Mat Bryan gives his thoughts on Forgiveness and Healing from the teachings of Buddhism
The Bible says that Forgiveness is Divine which is often mistaken for meaning that it is not our job to forgive. It is in fact it is stating that Forgiveness is a Divine characteristic of people.
People who have the capacity to forgive have one of the most divine of all qualities that man could strive for.
I was once told that it is God’s job to forgive someone, not a man’s job. My take on this is that if God is the only one capable of forgiveness then everyone will be in heaven and hell does not exist.
This is what Wikipedia says about forgiveness:
Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.
In Buddhism, forgiveness is seen as a practice to prevent harmful thoughts from causing havoc on one’s mental well-being. Buddhism recognizes that feelings of hatred and ill-will leave a lasting effect on our mind karma. Instead, Buddhism encourages the cultivation of thoughts that leave a wholesome effect.
Other sources have stated that forgiveness is for the wronged in order to accept an action. I have my own personal thoughts on what forgiveness is; which is the act of moving forward despite everything that surrounds you holds you back. In the video from Oprah’s November of 2010 episode on Male sexual abuse she states that she heard the greatest definition of Forgiveness
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different it is accepting the past for what it was.”
We cannot even hope to move forward without giving ourselves the right to forgive someone who has done something to us. Imagine when that ‘something’ that was done to us is stealing pieces of our soul.
Survivors have a very difficult time with forgiveness and acceptance. We feel that, because this is what we have been told, that forgiveness condones what was done; like an apology removes the act of being disrespected or hurt. These 2 things are part of the same mechanism… To accept what is, one has to forgive many people. It starts with the ability to forgive ourselves for not being perfect, for not always being the best version of ourselves as we desire to be, for not loving deep enough and for not being capable of stopping the screaming that goes on inside of our heads.
Due to our fears of condoning what happened to us, forgiveness is often overlooked in the healing journey, yet it is a vital path to finding internal peace.