelpful in healing the inner hurt and restoring relationships.  The goal of forgiveness is to heal the inner hurt and possibly restore relationships. Reconciliation, redemption and renewal are the key concepts woven into the art of forgiveness not the act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness as it is presented seldom accomplishes the goal of healing without  ignoring the internal thought process and feelings of the offender or the offended.

Jesus taught “Forgive us our sins as we forgive others who have sinned against us”. We have assumed and most have presented the essential idea present here is:  “you have to forgive or you will not be forgiven”.  An understandable truth is presented.  In the sea of the multiplicity of truths another arena is missed.  The sky above is the opposite of the sea below.  The opposite truth of “I must forgive” is not that I do not have to forgive but I cannot forgive.

The idea of “I must forgive” forces me to forgive the person who has hurt me just because he says, I am sorry.  In other cases, I have to forgive him regardless of his request to be forgiven.  In both instances, the offender is forgiven and the offended is left with the inner hurt part, crying out for fairness and justice.  There is none.

When the disciples of Jesus asked him to help them to pray as they needed to, he used the teaching technique of leading by example. One of Jesus’ quotes was “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us."

This concept is connected to an earlier teaching to forgive others as your heavenly father has forgiven you.  How does God forgive people?  Does he forgive us without our asking for forgiveness?  This would let us off the hook and make change or acknowledgement unnecessary.  This would make “wrong actions” okay which would itself be ”not okay”.

Does God forgive people without repentance or change?  Not really.  Recall the words of John the Baptist, “who warned you to flee from God’s wrath, bring forth evidence that makes it clear that you are sincere and repentant” or know that what you do is an empty act of outward acknowledgement with little or no true meaningfulness.  Many of us have done this.  We have done an act or stated a reality that was more pretentious and protective than genuine, honest and transformative.  Think about that.  If you have an honest part, it will show you the times you have acted in pretense and practice.

God does not forgive anyone who does not authentically and audaciously assert true change.  Paul teaches (II Cor 9:7-10) that Godly sorrow leads to repentance that leaves no regrets”.  True sorrow, for anything I have done wrong or toward anyone who I have injured whether intentionally or not, leads to a desire and design to change, then actually changes never to offend in that way again. The reason that there is no regret in this process is that the injured person and the injurious person are both welcome at the table of honest reflection and reflective caring.  Put another way the offended does not regret the hurt as that hurt part feels it has been cared for not vindicated or victimized but healed.  At the same time the offender, understands that the part of them that behaved in this manner needs to be healed so that its burden that propels its behavior is understood so it has no regret.  In the first there is no shame, in the second no guilt.  Guiltless and shameless forgiveness is forgiveness that transforms both the offender and offended by inviting them to see that the issue of forgiveness is internal and eternal not relational. It has relational consequences and contributions but “forgiveness without repentance is like writing on water” of the sea below or on sky above. Picture writing on water even if you wrote with colored water it would quickly dissipate.  The same is true as you picture sky writing.  Picture the plane writing with vapor in the sky that dissipates equally.  External forgiveness is just like that.  It dissipates. It denies the real power of inner forgiveness. It discredits and devalues the inner injured parts of both offender and offended.

The Riddle of God’s forgiveness

“To err is human to forgive divine”.  Have you ever heard that quote?  It is true.  Its opposite is not true: “to err is divine, to forgive is human”.  What is Divine forgiveness?

Travel with me into a time tunnel back to beginning of time and space.

Take a few minutes, ask the parts to let us continue down the street to a new dimension. God is thinking, creative thought, courageous intent, calm confidence, and a caring orientation.  God thinks, if I create another reality not an opposite or opposing reality, just another reality, it would be a physical reality complimentary to and not in conflict with the spiritual reality that is the essence of eternal life.

The physical reality created would be full of opposites that are not intentionally to oppose each other but to complete each other as long as they could understand that it is not about this “or“ that but about this “and” that.  Then God would have to consider the reality that the physical would have to learn about the truth of the spiritual reality world.  The only way for them to learn is to enter that physical world, live in that physical world, then transcend that physical world by giving up his physical existence voluntarily knowing that would teach the created people who live in the physical reality of their world of the spiritual reality behind them, before them, about them and below them. The creator God would visit the created space to transform the physical reality and transfer the spiritual reality into awareness.

