Compassion vs Forgiveness

Discussion in 'Reincarnation Questions' started by Prudence, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. Charles Stuart

    Charles Stuart Probationary

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    Hi again, Hapfor.

    "What I fear most is that I seem to have lost the ability to love or to be loved after consistently being disappointed."

    I am quite sure that won't happen. You seem to have enough compassion in you... :)

    If it is "friends" you are referring to, I believe the best thing to do just ignore them. Make new and better friends.

    If it is "family", I'd say just do the best you can. The world reflects upon us what we are projecting, so perhaps a serious effort to change your own perspective of things would help.

    "They deserve to hate me and I deserve to be hated."

    Nobody deserves to be hated, Hapfor. I am a believer in compassion and forgiveness, but I have learned this is something that must start from US. ;) :)
     
  2. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Healing past hurts

    There are many ways that past indiscretions can be atoned for. You can 'apologise' on a spirit level - using your imagination in meditation to formally apologise to the wronged party and ask for a way to make atonement. You can be surprised at opportunities that present themselves when you can do someone a good turn.

    You can 'apologise' in person if you should remeet a wronged party - even if you don't explain exactly what you are up to for fear of frightening and confusing people. You can go out of your way to offer a helping hand to someone for instance.

    One time I remet someone I had killed - I bashed his brains out with a rock - and I remembered being overcome with remorse for this action at the time, to the point where I would not leave the body out in the open (because I became astonished by his beauty and felt terrible about killing such an obviously young and lovely man - I may have been gay(?) or in any case was highly conflicted about my feelings) but stayed there until I was captured and in turn killed (during the crusades). My guess is that this is when I was at a turning point and beginning to realise that the path of the warrior was over for me.

    I remet the dude in this life and recognised him. Luckily he was open to this sort of thing and I actually begged his pardon and he said 'no biggie - no harm done'. :thumbsup:

    Ultimately however, we are incarnated here and now in these bodies that we are walking around in and must interact with others primarily with a view to what we are doing in this life. Simply by trying always to steer your actions in the direction of love you can heal many problems and right many wrongs. If the other person is at first unforgiving and cold towards you, this does not have to make any difference to your continued expression of love and compassion towards them and anyone else you may meet.
     
  3. starynight86

    starynight86 Probationary

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    it does

    I have a few friends who were believed to be a little 'opportunistic or two faced' but I just didn't see it when they'd come back. I just didn't feel the distrust physically, though I know some I've crossed paths with that just being near them makes me feel this sensation like I'm on my way to the bottom floor in an elevator, physically before they even turn the corner then when I watch their faces I just see this contempt or covetedness and I'd react to them in certain ways to 'test' them and when their reactions would prove to be dishonest I'd make it a point to keep myself away from them.

    In this life from a very young age I was always trusted with being by myself or keeping my eye on things because others saw that I trusted my instincts.

    Sometimes people are just 'naive' and really don't know better but 'wish' they knew right from wrong and can change if you give them the chance, like
    they just don't know their place or where they feel like they belong, which can be mistaken for being opportunistic, but there are some who see no wrong in the things they do as long as they make themselves look like they have morals on the outside, yet they have an ability to charm anyone into believing them and complying to their every need like it just doesn't 'click' sometimes.

    That angers me to no end but I just tell myself that it's not worth it and I don't have to let their attitudes take away from who I am with my friends and what I put my best into. Maybe I was a turtle or something before lol. Not that I believe in that but they say turtles feel vibrations when something they don't like is close by.

    This post has been edited by Forum Staff for readability purposes (paragraphing)
     
  4. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Stary Night,

    You seem to be acting with great sense, sensitivity and wisdom for all your youth. I would say you are on the right track. Trusting your instincts if someone makes you feel like 'you are going to the bottom floor in an elevator' and avoiding them is probably the best thing.

    It is very wise to avoid people that you feel may wish you harm or even might behave unpleasantly towards you and upset you. Your job is to concentrate on what you are doing in terms of being kind, compassionate and forgiving, even if others behave badly. Most people are trying to do their best, however, so remember to be kind while keeping yourself safe. Most people who behave badly are afraid or lost at some level.

