To forgive is to let go of what is painful to us. This doesn’t mean that it is simply saying to someone, “What you did to me was not really that bad. I forgive you. I won’t hold a grudge,” and then thinking that there will be harmony afterwards. It is not quite that way. Rather, it has more to do with clarifying things to the other person. We don’t want to live through this any more. We want to free ourselves of the suffering and conflict and, if possible, help to free the other person as well.
Sometimes this means letting go of the preconceived judgments we have of people. “He did that because….” She said this because….” What seems true to us at the time may not really be true at all. It’s important to get clarification, to talk, to communicate with the intention of understanding the other person; and, so the other person can understand you.
There is a difference between intentionally hurting someone and unintentional words or actions that hurt someone. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. If we hold onto judgment and anger because we believe that someone intentionally hurt us, then there is no room for understanding or forgiveness. If we find out that the person did not mean to hurt us, then we may be able to allow for understanding and forgiveness. And, of course, sometimes we need to be forgiven as well.
We all hope in many ways for many things. We hope for love, health, prosperity. We hope for good lives for our children and family members. We hope for an end to war so we can live on a peaceful planet. And when loved ones become ill, we hope for their return to health.
Sometimes the medical profession tells us not to hold out “false hope” for someone’s recovery, but we do anyway. Because we all know that there is no such thing as false hope. There is only hope. Sometimes hope turns into denial if it holds on in the face of change. Denial is painful. If someone is dying, denial can cause anger and disconnection from the person who is ill, or desperate anxiety in an attempt to save the person. Acceptance can lead to love, forgiveness and comfort that lasts long after the person is gone.
So maybe hope and acceptance walk hand in hand through our lives. We hope and we accept. We may hope for one result and have to accept another. We may hope for healing and feel grateful when healing occurs. We can accept the outcome, whether it is joyful or painful. Hope and acceptance keep us alive and in touch with our hearts, in touch with Love.
Unchanging…we want things to remain the same. We want love to remain…no loss, no death. We want everything to be reliable, dependable…so we can relax into the comfort of God, the breast of the mother, the womb of God. We would rather that nothing changes. We want to be at one with Love, with each other, with God. Heaven must be an unchanging eternity to relax, rest, and trust that we are at home in the heart of God.