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forgiveness
 

John Ruskan's
Emotional Clearing

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Forgiveness is the realization
that blame is a mistake

Forgiveness is, of course, a very desirable quality, but often we misunderstand what it means. Forgiveness means finally seeing that the other person was not really responsible for what we thought came from them. Sometimes we try to force ourselves to forgive, thinking we are being spiritual or loving, or simply in the attempt to avoid pain. We continue to believe that the other is responsible for what has happened to us, but now we have pardoned them for their behavior.

Such “forgiveness” is intellectual, pseudo, and self-deceptive. It puts us more out of touch with our inner experience. It can even inflate the ego, because we think we are generous enough to forgive. True forgiveness means understanding that the original blame was wrong; it is not the granting of a pardon for what we mistakenly believe someone has done to us.

Blame is particularly relevant in parent/child dynamics, which traditional therapy focuses on heavily. We are encouraged to forgive our parents, often without understanding that we should own our past. This kind of therapy can work in the long run, but the question is, would another, more realistic approach work more effectively? We choose our parents and early environment to serve as a catalyst for our character. The events of childhood merely activate contents latent in the child’s subconscious, a viewpoint being discussed and supported by transpersonal psychologists today.

Often we don’t want to let go of blame because of nothing more than pride. Unconsciously we understand the truth that we are responsible for our experience. The conscious ego, however, wants to blame because it is defending itself. It does not want to feel that it could be stupid enough to cause harm to itself. The nature of the ego, and of highly egocentric people in particular, is always to be right, and blame is usually how self-righteousness is maintained.

 
 

© 2004 John Ruskan / The Institute for Integrative Processing