God sent his son to die for us and to live in us.  Both are equally true.  It is both and not either or.  The scripture that says Jesus was slain before the foundation of the earth comes into new light with this idea.  Jesus dies not to appease a violent and vengeful God of wrath but to a God of love in order to take on the experience of the physical world. It transforms the reality of the physical world into the experience of the spiritual reality--God entered into time and space to free us from the burden of time and space.  The burden of time and space, is to believe that, time and space is all that  is,  God sent his son not to appease his wrath but to appease the fear that grips humanity.  That fear is the fear of loss.  In reality nothing that God gives or has made can be lost.  The God of calm compassion loves all creation back to its balance of peace and harmony.  The physical world is where the polarizations and paralysis occur.  The spiritual world is where the freedom of will, the release of burdens, and the healing of hurts become reality.

Forgiveness then similarly is not about the external world or the external experience but about the belief that you have to forgive and the burden that upon being forgiven the injured part feels betrayed.  So forgiveness is neither temporal or external.  So why is that the focus of forgiveness?

We want to make something happen, something needs to happen, and we cannot see any other way for it to happen.  So let’s look at another way to see forgiveness.

It is not that I have to forgive but rather that I cannot forgive.  Therefore all the work of forgiveness falls short of the forgiveness that God offers, has led us to experience and wants us to live.

Forgiveness as an Internal and eternal job:

The real work of forgiveness is equally internal and eternal.  It is not about forgiving someone or something done to you in or from the physical world but the fear of loss, the grip of shame, the burden of guilt, the defense of blame.  All these work against the calm care that is in the Spirit for the injured part from within.

When God, in the physical experience and expression of Jesus said, “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing!”  It was true they did not know what they were doing.  They thought they did as many of us do.  They were in the illusions of their one way of thinking.  They could not see.  It was not a delusion as it was true it was the illusion that it was the whole story that created the disconnection.  It was simultaneously both true that God was forgiving everyone and that God could not forgive anyone.  I know that sounds chaotic, mutually exclusive, and like babble.

Travel back with me to the early days of the creation epic.  God created humanity and endowed that humanity with freedom of choice and with responsibility for choices.  God would representatively remain the same regardless of what choice the created made.  God who is in essence calm and compassion, creative and courageous, would remain so regardless.  God never changes.  God always changes.  God forgives.  God cannot forgive.  These sound like polarities like light and darkness, like good and evil, like love and hate.  They are opposite and oppositional in the physical reality of the physical world but in divine and spiritual reality they are collaboratively and cooperatively complimentary.  This would parallel Augustine’s idea or “compensatory opposites and introduce the idea of complimentary opposites.

The forgiveness that God offers is the forgiveness within the very heart of God.  When God watched, the created choose to act outside of the commands of the creator, it was not seen as in opposition but as complimentary.  It invited the experience of healing and compassion to be expressed and then experienced.  God comes into the Garden with forgiveness in the inner heart offering that experience to humanity.  Humanity is triggered and tricked into fearing that such choice would result in rejection and abandonment.  This fear caused them to feel shame and express blame.  There was no sense of forgiveness in them toward themselves or each other.  They went into hide and attack mode.

A natural conclusion from their behavior is that the “fear of loss” distorted their perceptions and created illusions.  The sought to hide from God and each other, they decided to blame each other, and internalized guilt.  God on the other hand came into the garden with love and grace in the heart, the inner SELF-Spirit or Spirit-SELF. God did exactly what the day before experienced, unconditional presence in the garden regardless. God asked where they were not because God did not know what had happened, what they did, or where they were.

God asked to invite them to learn and know where they were and what they needed to experience.  What they needed was not judgment for that they had internally.  They need to be reacquainted with the love and peace that was in them that had been lost, so they thought, when they acted in violation to that inner presence.

