This is a hard one. I think of forgiveness as a form of mercy or compassion. Since we’re talking about the Bodhisattva of Compassion, this is apropos.
Nelson Mandela said “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”
I had never thought of it as a weapon before. I think of the grudges I’ve carried to be more like weapons. They are how I hold someone at arm’s length. I’m at an event now where there are two people I have yet to forgive. If I do forgive them, what fear will be removed?
There are some instances in my life where I cannot forgive the person who held me at gun point or those who verbally attacked me. But I can find compassion for them in my heart. I assume they were at a bad place in their life and they need compassion more than forgiveness.
I will try as an experiment to do Loving Kindness meditations for the people around me at this event who I have yet to forgive. If I can say “May you be filled with Loving Kindness. May you be safe and protected from harm. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you be at peace” – maybe that is a step towards forgiveness. I think it is an act of compassion of which Kuan Yin would approve.
Note: This series was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion idea. If you want to participate, go there for the list of daily prompts.