The world has different levels of reality determined by the consciousness of the individual experiencing the world at the time. This means your reality can be different from each person surrounding you. Your sense of belonging comes from sharing the same reality as others.
For example, if you belong to a particular social group, be it work environment, religious affiliation, town or country, you share a common understanding with others. Within the larger social group there are other realities which may seem different. In the United States there is the reality of a republican form of government. Within that reality are the different political parties. The sense of reality is narrowed even more by the various ideologies of the political parties.
Let’s look at the “reality” of forgiveness.
In religious tradition there is a need to ask forgiveness of the Creator when you have done what is considered wrong. “Wrong”, however, depends upon the reality you are living. For some it is wrong to kill those not yet born, but appropriate to kill those who prevent life from being born. Another example would be the reality of the appropriateness of killing infidels and another reality of killing due to ideology being wrong.
From within your own reality you may deem it not only appropriate but necessary for you to ask for forgiveness of a perceived infraction. From that same reality you may believe it necessary, in fact demand, that someone ask for forgiveness before you allow them back into full relationship with you.
When you live in the reality of infractions, judgment and retribution, forgiveness is needed. So is apologizing. That is what is needed to heal the relationship. That is what is needed to allow trust back in. In this reality demanding apologies is a form of retribution. You are demanding the individual admit to the wrong so that you can be right.
The difficulty with this reality is you are basing your personal healing upon the contingency that an individual apologize to you. You are delaying your healing by allowing another person to have power over you. The power you’ve given them is determining when you will heal from the wounds caused from their infraction.
What happens when you live your life from the reality that unconditional love is your guiding principle?
There is an apocryphal story of an African tribe who works from the standard of unconditional love when a member does something which is “not love”. The story says that the person who has committed the infraction is brought before the tribe and, for two days, is reminded of all the good he or she has done. The person is reminded of the good he or she is. Another way of saying this is the person is reminded of the Love he or she Is, the Love he or she has forgotten she is.
In the retribution model, the one who believes s/he was harmed wants the other person to suffer as much or more than s/he has. This desire leads only to continued suffering by the one already hurting, not be the one who perpetrated the wound.
In the story above, the one who is continually reminded of who s/he is as Love does experience pain as s/he realizes the separation from who s/he truly is. As s/he begins to believe again s/he is love, the pain is released as wisdom and knowledge from what was learned through the event is acknowledged.
In the retribution model the individual is continually reminded of who s/he is not, not of who she is. The result is that all involved, the perpetrator and the victim, is immersed in “not love” rather than in Love. (Notice how harsh the words “perpetrator” and “victim” sound in the retribution model?)
When you live from the reality of unconditional love, a difficult reality to remain immersed in, you do not feel pain from the wound. Any pain you feel comes from the sadness of realizing the other person has forgotten who she or he is. Knowing you are one with the other, the pain is also due to you, in the Oneness, forgetting who you are. By reminding the other of the Love S/he Is, you are reminding yourself of who you are.
When you are separated from who you truly are you experience pain from that separation. You will feel disconnected. Reconnecting to the Love That You Are is painful for some for several reasons:
- You are in two realities. The first is the one of retribution. The second is the one of Love.
- You drag with you the shame and guilt from the retribution reality.
- You bring with you the beliefs of the retribution reality, one of the primary being “You must suffer to atone for sin.”
Recognize that you will be living within two realities for much of the time. Remind yourself, when you discover you are “caught” in the retribution reality, that you may move to the Unconditional Love model anytime. Simply return to your Heart Source. (Return to your Heart if you are not familiar with The Heart Source.)
There will be those who will attempt to bring you back to the retribution reality. You may choose not to go. Those in the retribution reality will not understand the Unconditional Love reality.
When you experience being wounded by another and want to move to the Unconditional Love reality, remind yourself of all the good in the other. Make a list of their strengths, their contributions. Make a list of how they have assisted others and assisted you. Make a list of all you have learned from the experience.
As you do this your consciousness will shift as you remind yourself who the other person truly is, Love Incarnate. You can then move into a place of appreciation and gratitude for the experience as you have learned much. No longer will you need to have them apologize or for you to forgive them as you will have reconnected to them as Love Incarnate.
Forgiveness is no longer needed because there is nothing to forgive, nothing to let go. All is perfect as it is.