God had a heart of forgiveness toward them and invited them to experience that forgiveness as he prepared a suitable covering that paralleled the suitable helpmeet that they were to be for and toward each other.  They had succumbed to the threat and fear of loss and it had blinded them to the love and grace that is internal and eternal.

God acted with forgiveness toward them before they received or changed their belief because God did not change.  They did.  Redemption is humanity reclaiming their innocence by returning to the focus of love and peace rather that the deceptive lure of shame, blame, and guilt.

When God in Christ forgave the world that forgiveness was God’s heart open.  God acted out what he knew in his heart needed to be acted out for the external world to see and know.  When you enter into the physical world of frailty and failures and fragmentation you need to know that the true reality is not the physical world but the spiritual world.

This kind of forgiveness gets God off the hook as it offers the experience of forgiveness in an internal and eternal way.

When God sent his son to die it was not exclusively to “atone” for our sins but inclusively to let us know that the experience of spiritual reality is a real as the experience of physical reality.  God was modeling a principle of forgiveness that we often miss.  When sin first entered the human experience it created shame, blame, and guilt none of which were helpful in anyway.  Fear of loss, we did something that is irreversible, and desire for gain, we have to blame someone to feel better, become the driving forces.  They eclipsed the willingness to experience loss and the confidence and compassion that knows nothing is lost if we remain in balance and harmony inside.  Adam and Eve did not need God to forgive them they needed to forgive themselves for having a part that desired gain, overwhelming their compassionate and calm SELF.  God, differently, remained in a calm and compassionate state appearing in the garden the next day with the same love and care of previous days.  Nothing had changed in God.

God could have at that moment blamed and shamed them rejected them abandoned them but that would be inconsistent with the who “I AM” was and is.  He also could have forgiven them but that would have interfered with their own internal work and would have been inconsistent with the character of God.  God chose to “offer garments to cover” their sense of shame, change their need to blame, remove their guilt and restore them to balance and harmony.  Deeming them again to be all they need as the Love and Spirit of God is in them.  This is redemption.  Deeming them again in a state of balance and harmony.  What God offered them is a “heart of forgiveness” not doing forgiveness for them or to them.  We cannot forgive people or be forgiven by people.  We can forgive ourselves for the spirit of un-forgiveness and for the acts of harm we have done to others.  Forgiveness is internal and eternal in that sense.

God is off the hook of having to forgive humanity not because he is an unforgiving God but because God is leading us to a deeper understanding of forgiveness.  No one is truly forgiven until they make a change inside that results in their returning to a state of peace and tranquility within.  God does not withhold forgiveness from anyone but offers a heart of forgiveness to and for everyone.  God want us to learn this lesson of forgiveness.

If what you think is that when you forgive the offender you remove his responsibility and you assume the guilt of the wrong then the forgiveness has you on the hook.  When you can “have a heart of forgiveness” but know you are not forgiving the other person just forgiving the part of you that holds bitterness and anger towards the other person.  You are off the hook, set free. The offender is not off the hook as he remains responsible for his internal work of forgiveness. But he no longer can put you on the hook saying you have to forgive me.

This is the other side of forgiveness.  I can’t forgive, I do not have to forgive, I just have to have a “clean heart”, a heart of forgiveness toward all.  It is not about forgiveness and all my parts need to know that.  It is the offer of a heart set free of un-forgiveness.  Then when the offender actually has to deal with his internal world and comes clean you are ready to receive him and forgiveness cycle is complete.   The forgiveness cycle is fourfold.  Not unlike the cycle of abuse it is systemic and salient.

Philosophical Observation Shift of the Mind of God

When I invite myself to take a step back and look at this with the perspective of time and space, I discover a “possibility thought”.  I think, what if something else was in the mind of God when this was uttered.  It is clearly taught by Jesus and other enlightened religious prophets, that when something bad happens it is not, “who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind?”  “Neither, but this happened that the glory of God  might be seen. It is true, however, that when I am unforgiving toward someone regardless of whether or not my information about that persons sin against me or against another is accurate, there is a toxic element that is perennial passed into my family system.

