"Forgive all others and in this way you will be forgiven for the evil deeds you have done. Also remember to forgive yourself. For just as you forgive, so does the One Spirit forgive you. By forgiving others you will be forgiven."
The above passage comes from The Lost Sutras of Jesus , a book that tells the story of some monks that traveled to China, and along the way, wrote some scrolls(about eight) that present Christianity in a form that has been syncretized with elements of Taoism and Buddhism. Written approximately 635 C.E(Common Era, the academic "politically correct" replacement of A.D., with B.C.E. being the equivalent of B.C.), it was then found hidden away in caves and translated in the 1930s. As this is one of my favorite books, and I still read passages from it on occasion, I will probably reference this book in a number of posts in this blog.
Forgiveness is an interesting thing. People make it sound so easy, but in reality it is so hard. I find it amazing, within myself, that I find it so easy to forgive, say, one of the clients at work who targets me in a burst of anger. I may be extra cautious or alert the next time I am around that client, but otherwise I act in the same manner as I did before the incident(s).
Yet there are things in my life that I still have difficulty forgiving. I've only within the last few years been able to even begin to forgive my family for things that I experienced in childhood. Some mistakes that I myself made, especially when my most recent ex-girlfriend got pregnant and had an abortion against my wishes, I still struggle with, even now. I see where I am in life, in a generally unhappy job, trying not to get kicked out of school, and wonder where I would be had I recognized sooner how different she and I really were, and broken up with her before I made major life decisions and moved to Chicago to be closer to her. Would I have been able to keep my job in North Carolina and work my way through school and have been already finished by now, instead of just getting started? Would I have already met someone else more compatible by now? These questions still plague me from time to time, and I wonder if they will ever stop. It's the ultimate irony of my life: forgiveness, love, and peace are at the core of virtually every religion and spirituality I've experimented with or studied, and those are the very concepts that I feel like I will never even begin to understand or be able to live out.