After writing this guest post the other day Don published a helpful comment to clarify any confusion arising in regards to forgiveness.
He noted how forgiving often involves setting up boundaries.
Now comes the uncomfortable, often confusing part of true, real forgiveness versus the world’s forgiveness.
Genuine forgiveness is 100% of the mind and has nothing to do with bodies.
As a practical example, I forgave a number of people on my mind-training journey to release them, mentally. In my mind, I understood how clinging to these bodies certainly came from various fears related to loss, shame, guilt, criticism and grief.
Forgiving them in mind involved letting go of the need to ever see their body again.
The world does NOT like that one!
Instantly, the ego believes that this suggests hating someone, despising their presence or simply kicking their butt out to the curb.
The mentally trained understand this enlightened wisdom: if you love someone set them free.
Now let me dig into some private thoughts in order to help you understand why I think this way, why I intend to practice forgiveness and why doing so offers me peace of mind.
Travels and Forgiveness
Some members of my worldly family never reached out to me during the entirety of my 12 years of world travels for any reason other than to notify me that my family members were dead, dying or stricken by a terminal illness.
In my mind, they only appeared to abandon me because I feared being abandoned. This is not the type of forgiveness one seems advertised on Hallmark cards but offers lasting peace of mind. During colorful interludes, some family became enraged that I was not there for them. I eventually understood how my unconscious mind felt enraged that they were not there for me.
Everyone mirrors your mind back to you.
Gradually, patiently, forgiving them in mind sets them free with love.
I love each family member because beneath the sometimes less loving worldly behavior I know their heart is love, as is the case for all bodies in existence. Deep down, we are love. Sometimes, the ego and its fears create odd surface level activities.
If my wife and I continue to travel as we have for 12 years I peacefully understand how each family member will likely never reach out for the next 20 years if we travel for that long. I love them and need nothing from them because love never asks. Heck yeah it took some mind training to reach this point. The alternative of grief, guilt and anger is not a happy journey.
Minds Not Bodies
When you truly forgive someone in mind you let go of the guilt-driven need to be in the same room as their body or to communicate with their body online because forgiveness is purely mental and has nothing to do with body proximity or bodily interaction.
Don mentions setting boundaries in his comment. Radical, true forgiveness removes the need for even setting boundaries. Forgiveness in its most blissful form means letting go of the NEED to see a family member’s body forever if you only reached out to them for fear-reasons, for guilt-reasons and for grief-reasons.
Once you MENTALLY forgive someone in the deepest sense you set them free with love. If you see their body again during this worldly lifetime, you will be happy. If you do not see their body again during this worldly lifetime, you will be happy.
Your happiness never depends on bodies. Your happiness always depends on your mind.
Sure you may see them again. In most cases, you will. But you will be happy, peaceful and serene whether you see them or not. Talk about unconditional love, eh?
Why do enlightened beings radiate peace?
Enlightened minds see all forms as one spirit. Enlightened minds cut the fear-based ties attaching to form.
I am a newbie mind trainer but realize how happy, peaceful and serene I’ve been by letting some family members be from the love of forgiveness. Whether I see them, or do not see them, or whether they are happy or unhappy with me on the odd chance that I see them, I love them and release them to be as they are. OK; maybe not 100% but my wife can attest that I remained largely calm during some dramatic worldly examples testing the levels of true forgiveness in my mind.
Once you forgive someone in the mind from true love you no longer harbor a guilt attachment to their body.
Does that make sense?
The world totally does not get this true forgiveness definition because the world forgives through fear, guilt, grief and attachment to special relationships, courtesy of clinging to bodies.
“You HAVE TO see them! They are your family!”
What if you go to a party or pick up the phone or try to convince someone through Messenger because fear, guilt and grief in your mind motivate you to maintain physical or cyber contact?
You never truly forgive a dad, mom, sister, brother, child, spouse or any friend (or any human body) until you let them free with love.
The intuition may guide your bodies to cross paths again. Cool. Or not. Cool.
The world cares about rituals, not your mind, motivator or any inner thought patterns that can completely ruin your life. I used to call my dad frequently because “he’s family” until I delved deeper into my mind to see that fear secretly drove the habit. I feared being a “bad son”, felt guilty and fired up the phone most times to dial him up from abroad. I feared for him. I feared for myself. Not a good look. Not a “love” look.
I came across a line in A Course in Miracles revealing the following idea: Before you pick up a phone to call some body get mentally clear on the reason.
I call my dad now when I mentally frame him in an empowered light, when it’s fun and when the intuition guides me to ring him.
I am still forgiving him but not based on the worldly, warped definition of “ him doing something bad and me being the better person”. That’s a grievance not forgiveness. Grievances fester into mental and bodily explosions. Keep an eye out for these episodes at family functions around election time. 🙂
I am letting him go in love to live his life. When the intuition guides me I simply call him for a fun chat.
Love will flow to you in all ways, shapes and forms when you train your mind to release people you cling to because you deeply fear letting go of their bodies.
Of course you may forgive people and keep close bodily contact but ONLY if these relationships bond through love, collaboration and peace of mind.
If all of your worldly relationships do not radiate these feelings then you, like me, have some true forgiving to do.
When you set less and less boundaries and the stressful behavior in others fades away to be replaced by loving bonds then your forgiveness has reached a new level.
Life is a movie.
True forgiveness often changes the cast of characters for the good of all.
Some great thoughts Ryan. My family has scattered throughout the US and most I only hear from when I initiate, so I completely understand those feelings.
It's a two way street, I've heard from some family members that I never call or visit too, which in retrospect if I'm honest with myself is mostly true. Like you, I've forgiven them and mostly forgiven myself for not taking the initiative more and learned just look forward to the occasional times we do talk or get together. When everyone is waiting for the other person to take the first step it's tough to have a good relationship though, and people get tired of always being the first to reach out.
I think your point about forgiving people while also releasing the need to keep toxic relationships is huge. Certainly my life has been filled with a lot less drama once I learned to only focus my time on relationships that bring me joy.
The cool thing is Don that with that internal, mind-level of forgiveness, fam stops saying “you never call or visit” because that is not your job, duty or requirement. You are free to do as you wish. If they say this, even in the most casual way, it is their forgiveness lesson. We can allow them to learn in their own time. We learn so many interesting roles-duties-responsibilities-requirements based on being blood relatives. They are adults with a free will who can pick up the phone or buy a plane ticket at any time, if they want to stay in touch. Genuinely, it is their decision. True forgiveness allows all relationships to be undone so the most beneficial bonds form organically. Thanks my friend as always!