Tag Archives: forgiveness

FAITHfully Yours on this day of giving Thanks

“Shed the light of a boundless love on every human being whom you meet, whether of your country, your race, your political party, or of any other nation, colour or shade of political opinion. Heaven will support you while you work in this in-gathering of the scattered peoples of the world beneath the shadow of the almighty tent of unity.”

Baha’u’llah, The Baha’i World Faith,

Woofer, Boundless Love, by judy

“All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” 

The Dalai Lama

“But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

 1 Corinthians 13:13

Sending all of you much love,

judy

During the month of November, Baha’i Blogging is hosting a post-a-day-or-so something related to or inspired by Faith.  Because so many of you follow both this blog and CATNIPblog Peggy & I will post our “dailies” here and Sunday “retrospectives” on CATNIPblog.com

The hashtag is #bahaiblogging.

42,500 Acts of Kindness Needed

“. . . do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections.”*

Sense the breeze of love

soothing every beating heart 

Connected as one

Haiku-Heights prompt - BREEZE
prompt – BREEZE

My father, the oldest of 5 children, was born in England where his father and pregnant mother fled to from Poland.  The story of why and how has died with all my relatives.

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking

“THIRTEEN years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.””What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.””The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.”

“. . . Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.

“The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.”

“As Germany invaded and began occupying European neighbors, the use of camps and ghettos was expanded to confine and sometimes kill not only Jews but also homosexuals, Gypsies, Poles, Russians and many other ethnic groups in Eastern Europe. The camps and ghettos varied enormously in their mission, organization and size, depending on the Nazis’ needs, the researchers have found.”

No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha'i faith
No room in my heart for prejudice, Baha’i faith

42,500 acts of kindness is a start – a tiny, symbolic start,

so that hatred and bigotry may end.

*“Love the creatures for the sake of God and not for themselves. You will never become angry or impatient if you love them for the sake of God. Humanity is not perfect. There are imperfections in every human being, and you will always become unhappy if you look toward the people themselves. But if you look toward God, you will love them and be kind to them, for the world of God is the world of perfection and complete mercy.”
“Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. The eye that covers faults looks toward the Creator of souls. He created them, trains and provides for them, endows them with capacity and life, sight and hearing; therefore, they are the signs of His grandeur. You must love and be kind to everybody, care for the poor, protect the weak, heal the sick, teach and educate the ignorant.” 
― Abdu’l-Bahá
To read the entire article click on the title or here: www.nytimes.com
 

Forgive then Forget or Forget so you don’t have to Forgive?

For those of you who don’t subscribe to the blog comments here’s

Green Speck‘s interesting comment on my last forgiveness post:

“But forgetting will strengthen the relationship more, don’t you think so?

Mmmmmm, I thought, Interesting question.  Which led me to a bigger question:  Can we ever truly forget?

The mind is a strange and wondrous place.  I believe that EVERYTHING, every thought, feeling , observation, experience the sum total of our life is stored.  Stored in the brain?  Stored in the soul?  Stored in Ashakic records?  Don’t know.

I believe that we can consciously forget small transgressions or hurts (mercifully the older we get the more we forget) but never do we consciously or unconsciously forget a deep wounding or repeated hurts from the same person/source.

“Trauma” memory is stored in the brain for easy retrieval. It is a survival mechanism to remember the growl of a bear so we aren’t eaten.  It’s not a survival mechanism to remember  stubbing our toe in a babbling brook.

Mmmmmm, I mused on.  Which led me to this:

What strengthens relationships is when the “transgressor” admits to his/her role, works on making amends and changes the hurtful behaviour.  This takes time – lots of time to – to do right behaviour over and over and over.  When the trust is broken it is never, in my experience, forgotten, nor should it be.

This is what I tell clients who have been hurt:

You can forgive them for being _______ (stupid, selfish, limited, deranged etc) but do not trust them until they’ve demonstrated trustworthy behaviour consistently for a long time.  

Trust is EARNED through trustworthy behaviour over time.  Ideally their words and behaviour should match.  If there’s a disconnect focus on the behaviour, not the words.  . .   Always the behavior.

Time and right behaviour strengthen relationships.  And don’t forget it!

(of course that’s just my opinion … what’s yours?)

Forgiveness

Max snapped at me.  Max is a weeeeeeeee bit stubborn. (He calls it determined being an attribute of both the terrier and hound that he is).  When he doesn’t want to do something he DOESN’T do it – even for cookie treats.  He also has a sensitive area on his spine.  I needed him to go to the other room and he needed to stay where he was.  When I tried to pick him up, after many an authoritative “command”, he snapped at me.  It was a “LEAVE-ME-ALONE, I-hurt”-snap as no skin contact was made.

It scared me (as it was meant to do). I forgave him for snapping at me.  I knew this was about him and his limitations to communicate and not about not loving me.  Max cannot exceed his capabilities anymore than you or I can exceed ours.

However, I’m not going to FORGET his “snapping” and will heed his warnings earlier.

Whatever she said, I’m Innocent

I am often asked by clients “How can I ever forgive  my family who inflicted horrible harm on me when I can never forget it”?  Forgiving and forgetting are two separate things.

We should never forget something/someone who has hurt us.  That’s a basic principle of survival. If it’s harmful remember it and avoid it.  BUT do NOT let other’s limitations define who we are. (I’m a loving human, not a dog abuser – Max knows as he regularly forgives me my limitations)

Forgiveness is the realization that those who have harmed us are limited by their capabilities.  Their harmful actions arise from their capabilities, who they are, not who we are.  

  • Forgiving is a mental decision which relieves us of emotional pain, anger, hurt etc.
  • Not forgiving is based on the belief that others are capable of different/better behavior than how they actually behave.

If I can’t forgive Max then I am assuming he was capable at that time of making a better choice and deliberately chose what I perceive as harmful.

If people truly are capable and choose the harmful response that is at best mean and at worst evil:  Most people are not evil; Most are not capable; Most are just immersed in themselves (in ego) and are incapable of taking another’s point of view.

When people’s limited capabilities create painful actions we can forgive them for being limited human beings. We just don’t forget.

 What do you think is unforgivable?

And take a look at:

http://sunshineandchaos.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/sunday-quotes-forgiveness/
Maureen’s post on Forgiveness quotes.