Living Happiness From the Inside Out, Part 12

by William R. Yoder on July 18, 2013

Forgiveness is freedom

(Click here to read this series from the beginning)

The gift of forgiveness

A deluded mind thinks that forgiveness is a gift you give another: “I am going to stop blaming you for that awful thing that you did to upset me.” But true forgiveness is a gift to yourself: “I am going to stop deluding myself with false stories of blame, so that I can return my mind to peace and joy.” And incidentally, it is also a gift to others because you stop reinforcing their own false thoughts about guilt.

Moreover, as you come to realize that no one is guilty of making you unhappy or upset, you also realize that you are not guilty of making others unhappy or upset either. Each person is the ONLY one who can deprive him- or herself of self-awareness, of inner peace and joy. So your “giving” of forgiveness is at the same time your “receiving” of forgiveness. I think this is the underlying meaning of “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others who trespassed against us.” Your recognition of the essential innocence of another (after you’ve let go of your false thoughts of blame) is what allows you to recognize your own essential innocence.

Letting go of functions and rules and shoulds

All of your made-up functions and rules and should’s are really just demands you are making on others and the world that they conform to your needs and desires. And you back those demands up with a threat. If they do not meet your demands, you will feel unhappy, upset and angry. And you let them know that all of your upsetness will be THEIR FAULT!

In other words, all of your made-up functions and rules and should’s are just potential blame thoughts—just blame thoughts waiting to happen.

So another way to think of forgiveness is releasing others from the functions and rules and should’s you have imposed on them — letting go of ALL of your function-thoughts and rule-thoughts and should-thoughts. And the reason that you let them all go is because they are untrue. They are all based on the IMAGINED needs of your IMAGINED “self.”

Forgiveness is freedom

Forgiveness means releasing yourself and others from YOUR made-up rules, YOUR made-up should’s, YOUR made-up mistaken idea that you are needy and dependent on the world for your happiness.

ALL of your “rules” and “should’s” and ideas of neediness are simply not true. And those made-up ideas only deprive you of happiness.

Forgiveness is not so much a gift that you give others, as rather the gift of freedom and joy that you give YOURSELF.

Forgiveness IS how you stop MAKING yourself unhappy. (And you NEVER help yourself or others by making yourself unhappy.)

The happiness you experience when you forgive is not some kind of “reward” you get for “doing the right thing.” It’s just when you stop actively blocking and hiding your own inner nature, you naturally and spontaneously experience peace and joy.

Giving up all your should’s and assigned functions means accepting others and the world just as they are. But this does not mean that you become a “doormat” for others. (To be continued ….)


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