A giant stumbling block to forgiveness is the need to control.
We think we know how things should be, and we quickly judge our relationships.Most of our judgment revolves around a set of rules. But who makes the rules? If we begin to drill down on the rules, there is truly little substantiation for them. Yes, our society, religions, and culture have established protocols. However, are they not arbitrary, subject to interpretation? Do they fluctuate and change based on a political agenda or change in social standards? We need rules for organization and structure. There needs to be some sense of order, or chaos will take over. Because people have various goals, thought systems, and needs, we can quickly conflict with others. So, some standards must be in place. So how do we live within a construct and stay open to forgiveness?
The most important realization is that what we think is not necessarily true. Furthermore, we don’t know what God’s plan is for each individual or what their lesson plan entails. Most of us do not even know what God’s plan is for us. If we quiet our minds enough to observe our judgment patterns, we may conclude that our strategy for everyone else is our plan for ourselves. When we judge another, we are judging ourselves. We may think:
“Jane is such a loser. She has no education.” But what we are saying, “If I do not have an education,I am worthless.”
“Paula has a failed marriage. It is such a disgrace.” But what we are saying, “If my marriage fails, then I am a disgrace.”
Knowing God’s plan for my life
As we move through our judgments and reach for forgiveness, we begin to see that the rules we live by are not God’s. We think we know, but what we fail to look at is that everyone is not here foremost to be accepted by society. The main reason we are here is to deepen our relationship with God and love for ourselves. We do not know what the interaction between God and each individual is. In fact, we spend little time deferring to God in our own personal lives. Most of the time, we operate from our small selves or ego laden thought system.
I am frequently asked, “what are we going to do about these people who are doing _____.” All of us have a group we feel overpowered by- politicians, drug lords, meat-eaters, tax collectors, bigots, etc. What the question is saying is, “how can I control these people to meet the needs in my agenda.”The answer remains the same.
“What are you doing to deepen your own personal, intimate relationship with God, and how are you an embodiment of that in everything you do?”
As we deepen our relationship with the divine, the more we will love ourselves. The more we love ourselves, the less we will judge ourselves. The less we judge ourselves, the less we will judge others. All forgiveness is self-forgiveness.