Forgiveness, its like another "F" word, like Fear and F#&%, just with more letters. Theres more in there to get yourself around For-Give-Ness.
Even as I write it I can see a flashing mirage of faces with their noses slightly screwed up and the soft roundness of their bodies turning into sharp block people. "yeah, forgiveness, its good and all, but no way, not in this instance... they have to pay!".
Its amazing how somehow in the west we have equated forgiveness with consent. As though to forgive someone for bad, sometimes absolutely horrific behaviour, is to tell them it was ok to do that. That is NOT what forgiveness is.
To forgive someone for their crappy behaviour is to unburden YOURSELF from the load and impact of their actions. You are giving it up, from your shoulders, and refusing to carry the burden of that trauma anymore. And no, carrying the burden, not forgiving, is not an act of love in the memory of something or someone you loved. Your suffering is not, and will never be, an act of Love. LOVE IS LOVE. Love is to keep stepping forward in life, cherishing connection, kindness, and holding that person in your heart - always.
But to do this, we have to shift our paradigm. You see, to be in the place to need to forgive someone, you are usually acting from the perspective of victim. Where there is a victim, there is a perpetrator. This is a dualistic paradigm that cannot heal. You cannot truly heal, and be a victim at the same time. (yes i can feel many heckles going up as we speak, - but bare with me)
This society holds victims as heroes. Its fashionable. "victim of cancer" "victim of depression" victim at the hand of another person, rape, murder, etc People experiance horrible things. People, find themselves in circumstances BEYOND THIER CONTROL and experiance horrible things. NO, THEY DO NOT ASK FOR IT. We cannot control what our experiences are, but we do have some say on how we respond to these experiences. Do they hold you back? or propel you forward? Its a process i realize, but its a process with a direction, not a sentence of stagnation.
It takes community, it takes support, it takes crazy amounts of courage. But it can be done.
Once you can entertain the idea of stepping out of being a victim. (Believe me, I have had years of being identified with being a victim. I was the queen of "its everyone else's fault". I get how comfy it can get in that chair. ) You can step into forgiveness. Again, forgiving someone doesn't condone their actions. It sets YOU free from the weight of them. And here is how you do it...
You shift the paradigm of perception. You step into the perspective of the soul having a human experiance. The full complicated, messy, groping in the dark for the light switch, experiance. And then you acknowledge, that so is the soul who was the "perpetrator". They are also having a complicated, messy human experiance. Two souls playing out their lives. All souls are beings of light, yet, depending on what stage of evolution they are, sometimes their ignorance and the level of pain they are carrying blinds them to the effect and understanding of their own actions, either before or after they have done them. We have all made mistakes, most of us have known the feeling of compulsion to do something we know innately is not ok. From telling a white lie, to petty theft, to cheating... the compulsion is no different for bigger things. The compulsion is always born out of our own pain. The more pain we are in, the worse actions we seem to be able to justify.
So we forgive. We acknowledge that people hurt other people corresponding to the degree of pain THEY are in... it doesn't excuse, justify, or condone the actions, but on a soul level it creates a little space inside of YOU for, understanding. Its in this space that we forgive. We forgive from my soul, to yours. We understand that pain creates more pain. We start to allow the process to journey from understanding, to maybe, one day, soften into compassion. This process. This softening, is forgiveness. Forgiveness is not an all or nothing, its a bite by bite softening out of victim, and into a souls understanding of the roles we play for the lessons we are here to learn. You morph from a sharp edged block person, to a round, soft human. Doing the most human thing of all, we Love, Forgive and keep stepping forward.