I’m all for giving. Giving is an expression of gratitude and thus we get a taste of the elixir of gratitude when we give. Forgiving is also a way of giving, a gift you give yourself. With forgiveness the negative mind states of holding a grudge drop away and in their place is the bliss of freedom. My teacher taught me this little phrase to remember the mechanics of forgiveness: like thee, like me.
Forgiveness occurs when we recognize another person’s negative trait within ourselves. Instantly animosity vanishes. Instantly the negative trait vanishes. How is this possible? It occurs because we have stopped projecting our own negative traits outward. We have stopped seeing them in others. We have stopped being annoyed at seeing our own negativity upon the screen of an other. Forgiveness is the end of projection. It’s as if you pulled the plug of a movie projector. All the images vanish into nothingness. All negativity vanishes into nothingness. It can vanish so quickly because it was only an illusion.
We can sit in the movie theater of our lives and say “correct thinking indicates that my life is an illusion”. This of course has no effect whatsoever. The images keep playing. But when we experience that we ourselves are the movie projector the show stops. Even when we find that little bit of film inside us that corresponds to what we thought originated outside of us, we are suddenly blessed by a freedom from that little bit of suffering.
When you find yourself wanting to forgive or are unable to forgive stop looking outside yourself. Stop thinking about that annoying person. Look inside yourself and remember: like thee, like me.