Forgiveness, if done a correctly, summons miracles that transcend human understanding. With it, people have broken life-long curses, have washed themselves with inner peace, have gained better careers, have secured quieter homes, and have been party to countless other solutions to otherwise unfixable life problems. The results of practicing unconditional forgiveness are three-fold; psychological healing, physical healing and miraculous changes.
Beginning with the obvious, holding grudges or fear brings the opposite of mental peace. Non-forgiveness becomes judgment when we believe someone is “bad.” Judgment then becomes grudges. In more extreme cases, grudges become hatred. Hatred morphs into obsessive thoughts and inner voices. The person you can’t forgive does not haunt you, but your own obsessive thoughts about that person DO haunt you through sleeplessness and bad dreams. If you could bring yourself to accept complete forgiveness for whoever is haunting your psychological mind, you will lose those obsessive thoughts and become free to focus more time and thought onto happier things. Life inside your mind will improve.
Hate, which is the opposite of forgiveness, can feel like a burning acid in your heart or gut. And as it turns out, the reason it feels like burning acid is because that’s exactly what it is. Years of churning the bile of non-forgiveness in the esophagus, the heart, throat, lungs, adrenals and immune system bring diminished quality of physical health and in the worst of case, premature death—not to the person you chose not to forgive, but to you, the one who didn’t practice forgiveness.
NEWSFLASH! Miracle Making
Mystical benefits transcend obvious quality of life improvements when the art of unconditional forgiveness launches inexplicable miracles in the lives of those who practice it. I can find no better way to explain it than to list a few of my own experiences.
Forgiving myself brought companionship
- At twenty-three, and after two years of mind-numbing loneliness, I forgave myself for being unable to trust a loving relationship and I stopped looking for a woman to keep me company. Every frustrated molecule of my body found release from the new belief that I could be very, very happy to live alone as a single man. One week later I met Colette. Four weeks later we married. We’ve been married now for thirty-three years and are both hoping for many more to come.
Forgiving an obnoxious neighbor quieted the neighborhood
- Two months ago, I stopped hating the noisy, arrogant neighbor who had lived across the street from me for eleven years. “City life is city life” I said. It worked. I began to feel the relief of release around no longer obsessing about his behaviors. I could sense that my forgiveness of him actually took hold in my inner life, and I had come to finally accept him for everything he just was. I never spoke to him. I changed nothing except my inner feelings. To my utter amazement…One week later…he moved!
Forgiving a childhood enemy broke a curse and stopped a repeating story
- At fifty, I forgave my childhood best-friend-turned-arch-nemesis, who had lived in my nightmares for forty years. In 1970, after establishing himself as my closest ally, Marcos surprised me with an overnight switch. He used everything he knew about me from our years as best-friends to turn me into a target for several years of atrocious mob-bullying, leaving me suicidal and unable to trust anyone I loved. Like a curse over my life, I spent the next forty years being attacked at least four more times by friends-or-family-turned-enemy, almost as if there were some grand lesson I was supposed to have learned at ten, but neglected to understand, and had to keep trying. At fifty, I asked a friend, “What is it about me that keeps attracting this same kind of villain over and over and over?” That friend asked me to share the entire story of how the original betrayal went down. She saw, with amazing clarity, that Marcos did what he did because of his own pain and shame. She helped me to understand why he became who he became. I immediately began to love him again just as I had before the betrayal. Forgiveness washed through me like warm milk. Then the life-changing miracles began to fall like dominoes. First, psychological relief released me from nightmares, and translated to physical relief. What happened next was impossible to explain in any way other than as a miracle from above. Within only months of my unconditional acceptance of Marcos, ALL the friends and family who were behaving as badly as he had done, left my life for different reasons, all at once, and all permanently—as if by magic. For the first time ever, I can honestly say that I can trust and love everyone who is in my life right now. I had apparently learned my lesson and was myself forgiven from having to endure it ever again. I forgave Marcos, and then somehow enjoyed a new peace when other people like him stopped coming around.
How to Bring Miracles through Unconditional Forgiveness
To use forgiveness correctly is more of an art than a science. Simple forgiveness is enhanced into the realm of superpower when it is better practiced as “Unconditional Forgiveness.” The trick is to actually accomplish it in its purest form. Its lesser version, “Conditional Forgiveness” is little more than the act of bestowing my benevolent grace onto someone who I first judged as having done something bad. Unconditional Forgiveness blows the doors off of that. It travels far, far beyond the limitations of person to person judgment, by reaching a place of absolute, pure acceptance of another person for being who that person already is, whether I like it or not.
In the amazing movie, “Ender’s Game,” Orson Scott Card writes,
- “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”
― Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
To me, to destroy an enemy is NOT necessarily to hurt that person, but to destroy the role they play as an enemy in your life. By converting a person to a friend, you have essentially destroyed him as an enemy. I have lived this quote and that’s why it spoke so loudly to me as I watched the movie.
True, unconditional forgiveness is an art that requires practice. I tried to forgive the three people I mentioned above many times before it finally took hold. Whenever I try to force forgiveness, especially when I misinterpret it as little more than “bestowing the grace of my tolerance onto a person that I have judged as having done something bad,” it doesn’t physically change anything. It doesn’t produce a positive result. It’s just a word. It doesn’t actually work. I could say “I forgave him/her” but obviously by the fact that I still haven’t seen a miracle, the evidence says that I have not completely accepted who they are and have not yet decided to live my life my way and let them live theirs their way. For me, once I can successfully reach a point of complete acceptance, that is when the miracles fall like refreshing spring rain upon my life.
This blog post isn’t meant to teach the art of forgiveness. Others have already written those books. My message is simply that unconditional forgiveness is worth practicing because it brings miracles. Books and articles teaching the art of forgiveness are all over the bookstores and the internet, but be cautious of who you learn it from. Scores of religious sources teach it as if it is nothing more than being the “grace” part. If you forget that God said we are equal and that none of us are qualified to judge another as bad so we can grace them with our Godly forgiveness, then forgiveness is little more than a kind word that brings no physical miracles to your life.
The reason unconditional forgiveness launches miracles from above is that unconditional forgiveness is the act of practicing unconditional love, which also happens to be the act of reuniting and bonding our lives and souls. Hate and judgment are the act of separating and isolating. God responds to love (connection), not to judgment (disconnection). And divine connection happens to be the reason we’re here in this life at all.
Ultimately, I happen to know that I am as bad and as good as anyone I’ve ever needed to forgive. I recommend learning unconditional forgiveness from the perspective of learning to accept all life as equal life. Once you can forgive unconditionally, God, whose Love is also unconditional, will move in your life in ways you never expected He ever could.