Un-forgiveness even if justified is not a family value but it creates a perennial toxic state in the family from that moment into the next several generations until it as a systemic curse is broken.  However, it is not that the “guilt” for the actual sin is visited to future generations as that would make future generations responsible for and “behavioral act” they had nothing to do with.  Such a posture is equally unfair to both the existing  generation and the coming one.  Furthermore it places responsibility for one person’s behavior onto another person..  When we understand this passage to be about the guilt and responsibility of withholding forgiveness, it is endemically toxic.  When we see it as about the truth that forgiveness can only be experienced when there is repentance but it can be offered without condoning or inviting the abuse to continue, healthiness is invited  into the presence of forgiveness and un-forgiveness.

If we look closer at the issue of forgiveness we begin to discover several key concepts that create a new paradigm for forgiveness in all relationships.

Forgiveness has four Steps:

Step 1, Acknowledging the offense and the memory that holds that event

Step 2: Identifying the triggers of forgiveness and un-forgiveness. I cannot forgive. Being compassionate to the part that hold burdens

Step 3:  Forgiving the parts that believe that they have to forgive – releasing the burden of un-forgiveness and forgiveness  
Step 4:  Nurturing an open heartedness toward the offense and offender. What is forgiven is having closed heart to oneself so what is offered is an open heart “of forgiveness” toward the offender and the offense.

Forgiveness is Four fold it has Four stages.

The first stage of forgiveness is to maintain a Spirit of forgiveness toward the offense and the offender.

It is about controlling and being aware of the internal-world.  I can control the inner-world as it is mine to create. I can let fears and beliefs control me.  I can learn to control them by choosing to think and believe in ways that breathe faith, hope, and love into the hurt and pain.  I work at honoring the part of me that is hurt not by being punitive toward the offender, nor by giving forgiveness to the offender but by being loving toward the hurt part inside of me and offering that posture to the offender.  Once the hurt part of me gets that I am going to care for it.  Once it gets that I am no longer going to get lost in concern for the external offense but breathe into my hurt the healing balm of positive attention and care, it relaxes.

In this “release of the burden” of trying to get the attention of repentance by the offender, the internal burden of the original offense and the burden of trying to get the offender to change provides a nurturing and healing energy from within.  The experience of internal care removes the burden for external care. This parallels the internal redemption discussed in a previous chapter as being about empowerment.  The idea that redemption needs to be external empowers the external world.  That which sustains a fear of loss in the context of a desire for gain does exactly the opposite.  When I see that self-nurturance and self care as the design for loving is experiences internally there is no fear of loss.  When I realize that if I get the acts of repentance I desire from the external offender there is no real release of the burden, no real gain.  The illusion of gain and the elusion to fear of loss perpetuate the burden.  Releasing the burden internally frees me up without giving a sense of devaluation.  The hurt part is valued and cared for internally by the care center of my soul and spirit.  I feel empowered and the burden released.

When I think that this sets the offender free I perpetuate my own imprisonment. It is not about releasing the offender form responsibility it is about releasing my burden. I intentionally act and believe in a new way toward myself and my experience of hurt. Instead of see this act as letting the offender off the hook I begin to see this in a new and different way.  The part of me that experienced the hurt no longer feels abandoned and uncared for by my focusing on the offense or the offender.  It feels my care, compassion, and creative resolve to see what at first I did not see.  This is the true act of faith.  It sees something that is not visible to the natural eye or the natural reaction.  It provides hope rather than despair and depression.  The hurt part experiences “loving” care that is refreshing and redemptive.

It is important to look at the other side of this as well.  The release of the spirit of forgiveness is partly about self-care but it is also about the realization of that when I make it about the other person who I cannot control I intensify my internal frustration.

When I forgive, I am released of the burden of resentment and anger.  This act and belief shifts the focus of care to the offended part of me, which provides healing.  At the same time this act and belief, places a greater burden on the offender who is now responsible for his behavior as I do not blur his responsibility with my un-forgiveness. In effect, I am off the hook and burden of un-forgiveness, which puts the offender on the hook.

