The lesson here is a huge one when approaching the concept of forgiveness, as often the hurtful things others do come from them directing their own deep suffering and feelings of shame and unworthiness onto another. Good news: It’s not about you! So the key here is to see the circular way the ego makes the percieved infraction all about you.
“Nothing that goes on in anyone else’s mind can harm you.”
Eckhart reads from “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius
Although I am still grappling with experiencing forgiveness organically, I am starting to truly understand it.
I was so hurt and offended by what someone did “to me” over a long period of time. For years, I’d just let the meanness and attempts at humiliating me and hurting me roll off my back. Ironically, it was only after I’d evolved to the point of understanding the spiritual danger of taking things personally, that I began to take it personally!
And from this I have learned the hard way that feeling wounded and victimized, offended and resentful, is actually far more punishing than what the bully did.
In A New Earth Tolle writes, “Resentment is the emotion that goes with complaining and the mental labeling of people and adds even more energy to the ego. Resentment means to feel bitter, indignant, aggrieved, or offended. You resent other people’s greed, their dishonesty, their lack of integrity, what they are doing what they did in the past, what they said what they failed to do, what they should for shouldn’t have done. The ego loves it. Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it in to their identity. Who is doing that? The unconsciousness in you, the ego. Sometimes the “fault” that you perceive in another isn’t even there. It is a total misinterpretation, a projection by a mind conditioned to see enemies and to make itself right or superior. At other times, the fault may be theirs, but by focusing on it, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, you amplify it. And what you react to in another, you strengthen in yourself.”
This has been a painful and truly bitter pill to swallow – a humbling lesson. To give this kind of thinking bald awareness – to consciously see when the ego jumps in and catches the resentment and runs with it to its false goal line (just to buttress this false sense of self) – is to give real forgiveness a chance to reveal itself. It is within this awareness that forgiveness can come to light.