Sunday, June 5, 2011

Question of the day - Who do you need to forgive?

So who do I need to forgive?

I thought about this a lot as there are so many instances where people have seemingly committed injustices (small or big) towards me (or so I think) or where an action towards someone else has affected me.

But reality is that what I deem to be an injustice, the other may deem to be a necessity.

So how then does forgiveness work?

I have to take a spiritual perspective on this.

Mother Teresa summed it up well; "In the end it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway".

If we take the wisdom from Mother Teresa then the only person I need to forgive is myself.

This however raises several questions ....

Does this mean that by default I also take responsibility for the actions of others? That seems completely unfair and illogical.

Or does this mean that I only forgive myself for my actions and take no responsibility for others? That unfortunately leaves me with the inability to move on as I am now stuck with an action I cannot forgive.

In the end, my only recourse to forgiving myself for my own misdeeds and for the misdeeds of others was to understand that forgiving does not mean that I overlook or dismiss the action (whether it be mine or someone else's).

To forgive myself for an act I have committed also means that I take responsibility to not repeat that act again.

To forgive myself for an act someone else has committed towards me or for one that was committed towards another but affected me in some way, does not mean I take responsibility for the act, only the responsibility that it affected me in some way. In other words, I forgive myself for being affected. And having forgiven myself, I now have the ability to detach from that incident.

In both instances (my acts and acts of others where I am affected directly or indirectly), I take responsibility to understand that there may be a lesson in it for me and learn the lesson when I identify it. I also take responsibility to understand the reason for the action. I may not agree with the reason, but having understood the reason, I can then let it go.

Have a peaceful day

Warm Regards


  1. Excellent. A very Vedantic approach, an acknowledgment that all progress and growth (personal, spiritual, whatever) starts and ends with oneself. No one can do it for you, no one is responsible for you. You are responsible for and to yourself.

  2. @IThotso - as always, you and I are on the same wavelength. :)

  3. Great post, Suzy! I was just watching Oprah's Lifeclass tonight, and the topic is forgiveness. She took a Twitter poll and found that 73% of people feel that they need to forgive someone. I definitely do, and I'm still learning how to let it go and move on. It's a great lesson for all of us. She said that forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past can be different. It happened, and now we can choose to move on. I love that.

    1. Thanks Jodi. I think Oprah summed it up very well - giving up the hope that the past can be different. That's powerful. I am convinced that one of my soul's lessons in this life is to learn forgiveness as the Universe constantly throws this in my path. I have also learned that unless I can forgive I cannot move forward. Thanks so much for commenting, means a lot to me.

  4. Wonderful post, Suzy! We are definitely on the same wavelength. When we forgive, we free ourselves. We can detach in peace and finally move on.

    1. Thanks Penny. It's a hard one to master - no wonder the Universe throws this into my face time and time again. Thanks for reading and commenting on my post.


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