Love and Forgiveness

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Is there a difference between love and forgiveness?

Many years ago, I knew a girl whose family had shunned her sister. She would never say why. As a teenager, my parents had friends who cut their daughter out of their life. How could any parents do that to their child? I believed there was nothing in family that was beyond forgiveness.

And yet, well into adulthood, I learned that boundaries could get trampled, and a desire to protect myself from further hurt would make me also draw the line, in both family and friendship.

There must be truth to the expression “time heals all wounds”. Inevitably, we’d learn our lessons. Our love for each other would surmount our ego, and ultimately thrive to a new level of understanding, reconnecting us, on some level, until all was forgiven.

I believe that we all want to feel and be connected and reconnected, despite the wounds we perceive ourselves to have received. Whether we return on the basis of an agreement to honour each other’s right to disagree, or whether we legitimately now can actually see the alternate point of view, really doesn’t matter so much. What matters more is respecting each other’s right to be who we are: unique, distinct individuals; and knowing that another’s individuality is not about “me”.

We must learn to not take other people’s opinions personally, or make their actions be about us. Everyone has their own right to freedom: to act, do, say, be as they wish. If this offends me, then let that offense be a lesson to me, about myself, rather than a perceived direct attack on me. Let it teach me some deeply uncovered inner truth as I see it, and not some fault I can blame the other person for. Let me be grateful. Let me thank them. Let me love them for the gift they have unknowingly allowed to surface to me, from within me.

Forgiving another for any perceived unkindness is a gift of love to myself. It creates peace and harmony within, and builds bridges of connection with others. Love and forgiveness may be synonymous; or perhaps true loving kindness makes forgiveness redundant and unnecessary. Love is pure and goes beyond any need or requirement of forgiveness. Love is whole and complete in and of itself.

© October 7, 2013 | Annie Zalezsak

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