Forgiveness is often discussed but rarely observed. It is singular or plural. True forgiveness is accepting that we are not perfect and we make mistakes. It may have a different name: self-forgiveness or forgiving another being. We can be asked to be forgiven or we can ask for forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that ahs crushed it.” Mark Twain
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Ghandi
The Bible says, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).” Recently confronting someone on this matter, they just made excuses not forgiving them, “Oh, I can’t. If you knew what they did to me you couldn’t either.” Asking this same person why they don’t try, they come up with another excuse “because nobody’s perfect and we all fall short.” While this is true we are not perfect this does not mean we couldn’t try to be more Christ-like. It is my humble opinion that most feel there is no use in trying because there is no physical evidence they will be “saved,” but rely heavily on faith. “Trust by Faith, that God will take care of all your worries (Philippians 1:6).”
The Qur’an says, “Hold forgiveness, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant Qur’an 7:199).” Just as the Bible promises God taking care of are worries, the Qur’an makes similar claims, “But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow (Qur’an 42:43).”
The Bhagavad-Gita says: “Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy — all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone (Verse 10 4-5).”
Many traditions preach forgiveness but so many remain non-practicing. Why? It is my humble opinion they are shrouded by their own shadow, project it onto others around them. Carl Jung often discussed “The Shadow is the easiest of the archetypes for most persons to experience. We tend to see it in “others.” That is to say, we project our dark side onto others and thus interpret them as “enemies” or as “exotic” presences that fascinate”.
While projecting outwards we find it difficult to forgive the other person as we see their behavior as inexcusable. The truth of the matter is we need only look within for the answer to this dilemma. Carl Jung refers to self-actualized people as being able to let things go, finding it easier to forgive the self and projecting forgiveness onto others.
None of us are perfect so why do we judge people so harshly? Is it up to us to judge them anyways? Or is judgment reserved for an end of days? Regardless of when judgment will come we can choose to forgive not just ourselves, but the people around us. Jesus said it best, “Forgive them Father for they no not what they do.”