Forgiveness: A Path To Freedom

A second practice for completing the year well is forgiveness. Visionmakers see forgiveness as an act of personal mastery because it recovers energy and personal power from the unresolved past. The unresolved past diverts energy from the present moment, the domain of manifestation. It is important, then, that emotion, intellect and will, the fundamental ingredients of personal power, are focused on generating purposeful acts, rather than hanging on to the past.  

Every path of heart and meaning will have its share of disappointments, betrayals, disagreements, loss and difficult people. It is part of the larger design of Destiny that we should be tested like this-through tests of the heart. These kinds of challenges require us to grow and mature rather than fixate on a negative impact.  Obviously, easier said than done.  But then, Visionmaking is not a path of comfort and ease. It is a path of challenge.


We all have forgiveness work to do. Visionmakers see forgiveness as a completion of a cycle of gaining greater clarity and discernment.  Where we have refused to see clearly, dismissed the obvious, mistrusted our intuition, colluded to our own deception or made assumptions and neglected to do the homework to ensure our assumptions were correct, we will have collisions with reality. We are culpable.  We must take our share of responsibility for this unwillingness to see.


It is possible that we have also been party to the injury of others, consciously or unconsciously, through acts of commission or omission. Therefore, we have contributed to breakdown in another person's world. Two practices of forgiveness–reparation and rectification–allow us to recognize a negative impact and seek to restore the relationship to its former state of well-being. The knowledge gained from being impacted or impacting another person sharpens the eye, opens the heart and builds greater discernment for future.


The following invocation from the Buddhist tradition was introduced to me by Angeles Arrien. Over the years, it has provided great comfort and a means to exorcise the past. I hope that it provides solace to you as well in this time of honorable closure to the year:


If I have harmed anyone in any way,

Either knowingly or unknowingly,

Through my own confusion,

I ask their forgiveness.

If anyone has harmed me in any way,

Either knowingly or unknowingly,

Through their own confusion,

I forgive them.

And if there is a situation

I am not yet ready to forgive,

I forgive myself for that.

For all of the ways that I harm myself,

Negate, doubt, belittle myself,

Judge or be unkind to myself,

Through my own confusion,

I forgive myself. 


© Patrick O’Neill 2008. All rights reserved.

Posted on December 30, 2008 and filed under Uncategorized.