    The best way to influence another's behaviour is by example, after all. When you behave well, others will tend to follow your example, if they don't - oh well!

    If people are good actors and outwardly seem to be being 'nice' on the outside but they are not being nice on the inside, eventually it will catch up with them. That does not have to be your problem or your concern especially. The universe will teach them eventually in its own magic way.
     
  5. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    I read something the other day that I thought made a lot of sense. It stated that we tend to think of forgiveness as an absolution or a pardon. We forget that the original meaning of forgiveness is very different. The ancient Greek word for forgiveness is aphesis, meaning "to let go."

    When we forgive others we need to let go of the judgments that WE are projecting onto them. To release them from all our interpretations and evaluations, all our thoughts of right and wrong, friend or foe.

    The bottom line was that forgiveness is not so much something we do for the other person so much as something we do for ourselves.

    By letting go of our judgments of others, we let go the source of our anger and many of our grievances.
     
  6. Aaron

    Aaron Senior Registered

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    So Deborah, when we let go of the judgments and such, then it helps us as we continue to create our next lives? and helps the intent in the current one? Hmmmm. interesting!
     
  7. wavesJ

    wavesJ Senior Registered

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    what a beautiful ancient concept of forgiveness =let go! Let go of the old situation so it won't repeat again. Let go of the person so they have no chance to do you harm. Let go of judgment and embrace a spacious and purify heart. Let go of the past and look to a brighter future
     
  8. Deborah

    Deborah Executive Director Staff Member

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    I thought you might enjoy the following story - shared a few years ago by Veronika.

     
  9. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Registered

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    Compassion leads to Forgiveness


    In August of '07 my older son was attending a biker party. Everyone there supposedly was a friend to me and to him. That is...until six enforcers from a well-known club started kicking and punching him. Apparently, they heard that a member of a rival club was visiting an after-hours bar that my son's club owned. He did well. He fought back as I know he can, and he never went down. After their little "lesson" his jaw was broken in two places and some ribs were broken.


    You can't imagine the rage! This is the first time that I've been able to talk about it, because what goes on in clubs is strictly club business. So, the cops couldn't do anything. His friends didn't do anything, and his own club wouldn't do anything, because it would draw too many clubs to one side or the other. It had the potential of ratcheting up an already troublesome situation in this state. I brewed and stewed over it continually ever since -- in ways that you can't imagine. I was well respected by most clubs and bikers in the Northeast, because I used to write a popular column for a biker magazine. But, now, we've dropped out of sight and I've buried myself behind this computer. Nobody knows where we live and I like to keep it that way for the time being.


    I won't go into detail about all the planning and preparation that would have been needed to go after those guys. Believe me, I fought long and hard with both of my brains trying to figure out what to do. I certainly had the means of carrying it out. The honor of my family was at stake.


    After a while, I suppose all the reading I've done during the past 25 years finally kicked in; and I remembered a powerful lesson. I weighed the karmic repercussions as well as what it would have done to many other people existentially. I also reflected upon everything I've ever done to other people, either by stupidity or with purpose.


    Around that time I remembered a vivid dream from 1994 involving a village elder, who had to look upon the decapitated bodies of his sons along with their three friends, who were very close. The custom then was to take heads as proof of one's skill as a warrior. The scene enraged him, of course; but his hard-won knowledge of the world also told him that the attackers were doing what they do, exactly as the Elder's warriors would have done. It was the way people lived back then. I think, sometimes, that most of the world still thinks that way. The rules of their culture deems it so, just as it does today. On the one hand, no respectable man would let any travesty go unpunished, even at twice the cost. On the other hand, I remembered a very short story in a book of Buddhist wisdom. I will paraphrase it as best I can by memory:


    An elephant was standing under a wide and spreading fruit tree to keep out of the hot sun and to enjoy some fruit. But, there were monkeys who also lived there. The monkeys tormented that elephant without mercy for several days; pulling his tail, biting his ears, and throwing all manner of filthy things at him. Finally, a tiger approached the elephant and asked him, "Why are you letting those monkeys tease and hurt you that way? Most assuredly you could use your massive strength to do away with those pests! But, the elephant replied, "I choose not to do so, because it would leave a stain on my soul and would do harm to those who love them. Besides, they might not be so lucky when I quit this tree and find another." The tiger walked off shaking his head. A few days later the old elephant wasn't under the tree as usual, but another young one had taken his place. Feeling no fear, the monkeys began to tease him, thinking that he was that old elephant. Then, suddenly, and with a powerful rage the young elephant hit the tree with his entire body and knocked each of the monkeys loose from the tree and off of him to the ground; whereupon he killed each and every one with his great feet.


    It has taken some time to realize that those who hurt my family and shamed me would have done the same to anyone else. It was not personal, and they honestly felt that they were doing their duty, however distasteful it might have been. My son and I lived through it, and learned a mighty lesson about forgiveness and compassion, while quitting the scene and leaving those souls in their own dirt. They may end up beating the wrong person, and may certainly meet their end in a very sad and sorry way. And the retribution will not be aimed at me and my family.


    Forgiveness is about survival. It requires one to disconnect from hatred and vendetta; and to rise above it all as an impartial observer. Compassion is doing unto others as one would wish be done for themselves. It involves true honest-to-goodness love for others as well as oneself. The two go together in an upward spiral toward what we all seek with every part of our being. And that's what we call true Happiness!
     
  10. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Hear hear! "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix
     
  11. Aaron

    Aaron Senior Registered

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    Hello, it's been a while since I have participated on the site......


    This is a subject that I have been studying up on quite a bit recently, so that I am able to live my life better. And boy does it ever help. Compassion honestly is a big part of life, and there is a lot of element involved in it.


    For me, forgiveness requires me to accept myself, and to know myself better. To realize what my accountability is, and that IS 100% accountability that will work for me , for what I play in it.........to realize that things happen. Not TO me, not TO you, but that it just simply IS. To own it. To accept myself. To realize that it is about being in the moment (NOT ever letting the past be in my present) and letting go of the bad feelings inside. It's about realizing that it is what it is, to create from it, not to get stuck in the guilt/revenge/anger cycle. Nothing can be created there that works for you or for anyone else. How can you be what you want to be if you have this drain of energy coming from being mad? It costs more energy in your body to resist and hate, than it does to just drop it and move on.


    It took me long enough to realize that when I felt bad about interactions with people, that I was in a victim mode. Then the resentment, revenge, anger, guilt circle would play itself out. No amount of "behavior change" could help me out of it. I had to go back in my life and look at how I viewed life. To see that I have a challenge as an adult from a very dysfunctional upbringing. Changing my view about who I am and who others are has helped me be true to myself. To look at life with brutal honesty, reality (what it really is, not what I want it to be), to look at people for who they really are and not what I project them to be. And not allow people to project an image to me, but to be myself. To regain my health, to not let the drains on me ruin my body any more. No more stained glass marring my view of life.


    It's not something I can achieve overnight. It's something that I have become aware of, and I strive to work through it. I used to find it so hard to let go, and no matter what I did, it would not go away, I could avoid and distract it, but that drain was always taking away from my health. But not now. Thanks to some great information I have come across in my life, to have found others who are winning in life, has helped me to become a winner and to move beyond the places I was stuck in my lifetime.


    Happiness is achieved by the journey, not the milestones we hit along the way. Those are the rewards from winning. Without forgiveness, we cannot win on the journey, get to the milestones, nor can we truly encompass compassion.


    Love much. I hope all of you that read this get something from it. My gift to you.


    Aaron
     
  12. ChrisR

    ChrisR Administrator Emeritus Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Thanks Aaron, welcome back :)

    I certainly got something from it, you posted your 'gift' at just the right time as something happened at work in the last week that left me feeling very hurt and angry, but you've given me a reminder to think about now, thank you. And you're right of course, keeping the hurt bottled up inside affects nobody but yourself in a negative way.
     
