"The unforgiving mind is torn with doubt,confused about itself and all it sees; afraid and angry, weak and blustering, afraid to go ahead, afraid to stay...terrified of darkness, yet more terrified to approach the Light."(A Course in Miracles, Lesson 121.)

There may be too much anger now. We, who are here in this moment on this human plane, may still be processing our pain and grief. Trapped in justification, we say: "It is the principle of the thing", as we hold on tightly to our anger. We've all been there.
But somehow, in our more conscious moments we are called within our own hearts to forgive.Who needs our forgiveness? What needs to be forgiven?

What I mean by forgiveness is the release of our pain through compassion to ourselves, and toward someone who has injured us. By transforming a grievance through forgiveness, we transform ourselves and bring peace to our soul.

In a Pennsylvania Amish community in 2006, many of us stood in awe that dark day when ten girls aged six to thirteen were shot by a gunman, who then committed suicide. I recall that hundreds of people grieved, as did I, and that an Amish man was reported to have said:"Today we are all Amish." But most remarkable to me was how an Amish grandfather of one of the slain girls visited the wife and family of the shooter, that very day, to comfort them in their pain. "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother...up to seven times?"...I tell you, not seven, but seventy-seven." The Bible, Matthew 18. Do we not wish to be able to do the same?

This example stands as a timeless lesson and model. I know about forgiveness personally. It has been a lesson for me more than once. These lessons signaled to me that I had to transform and heal my own energies. We have all been betrayed, and we have betrayed others in some way in this life. None of us is an exception. Why do we resist forgiving? One reason that readily comes to mind is that we do not want to be vulnerable like that again, because it hurts. We also know that we are worth more than to allow people to hurt us. We must not stay in naive places. That is Truth. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to face our Truth. But I've read and I've heard all of my life that "by love alone we are healed."

Sometimes our hurts and our losses are out of our control as we lose others when they leave this world. We may rage and suffer in a state of frustration because our forgiveness or theirs was lacking toward the other, and time ran out before we could resolve matters. It is sad when this occurs because we live our lives so routinely that we forget the we do not have an endless time continuum in this life.

So if we desire to bring our hearts more peace, how can we cultivate the willingness to begin to forgive? It may be helpful to think of the person who has hurt you, standing apart from your judgement of them for just a moment. Consider how they may have come to be that person. Did they ever suffer pain, abandonment or hurt? Did they internalize it? Were they wounded by it and did they respond to it by turning it outward to others as anger? Did their wound become an instrument wielded against you? Consider why they are not able to stand in Truth to themselves? Happily, this is not yours to figure out, nor do you necessarily need to continue to relate to them. The purpose of this exercise is for you to just look through another lens, to their humanness, so that you can begin the pre-task to forgiveness.

Certainly we cannot just "think positive" and ignore suffering and angst, or we risk being in denial. Forgiveness is evolutionary. We need both safety and deepening of our inner strength. Through this process we become more astute in assessing whether to allow the offending person to make amends and keep them in our life, or whether to move dispassionatley toward releasing our mutual association.

Here are a few techniques I have used in my own forgiveness process:

1. Enter a meditative state, notice any judgements and let go of these for just a few minutes;

2. Practice gratitude for all you have and even for your experience with this person, as you release them;

3. Remember a time when you have needed someone's forgiveness--none of us is perfect;

4. Reach out to others who are suffering. This can help move you through your own painful experiences.

5. Read inspiring books and articles on spirituality and self-growth.

These practices are not intended to be one time solutions. We humans tend to need to be reminded daily to release our attachment to the pain that has settled into our ego, so that we can begin to forgive both ourselves and others. Forgiveness can be learned. Forgiveness and free us, give us peace and allow us to be thankful for our journey to the present moment.

Author's Bio: 

Bonnie Collins is a seasoned life coach and CEO of Life Refocused Coaching. She helps people, especially those in mid-life,to reach their full potential, move through life transitions, and increase their spiritual capacity.
Website: www.Liferefocused.com.