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An Emotional Primer for Men

Chapter 3:  Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the feminine side of the coin we discussed in the last section. As such, it is going to require a little more of us than the honest self reflection side. This is the side that releases our demons and completes the process. It does take a little faith that releasing the demons does not allow them to come back and haunt us once more. In fact, they definitely do. We never stop being aware of the demons we release; they have become part of our larger identity. We have embraced them. However, releasing them takes away their power to hurt us. When back they come, they have so much less charge that we can handle them with great ease. We have forgiven and are no longer bound by their evil (OOO! I don't like that word!). Anyway, that is the point of the process and the promise of it as well.

There is a Universal principle in effect here. The Law of Grace supersedes the Law of Karma. When forgiveness takes place, the ties that bind are released. True forgiveness is the acceptance of the wholeness of an action. We see both (or all) sides of a coin and accept them equally and the cycle of experience is complete. There is no more karma binding us to the cycle and we can move on. For instance, if we experience an act of abuse and successfully place ourselves in the perspective of both victim and perpetrator, the act is complete and there is no need for balancing or karma. There need be no repetition ‘til we get it right. There is no binding of the parties involved to even the score. All is forgiven and all is released. It really is that simple. Ascension (ah another commercial) is the result of total forgiveness of self. The fact that we have not yet ascended indicates that we have not finished forgiving ourselves yet. So let's Grace it and get on with it.

In order to inspect and explore our inner weaknesses without going starkers, we need to step outside ourselves. Go ahead! You may Take one Giant Step!

The trick to this improbable act is perspective. It is the feminine act of holding a wide focus. Looking narrowly at our pain and trauma will only traumatize us all over again. Worst of all, we will learn little about ourselves in the process. We must learn to place our feelings and experience into a larger context than just our personal lives and selves - in fact, the larger the context the better. What will it matter in a hundred years? Or perhaps, in an infinite universe? Can't get much bigger than that! We can practice toggling back and forth between the personal narrow focus of our inner feelings and the expansion into more universal principles. Even just comparing our feelings with those of others (like women do all the time) can provide perspective and validation which makes our feelings easier to deal with.

So, we courageously delve into whatever trauma has our focus for the moment. We face that pain with honesty and faith in ourselves. We accept responsibility for the experience and place it into the perspective of our larger selves, our souls. We see the experience as a flow of universal energy, an act of God, understand at least that it is an opportunity for us to learn, not a condemnation of our spirit to some nameless Hell. We allow that larger perspective to have as much power as our identities have and poof! All gone! Well, maybe not all gone but the power of the trauma is lost. There is forgiveness.

Let's look again at the act of abuse. From the perspective of the victim, we see a self image under attack. Whatever form the abuse takes, the victim feels at some level deserving of the act. When the victim finally looks honestly at their experience, not placing blame or making excuses, they must recognize this dynamic to some extent. When they reach the point where they choose themselves over the abuser, they have toggled onto the strong side of the equation. They would not have reached this point of strength without the abuse to mark the path. Realizing this dynamic sets up forgiveness. The abuser truly did them a great service (with risk to their own karma at that). Recognizing and appreciating this act of spiritual kindness releases both victim and perpetrator from needing to repeat it in any way, externally or internally. Should some vaguely similar circumstance recur, it can be handled with much greater speed and ease. It is no longer a lesson to be learned but one mastered.

Each foray into our feelings is an opportunity to bring to completion some cycle of experience. We can reach forgiveness at each turn, if we are open to doing so. Forgiveness is an act of embracing, of offering our experience to a higher perspective and a higher will. The more clearly we see this broader perspective, the more fully we can forgive ourselves for having the pain we experience. We have grown from it and embrace ourselves all the more because of it. And we are off on another adventure as a result.

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