  13. soulfreindly

    soulfreindly Senior Registered

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    I find compassion and forgiveness comes from knowing I am loved. If I have not found that love -- ie I do not feel enough love from my experiences in this life, I find help by going to past lives and reliving those times when those who I did love were " taken " from me.. ie through death , abandonment, criminal behaviour of someone else, etc. It helps me to connect to the real me. When we lose a love , we can start to doubt that love ever existed.


    I find I need to connect to my inner child to find the true feeling of loving. There are times in my past when often with the eyes of a child I can get more in touch with my feelings. Allowing those feelings that were difficult to surface through my eyes now as an adult , I have been able to feel more safe, and loved.


    This provides the boundaries and wisdom to cope with those times when I am not loved.


    For example I had a memory as a child age 4ish sitting beside my father in a past life in a little cafe. I was feeling deep devotion to my then father. As time passed this memory was faint and as I grew I had forgotten this experience. I still loved my father , but I had forgotten the context of having those deep emotions.


    Later in that life ,at age 11 , I was seperated from my father and mother and taken and killed. It was the disconnect from those treasured times that lead me to doubt my love. Upon remembering the time in that cafe in a regression, I easily related to the love I had felt . The love was always there, but life circumstances had clouded those perceptions.


    Upon rememembering , I can feel more for the child in everyone and can have more compassion . Through knowing I am loved , I know I am safe enough to stand up to those who hurt me, and thus I have more of a grounding and structure to deal with forgiveness.


    soulfreindly
     
  14. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

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    Thank you Aaron. Your words inspire me.


    I wish more people could see what you now see. Too many people I know are content living their life as a victim. What they don't understand is that they've made a choice to be a victim. But to be a victim, you must first give your power away. Who are they giving their power to? No one has any power over us but the power we give them. If you said something mean to me and it you made me feel bad, it only made me feel bad because I allowed it to.


    I feel we must take 100% responsibility for our emotions. If someone cuts me off driving and I get angry, they didn't make me angry. I made myself angry. I made a choice to behave that way. And for me to be angry with them is not hurting them. It's hurting me. So many people refuse to forgive because they don't think that who they are angry with deserves their forgiveness. But you are the one suffering. You are the one that is allowing that negative energy eat you up from the inside out. That is what is meant when the say "forgiveness isn't for them, it's for you."


    I believe that anger and resentment comes from a lack of love. Not a lack of love for others, but a lack of love for yourself. A person who lacks love for themself will have weak personal boundaries, and will allow others to have a greater impact on them. I'm not talking about vanity. I'm not talking about being in love with yourself. I'm talking about having love for yourself. If you fill yourself up with enough love, you can't help but be loving to toward others.


    I've had dark times in my life just like anyone else. I've had hate for others and myself. It was a lot easier to dislike others when I disliked myself. It wasn't until I learned to accept me and appreciate me that things started to change for me. What I figured out was that the more I liked me, others like me too. I wish I would have figured that out a lot sooner. I am more loving and more compassionate towards others now than I've ever been before. It's hard to be there for others when I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.


    This just my personal feelings and experience. I know it's easier said than done, and I've still got a long way to go. It's a work in progress. ;)


    "Happiness is achieved by the journey, not the milestones we hit along the way." I love that line, Aaron. :thumbsup:
     
  15. Ailish

    Ailish Administrator Emerita

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    Hi Aaron,


    It's nice to see you around again. :)


    It sounds like you're doing well - good to hear!

    That can be a huge process. It's difficult sometimes to understand, when other people's feelings and emotions do affect and challenge us. When we have "expectations" of others that we project onto them and they fail to meet those expectations, it can be difficult to let it go. And it's equally as difficult when others have expectations of us that we "fail to meet" in their eyes. Good for you - for being true to yourself and finding your way. :D


    Wishing you happiness and health,


    Aili
     
  16. soulfreindly

    soulfreindly Senior Registered

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    HI Truthseeker


    Why would anyone chose to be a victim?. I do not believe it is in our "control". We may end up in that position because of our choices but I do not think any of us wish to be in pain. Ending up as a victim happens by chance. We do not have control over everything.


