The Act of Forgiveness: Learning How to Forgive
written by Eileen Timmins
After six months of treatment for an immune dis-ease, moments of profound and enduring change emerged. I discovered for the first time what my soul had always known. Forgiveness was the emotion consistently appearing to me in many forms throughout this journey. I embarked on a transformation. A healing journey to release wrongs. The wrongs that I held against myself, the wrongs inflicted upon me from others and wrongs I inflicted upon others.
By forgiving you are releasing the initial harm. The real gift comes from releasing the second harm the energy you have been using to hold on to it. By releasing the second harm, you are releasing them/it from your present and your future.
After experiencing this “dis-ease” and understanding that I too was one who was not forgiving, I performed some soul searching and research. There was a realization and correlation that my disease had much to do with emotions. My passion to spread the important message on the process of forgiveness began.
My story is about a shift, a huge personal awakening. It is about resilience and change, and the power of love and forgiveness to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually with grace. During this time, I discovered a labyrinth in the courtyard near the hospital. I began to follow an inner compass and take risks that were unthinkable before. Through what I share as my “dis-ease”, I have developed a greater trust in life than before, a deeper faith and a greater sense of what really matters.
Walks on the labyrinth led to a path of initiation an opening for me. Like the ancient and mysterious circular path of a labyrinth that curves back upon itself, my personal journey was and will not be a straight one. It was and is winding inward toward my inner essence and toward healing. I was so changed by this, I built a labyrinth of my own for all to walk in Wisconsin on my sister’s farm.
Walking it has had an enormous impact on my life.
And it is an experience that became an occasion of gratitude, a realization that from all that was lost, something of great value was found. During the course of my treatment, I constantly expressed compassion,gratitude and appreciation.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” ~ Alexander Pope
There is one golden rule of happiness that sounds so simple but is often drowned out in the chaotic noise of our lives “Treat others like you would like to be treated”.
We need to sow the ability to forgive others as well as ourselves in order to live in harmony.
Throughout our lives we may find ourselves in a position that requires us to think about forgiveness, and we do not always know how best to do that. There are three types of forgiveness, forgiving the self, those that have been harmed by our actions, and forgiving of others that have harmed us.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – M Gandhi
These steps are challenging, I know from personal experience. It takes great courage and strength to follow them. To me it was transformational, a healing journey to release wrongs. The wrongs that I held against myself, the wrongs inflicted upon me from others and wrongs I inflicted upon others. Reaching out and moving forward to release these fears, past hurts, resentments, anger and judgments will change your life. By forgiving you are releasing the initial harm. The real gift comes from releasing the second harm the energy you have been using to hold on to it. By releasing the second harm, you are releasing them from your present and your future.
On our journey on this beautiful blue planet earth, we all need to learn how to forgive.
We will not pass to the other side without forgiving. We all make mistakes. We do the best we can with the information we have at the time we make decisions and act.
Start first with yourself, forgive yourself.
If you are not in harmony and balance in your heart and forgive yourself, how can you forgive others or ask for forgiveness from others? People will feel it authentically when you come with your own forgiveness in the past. They will see your energy and light. They will know something changed.
By forgiving you are not letting another off the “hook”. Forgiving is helping you heal. You can forgive, but you cannot forget. Put it in the past and learn from the experience. Once you forgive, you see life with a new view. You live in the present more.
What happens if you cannot forgive?
Everyone here is on a journey. If people cannot forgive they are holding onto the lower energies and vibrations that limit joy, love and the light within each of us. If others cannot forgive, still send them a blessing.
Know that they are doing the best with what they presently have in their life. Do not judge them do not make assumptions. Each person must experience this within his or her own heart. One cannot force another to forgive or accept forgiveness. Again, send the blessing and move on. Forgive with the highest emotion LOVE.
Enjoy your life, laugh again and see wonderful qualities in others, this is the benefit you receive when you forgive! You also lose judgment. Judging another is one of the lowest energies. Worry about yourself. Send blessings and be a peace, and maybe some day that blessing will connect.
Sharing this message will assist others to be at peace. This is my mission. If one person captures the sense of forgiveness and moves to forgive – energy has been shifted. The act of forgiveness and learning how to forgive is passionate to my heart.
Learn from the past, forgive yourself and let it go. Move forward with a light heart, mind and soul. Your light will shine with balance joy, harmony, love and peace. You will discover a new self at your core. Your soul will dance. There will be a wellspring of love from the release. The gratitude and appreciation will be transformational. I guarantee it will make a difference in your life – I did for me!
“You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well.” ~ Lewis B. Smedes
Eileen Timmins, Ph.D is on a mission to shift the energy of the world by one forgiving act at a time. Eileen is an author, artist, motivational speaker, teacher, coach, labyrinth builder and board member.
She is founder of Aingilin (which means little angel in Gaelic) and her mission is “to create a better future for the world though acts of service.