By Dave Teitler
The concept of forgiveness is for many people hard to grasp. This is why we tend to find it hard to maintain peace in this world. Many cultures are brought up to adhere to the principle of "an eye for an eye." Therefore, at any affront to our ego, we are encouraged to strike back. Thus the cycle starts over and over.
This was the way I lived my life until I started to get in touch with that sense of peacefulness residing inside. In college I wanted to get the fraternity back for rejecting me due to my religion. In high school I wanted to get the people who did not respect me back. Actually I wanted to strike back at everything and everyone who disturbed my ego. I lived to get even. I fed myself on offenses that I had to repay. In business the same rule applied. If someone cheated or robbed me, I could not rest until I had repaid the offender in kind.
One day the first of many realizations hit me with respect to getting even. I experienced the physical symptoms of retaining the burden that I had placed upon myself in the in the process of getting even. It took a lot out of me to retain the anger necessary to get even. I was constantly dreaming up new ways to get people back. Often the people that I was after didn't even know that they had offended me.
When I realized that I was living in a state of nervousness waiting to get back at people, I tried to find a way to let go of the feelings that were inundating me. However, I was not able to come up with a rational answer on how to forgive those who had offended me. Years passed without my being able to change my behavior. In fact I had given up trying.
You see forgiveness is not something that you can just dispense as needed. Just by telling someone that you forgive him or her does not do the trick. For most of us forgiveness must come from deep inside of your psyche. Your mind is calm, your body relaxed, your heart center open. Then, without trying you find forgiveness.
At this time it dawns on you that you are not bothered now as much as you were in the past by feelings of retribution, and when you are, the feelings do not last.
In essence you discover that forgiveness is part of your nature brought out thru the process of practicing some internal art form. If we think of spirituality as the connection of the individual self with the universe, then that spirituality will manifest its properties thru our individual psyches as we live out our life experiences. Our soul, operating thru our spirituality is our guide, if we can make the connection.