Forgiveness

Forgiveness has been coming up for me again.

It is very simple. And yet also layered.

Any example of forgiveness is unique in itself. It has its own unique wholeness and pattern.

And there are also shared dynamics there whether it is a forgiveness of myself, others, or life (God, universe, reality).

And behind this is an even more general pattern of “shoulds” and release of “shoulds”, or beliefs and finding what is more honest for me than the initial belief.

And behind this layer is the identification as a “me” and “I”, taking what I am to be this image of a person in the world, or the images of a doer and observer.

For instance, there is this specific example of forgiveness:

I can’t forgive myself for a choice I made. I blame myself. Have images of what happened and how it could have been had I done something different. Ruminate. Experience stress. Regret. Remorse. Then, I may find compassion for myself. See that I did the best I could in the situation. (If I had known better and didn’t limit myself with fear, I would have made a different choice.) And eventually, after exploring the situation and my beliefs around it, there may be a softening and then release of the regret and remorse. There is forgiveness of myself. And this trickles into how I live my life. How would I live my life released from this lack of forgiveness? What would be different? How is it to actually live from this?

I may also notice that when there is a genuine forgiveness, there is a sincere and honest well-wishing for myself and others. If this is not there, or I can imagine something happening that re-triggers resentment or defensiveness, then that is a sign that there is more to explore and clarify.

There is a pattern here of blame, unease, forgiveness, and well-wishing for myself and others. And this pattern is quite similar independent of the content of the forgiveness, and whether I forgive myself, others, or even life.

To simplify, I see that behind this pattern is a “should” (I should have made a different choice) and release of this “should”.

And a “should” and release of this “should” is not only related to forgiveness, but to beliefs in general.

Any belief comes with a should, and this should is or can be at odds with reality, which is what creates unease, distress, and a sense of something being unresolved.

And I can go further.

A belief is a rigid and habitual identification with a viewpoint, story, or image.

And the most basic viewpoint, story, and image is that of a “me”, a human being in the world with characteristics, roles, and identities, and an “I” as a doer and observer.

As soon as there is identification with any viewpoint, there is automatically identification as an “I” and usually a “me” as well.

Trigger: Reading articles on forgiveness written by psychologists, I was struck by their definition of forgiveness: only towards another person. Why do they leave out forgiveness towards oneself or life?

………………..
………………..
………………..

  • forgiveness
    • read some articles on the topic
    • surprised they define forgiveness as interpersonal
    • is one facet, but the simpler and more straightforward way of looking at it is forgiveness to self, others, and life (God)
    • when look at the simpler and more basic view, then can see some patterns more clearly
    • although each of the three – selv, other, life – has facets unique to itself as well
    • need both – more general pattern, and the specific instances

– forgiveness
— specific instance of a more general pattern, can always go further, simplify
— first, forgiveness of self, others, life
— then, a should
— and also unique at each level, cannot be reduced to something else

……….

I have been interested in forgiveness lately, explored it for myself, and also read a couple of articles on forgiveness written by psychologists. And forgiveness is

……….

At the same time, there is something unique in each of the three targets for forgiveness. When I forgive another, there is the interactions with the other to take into account. For instance, I may ask for forgiveness for myself, for what I did to the other person (for instance talking about them behind their backs). When I forgive myself, there is also consequences for how I live my life

………

So there is a specific instance of forgiveness, either towards myself, others, or life, and there is a great deal in common among these. And these, in turn, has to do with “shoulds”.

……..

At the same time, there is something unique in each of the three targets for forgiveness. For instance, when I forgive another, there is the interactions with the other to take into account. I may ask for forgiveness for myself, for what I did to the other person, such as talking about them behind their backs. And I may shift how I live my life, avoiding doing the same in the future, or at least noticing it and recognizing it as a sign of lack of forgiveness. (As I write this, I recognize this too as a more general pattern that applies to each of the three. In each case, there is an apology there, spoken or unspoken, and the release of a lack of forgiveness has consequences for how I live my life.)

……..

So I can go from a specific instance of forgiveness, to recognizing it as an instance of a more general pattern of forgiving myself, others, or life, to recognizing this as a specific instance of “shoulds”.

And I can go further. Behind the “should” is a rigid and habitual identification with a viewpoint and a story. And this is in turn an example of the even more general pattern of identifying with the viewpoint, image, and story of a “me” and “I”.

…………..
…………..
…………..

Initial draft….

Everything is unique as is, and also an example or expression of a more general pattern.

I have been interested in forgiveness again, and it seems an as good example of this as any.

First, there is a specific instance of lack of forgiveness, perhaps shifting into forgiveness.

I recognize this as an instance of a more general pattern of forgiveness of myself, others, and life (aka God, universe, reality).

Which, in turn, is an instance of a more general pattern of “shoulds” and release of “shoulds”.

So there is a specific instance of forgiveness, either towards myself, others, or life, and there is a great deal in common among these. And these, in turn, has to do with “shoulds”.

I can’t forgive myself for something I did. I blame myself. Have images of what happened and how it could have been had I done something different. I blame myself. Ruminate. Experience stress. Regret. Remorse. Then, I may find compassion for myself. See that I did the best I could in the situation. (If I had known better and didn’t limit myself with fear, I would have made a different choice.) And eventually, after exploring the situation and my beliefs around it, there may be a softening and then release of the regret and remorse. There is forgiveness of myself. And this trickles into how I live my life. How would I live my life released from this lack of forgiveness? What would be different? How is it to actually live from this?

I may also notice that when there is a genuine forgiveness, there is a sincere and honest well-wishing for myself and others. If this is not there, or I can imagine something happening that re-triggers resentment or defensiveness, then that is a sign that there is more to explore and clarify.

This pattern is similar or the same when I forgive others, or even life.

Behind this is the “should”. I should have done something different. I should have known better. This “should” is within any belief and what creates stress and unease.

And I can go further. Behind the “should” is a rigid and habitual identification with a viewpoint and a story. And this is in turn an example of the even more general pattern of identifying with the viewpoint, image, and story of a “me” and “I”.

At the same time, there is something unique in each of the three targets for forgiveness. For instance, when I forgive another, there is the interactions with the other to take into account. I may ask for forgiveness for myself, for what I did to the other person, such as talking about them behind their backs. And I may shift how I live my life, avoiding doing the same in the future, or at least noticing it and recognizing it as a sign of lack of forgiveness. And although there is a uniqueness in the whole here, each of these facets are instances of a more general pattern that applies to each of the three. In each case, there is an apology there, spoken or unspoken, and the release of a lack of forgiveness has consequences for how I live my life.

There is something unique in each specific instance as well, it has a unique pattern and wholeness. And here too, each of these different facets can be recognized as a specific instance of a more general pattern.

Trigger: Reading a couple of articles on forgiveness written by psychologists, I was struck by their definition of forgiveness: only towards another person. Why do they leave out forgiveness towards oneself or life? It seems that including the different forms of forgiveness helps us recognize a more general pattern, and also go several steps further in finding underlying patterns. And this, in turn, can help us find the underlying patterns – and connections – between many phenomena that appears quite different on the surface, which in turn helps cross-pollination. There may be insights from other fields and topics of study that relates directly to forgiveness, and recognizing underlying patterns helps us notice and make use of these.

Note: Something is not really an “expression of an underlying pattern”. It is just an example, in our minds, of images and stories of this underlying pattern. It all happens within my own world of images, and can be useful in a practical – and often quite limited – sense only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.