In my relationship with God, forgiveness is hugely important and easily achievable.

I believe that God, as my father in heaven, forgives me for all of my sins. Not only that, but his forgiveness is immediate and certain. While this does not mean we are absolved of guilt, there is comfort in this simple fact.

The greater challenge is how to earn the forgiveness of others here on earth. From my friends, family, and community when I have done something wrong.

We, including myself, often seek forgiveness for selfish reasons. First, to free ourselves from a burden of resentment that stifles happiness and potential. Second, to achieve a favorable karmic balance. If we forgive others, we might assume that earns us a few forgiveness points to cash in later on.

What I have learned from my children is that forgiveness requires intense and thoughtful action. If I am to seek forgiveness from others, I must honestly commit to change the trait that caused the initial offense. And that’s a daily practice. If I then commit to this, and the other person still chooses not to forgive me, I must choose to accept and let it go. I must remind myself that what others think of me is none of my business. It’s truly all about keeping my side of the street clean.

Lastly, and most tricky, is how can I help others make peace? How do I encourage my friends both to forgive and to seek honest forgiveness?

It’s a mix of good timing and earnest motives. We must engage others in difficult conversations when they are ready to receive the information. And we must ensure that our primary goal is to simply spark greater expressions of humanity.

This week, let’s commit to promoting peace within ourselves and others. Let’s allow ourselves the gift of freedom and forgiveness; freedom from fear, anger, or resentment. And I would love to hear how you do it. How do you achieve meaningful forgiveness or freedom and how do you help others to do so as well?

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love