Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves

06 Mar 2020 / 16:26 H.


ONE of my spiritual mentors had each one of us bring a clear plastic bag and a small sack of potatoes.

For every person we could not forgive because of some bad experience, we had to choose a potato, write on it the name of the person and the date, and put it in the plastic bag. Soon some of our bags got quite heavy.

We were then told to carry this bag with us everywhere for one week, putting it beside our bed at night, on the car seat when driving, and next to our desk at work.

The hassle of lugging this around with us made it clear what a weight we were carrying and how we had to pay attention to keeping it with us at all times and not leave it in embarrassing places.

Naturally, the condition of the potatoes deteriorated to a nasty slime. This was a great metaphor for the price we pay for keeping our pain of negativity. Too often, we think of forgiveness as a gift to the other person, but it is clearly for ourselves!

Forgive freely. Forgiveness is the natural condition of the spirit, a petal on the flower of love.

When we forgive we are giving out positive energy. Some of that energy, at the deepest level, will always be gratefully received and aptly used.

Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison reminds us that while they controlled the location of his body, they could do nothing with his state of mind; hence, his ability to walk away from such an experience without even a whiff of a desire for revenge in his heart or his eyes.

Note how this one attribute alone, this ability to forgive, qualified him to be a world leader, earning our respect and deepest admiration.

Bridget Menezes is the author of Second Edition of Self-Empowerment and Spiritual Counsellor. Readers can
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