Forgiveness is wrapped up with the religious concept that there is something inherently wrong with us.
But for the great mercy and benevolent grace of a fickle, unknowable god, we’d be hapless sinners, doomed to the everlasting fire.
This is nonsense. It just keeps people stuck where they are, addicted to guilt and blame.
What is there to forgive, anyway?
Deepak Chopra (in his book, Peace is the Way) offers this refreshing thought on the matter:
Whatever mistake you have made about who you are is temporary. Your true identity has remained untouched. You have never sinned against it or affected it in any way except to lose touch with it. The prevailing problem for each person is separation and nothing else…there is no self to change. There are only masks that we wear for a moment and then discard. If you can cherish yourself even as you discard your current favorite mask, you are living perfectly in the way of peace.
Of course, if we do something that harms or dishonors ourselves or someone else, it is natural (and right) to feel genuinely sorry for it and seek to make complete restitution.
But there is no need for wailing, dressing in sackcloth, and sitting in dust and ashes.
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean assigning guilt or blame to ourselves (or anyone else).
Nneka over at Balanced Life Center addresses the tendency to flog ourselves over some perceived wrong and how to release that so that we can move on with our lives in joy instead of self-blame.
She titles her blog entry, Forgive Yourself.
But that’s OK; I forgive her 🙂 (Just kidding!)