When God offers forgiveness to the world it is not offered lightly or received casually.  It is offered at great internal cost and it is only receivable when serious transformation is the desire of the person to change.  While God takes a position and posture of love and care toward humanity, that love is only received when a person opens their heart to receive it.   It is not less loving or no less forgiving in the heart of God but it is only realized in the heart of humanity when humanity makes room for a transformation internally.  This further supports the idea that redemption is internal.  When it presented as an external reality it is toxic.  To declare that, the person created in the image of God with all the resources of God in them, needs someone outside of them to redeem them, is toxic.  This thinking perpetuates looking to the external world for freedom from internal frustration rather than looking inside for the birth of freedom.

Inside the heart of God the internal conflict of wanting to forgive humanity as an act of sacrificial loving and the part of God that knew to forgive would perpetuate external dependence and avert internal growth, propelled God to find an internal redemptive transformation.   To follow God’s lead we need to see the first act of forgiveness as having a spirit of loving nurturance toward the injured part of me and the part of me that invited the injury.  The act of forgiving both parts needs more attention.

The second stage of forgiveness is “The Experience of Forgiveness.”  It is redemptive.  It is about internal healing of the system not about forgiving the offender

It sets me free.  I am deemed to have the breath of perpetual life and energy in me.  When I let go of trying to correct myself or others and invite myself to be present with my hurt and pain rather than demanding justice or vengeance, a transformation occurs.   The need to punish is transformed by an inner experience of love and calmness.  I am off the hook.  I am no longer plagued with the thought that I have to forgive my offender.  I am no longer churning in the swirl of my own justifying pool of hurt and pain.  It is not that the offender is forgiven for indeed he is not but it is not even about that.  I am off the hook of my own un-forgiveness.  I am released.  I am free to experience the life energy that is of spirit and is confounded and confused when parts of me think they need to attack or defend against attack.  The image of God, letting his son die on Calvary, and the celebration of communion are seen as spiritual by Christians, is viewed by others as barbaric.  The celebration of drinking blood is barbaric.

In the Talmud the following quote appears: “The willingness to sacrifice is the prelude to freedom.”  Some have used that quote to call young men to sacrifice their lives for a cause but that is not the inherent sense of the passage.  The implicit truth is explicitly lost in such a translation.  When a person is “willing to sacrifice” his need to control others, impose judgment on others and demand to be right or prove you wrong, then that person has begun a journey to true freedom.  It is essentially an internal journey, and internal work, and an internal freedom that sets the person truly free.  It is essentially spiritual.  It gets me off the hook of thinking that it is about external forgiveness and makes it about internal forgiveness.

The third stage of forgiveness is the stage of “Expanding Forgiveness.”  Expanding Forgiveness is genuine and generates genuineness.  It is not about who is right, but rather it is about being right in my heart towards all people.  The forgiveness that is internal and eternal is offered to all.  No longer do you need to burden yourself with un-forgiveness or burden yourself with the sense that the offender is easily forgiven thus perpetuating the abusive parts.  This forgiveness is extended to all the parts of all people.  It is the internal work of everyone to forgive the unforgiving parts and be released of their burdens that perpetuate violence and abuse whether intentionally or unintentionally done.  Whether premeditated or accidental, it is about stopping the cycle of hurt and pain by inviting people to “go inside” and heal their un-forgiveness from within.

The fourth stage of forgiveness is the stage of Fulfillment:  Forgiveness is never complete or fulfilled until the system is in harmony and balance.  That only occurs when two people have both done their internal work of releasing their burden of un-forgiveness and developing a heart of forgiveness.  When the offended is in an “open hearted state” one side of forgiveness is ready. When the offender also forgives his internal anger and resentment that perpetuated the abuse, and so his heart is also free of his defensive and excusing parts and now open to change.  These two open hearts meet and true forgiveness with repentance and change are fulfilled in each other and healing is the result for and toward all.

