Spiritual Practices

Forgiveness

Spiritual Practice: See someone who has wronged you as a child of God, loved as much by God as yourself and all other children of God. See the person as acting from ignorance of who he or she really is, a divine soul made in God's image of light, love, joy, peace, and wisdom.

Spiritual Practice: If you're having a difficult time forgiving someone, look within and see if you've done things for which you've never forgiven yourself. God is love and forgiveness itself, so God has already forgiven you. Now confer the same forgiveness on yourself. Then it will be easier to forgive others.

Spiritual Practice: Consider how many times God forgives each of us daily without our even asking for it. Or does God even bother to forgive? Sense God's all-loving, forgiveness isn't an issue. If we can truly feel love for another person, at that moment forgiveness has taken place. Love the wrongdoer as a perfect soul waiting to be free of limitations, and forget the wrongdoing.

Spiritual Practice: Pray to God when you're finding it difficult to forgive someone: “Lord, let me feel your love for this person. Let me feel your love for me. Feeling even a fraction of your love for this person and for me, I can't help but forgive him or her."

Spiritual Practice: Realize that behind someone's dark actions is a shining soul concealed by that darkness—a soul as lovable as God. The dark actions are born of pain and ignorance, which have no connection to the soul. Visualize the light of the soul shining forth from that person's body, obliterating the darkness. From that awareness of the person as a soul, forgive the wrongdoer. Seeing that person as a soul and forgiving that person will help him or her grow toward spirituality and will help you be more spiritual.

Spiritual Practice: If you are having difficulty forgiving someone, start with the statement, “I need to forgive [name of person] for [fill in the blank]." Repeat that frequently to yourself for a day or so. Then repeat frequently, “I want to forgive [name of person] for [fill in the blank]." Finally, “I forgive [name of person] for [fill in the blank]." Forgiveness is an action not a feeling. (Caution: Do not repeat these statements to the person you need to forgive. Forgiveness is for you, not for the other person. For more information about this, see The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce, and Other Losses including Health, Career, and Faith, by John W. James and Russell Friedman.)