25 Apr Forgiveness: The Key to Happiness & Freedom | Self-Help Podcasts
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Now, on to today’s reading, which was edited and adapted from The Ideal Made Real by Christian D. Larson, published in 1909.
To forgive everybody for everything at all times, regardless of circumstances, is the first step towards complete freedom. In the past, many have looked upon forgiveness as a virtue; but, in reality, it is a necessity.
We have often given our highest praise to those who possess the spirit of forgiveness and have thought of such people as being self-sacrificing in the truest sense of the term — because we did not know that the act of forgiving is the simplest way to lighten one’s own burdens.
According to our old conception of forgiveness, the person who forgives denies themselves a privilege, the privilege of indignation and revenge; for this reason we have looked upon them as heroes or saints, thinking that it could not be otherwise than heroic and saintly to give up the supposed pleasure of meting out revenge to those who seemed to deserve it.
However, according to our new view, the person who forgives is no more saintly than the one who insists upon keeping clean, because in reality the act of forgiving simply constitutes a complete mental bath. When you forgive everybody for everything you cleanse your mind completely of every wrong thought or negative mental attitude that may exist in your consciousness.
This explains why forgiveness is a necessity and why the person who forgives everything emancipates themselves from all kinds of burdens. It is therefore profitable, highly profitable, to forgive everybody, no matter what they have done, and this includes also ourselves. It is just as necessary to forgive ourselves as to forgive others, and the principal reason why forgiveness has seemed to be so difficult is because we have neglected to forgive ourselves.
We cannot let go of that which is not desired until we have acquired the mental art of letting go, and to acquire this art we must practice upon our own minds. That is, we must learn to let go from our own minds all those things that we do not wish to retain. When you forgive yourself completely, you wash your mentality perfectly clean. You let go of everything in your mental system that is not good. You emancipate yourself completely.
Whatever you held against yourself or others you now drop entirely out of your mind; in consequence, you are freed from your mental burdens, and when mental burdens disappear all other burdens will disappear also.
The ills that we hold in mind are the only things that can actually burden our lives. Therefore, when we forgive everybody for every ill we ever knew we no longer hold a single ill in our own minds; we thus throw off every burden and are perfectly free.
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