Forgiveness is always on all sides a matter of the heart

“The spirit of forgiveness refers to the act of kindness and compassion toward oneself and one's own burden.  It is not about the offending person, it is about the internal hurt and pain that needs and wants to be attended to in a positive way.  The idea that it is about the external offense or the external offender perpetuates the un-resolvable nature of the world outside of me.  I cannot control the external world nor can I impose on the external offender justice or remorse.  Even if I could, which at times a part of me wants to do, because it would be imposed it would feel unreal because it would be.

Many times the work of forgiveness is to forgive the part of me that is unforgiving toward the person who injured me.  It is releasing the burden of my un-forgiveness that permeates my system with anger and bitterness that in turn burdens my life.  Having a Spirit of Forgiveness or a heart of forgiveness removes the burden of resentment and anger.  Because it is not about forgiving the abuser, the abuser remains responsible for his behavior.

Just as when God put all the anger and hurt of humanity onto his son the burden of forgiveness was transferred to the offender.  God’s heart and Spirit reveals the offer of forgiveness to all humanity but forgiveness is never complete until humanity receives the forgiveness through repentance or change.  That is redemption.  When God deems me as I once was free of sin.   Just as God is off the hook and humanity is on the hook when God’s heart of forgiveness is offered,  so the injured is off the hook when he has a heart of forgiveness toward his abuser without forgiving his abuser  who is on the hook.  He must deal with his internal system that needs forgiveness.  Forgiveness is always internal and eternal.

As human beings we think it is all about what we do or do not do.  If we took the hint from the very designation we would realize that what we do or do not do are the simple expressions of who we are or what we believe about who we are.  We are not human doings we are human beings.  It is not about “doing,” it is about “being”.   The reason our righteousness is as “filthy rags” is that we think righteousness is about “doing.”  Surprise!  God is not impressed by what you do or do not do.  People are.  However, God is not impressed by what God does but by who the “I AM” is.   When asked by Moses what he should say to describe who told him to delivered the 10 commandments to the people he had delivered from Egypt, God said “I AM that I AM”.  God did not say the one who made the world and everything in it.  It is not about what a being does it is about “being who I am.”

While we all have many parts of us that have varying opinions, ideals, hopes, dreams, fears, we all also have within us the image of God.  The infinite is the presence of love and grace.  The attributes of compassion, calmness, creativity, clarity, courage, contentment, and consciousness are divine.  It is not about who is right and who is wrong.  It is about being right in my heart toward all people because I hold in my heart not the offenses done to me but the forgiveness that I offer all my parts so that they can be released of their burden to forgive others.

The righteousness of God is not referring to the right behavior of God.  It is about the very heart of God that is “internally” and “eternally” in a right position and posture toward all that is.   God has a right heart of Forgiveness toward all parts.  God is full of  calmness, compassion, courage and creative energy.

Forgiveness is internal and eternal not relational or temporal

I was told so many times that I had to forgive.  I was told if I did not forgive then I was not forgiving and maybe not even a Christian.  At the same time, to forgive someone what has hurt me let’s them off the hook.  They are forgiven and set free to do it again and again and again.  This kind of forgiveness perpetuates the offense and makes no sense.

The other side is if forgiveness sees forgiveness as not something I do for the offender but something I do to release me of my burden.  It sets me free of the burden of un-forgiveness and it also sets me free of the burden in me if I feel I have forgiven the offender and that sets him free but leaves me in bondage.

If we forgive others as Christ has forgiven us.  If we understand the way of forgiveness to be that we forgive ourselves of any un-forgiveness and we offer a heart that is healed therefore open to forgive as it is a “Heart of forgiveness” then the dilemma is removed and the harmony and balance of the love and care that is transformational and transparent is available freely to all.  Just as God’s grace is available to all so grace is available for all.

The burden of forgiveness that does not care for the wounded heart is released as you do not have to forgive.  The burden of un-forgiveness  is released as a “heart of forgiveness” releases the burden of un-forgiveness.  Balance and harmony returns to the internal world as you let go of trying to control or enact forgiveness in the external world.

Who the truth sets free is truly free.

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