    We may have guilt and so have self defeating core issues leads to being a victim , but that guilt is not a matter of choice. That is a matter of being human and experience of certain things which lead us to feel that guilt. We are as children , neive to how to deal with our feelings. Blaming the victim is just wrong.


    We do not sit back and say I am going to suffer to learn some lesson. The lesson is the motivating issue for our choices. If we chose suffering , then wouldn't we also chose suffering for others?? That is contrary to the whole concept of love .


    Victims can be uplifted.. out of their suffering.. which is the thought I try and allow to become a permanent thought.


    soulfreindly
     
  17. purple

    purple New Member

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    Hello everybody, hello soulfreindly,


    I agree with you, we don't always get to choose in our life. Sometimes we just happen to be hurt, as children because we're young and powerless, as adults because we love, because we give ourselves, or because we simply don't expect others to be cruel...


    I think what really makes a difference is the way we deal with our pain, what we do with it.


    We can choose to forgive or not, but we have to try and understand why that certain person did hurt us and by doing/saying what... We can try and understand why we're so sensitive about a certain subject and learn to overcome our fears. Or we can try and feel empathy for that person and understand why he/she behaves in such a hurtful way towards us.


    Whatever works! As long as we grow and overgrow our fears, pains, limits.


    purple
     
  18. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Former Moderator

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    By saying "choose" I don't mean choosing bad things to happen to us. What I mean is the choice to forgive and let go. How can we find true happiness and fulfillment if we can't let go of the negative energy that we let hang like an albatross around our neck? Like I said before, I can only speak from my own personal feelings and experiences. I've had some difficult times in my life. I had some traumatic things happen when I was a child that I'll probably never forget. But they're not going to define me. They're not going to determine my path. There are things that happened that I didn't understand at the time. I now realize why those involved did what they did, and that they were hurting too. I have compassion for them now and it helps me to let go. I'm not blaming victims. Blame for ourself or anyone else stands in the way of forgiveness. Not accepting forgiveness for ourself is equally has crippling as not forgiving others.


    Like I said before, I know it's easier said than done. We can't just snap our fingers and say "OK, I feel better now." It's a process. Unfortunately, there are some that I know who aren't even willing to take the first step.
     
  19. Aaron

    Aaron Senior Registered

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    What I mean by "victim" and such is this. Taking 100% accountability for your life and your events removes this. Yes people get hurt, yes people get into accidents, yes people shoot each other. It's about the shift in context, how YOU view it. A true victim is someone who is UNABLE to choose how to view an event (child, disabled, etc). Instead of saying "he shot me or I got hit by someone in an accident" the view would be "I was shot , or my car was hit", making it your event, owning it. It becomes not about he/she did what TO MY car, it becomes about the truth of the event. The car was hit. (just for example). I am taking words that can be literally meant in other ways and shifting the context on their meaning. When I have done this, I have found my life to be free of that undercurrent drain in my body. The anger seems to just not make sense anymore. I suddenly FEEL compassion and BECOME it. Does that make any sense to you all? :D It wouldn't help every situation (violent crimes against people) right in the moment, but it would sure help with the emotional and physical healing.


    If I could describe myself, my emotions, my energy, my compassion as something I carry around in a cup for a moment, this idea will make more sense.........I can't believe I spent so many years holding out a cup with a hole in the bottom with a slow, sometimes fast leak, asking people to fill it for me. "Please keep my cup full" I would beg people constantly draining them, demanding they tip their cup over to me......not realizing that it was up to ME to fix my own cup and be full on my own. And when they didn't or if they tipped my cup, I'd let all of my energy spill out. I'd feel scorned, seek out revenge in my silence (lord knows I used silence as a weapon all too often), and then feel guilty, then get angry at the person again, and go back to that revenge cycle. I did this to many people in my life. That's how I chose to be a victim. I wasn't creating anymore, I was destroying.


    Hope that helps bring more to the table for you all today.


    Thanks for the welcome back Chris and Ailish, I appreciate it, and for all of you reading and replying. The power to choose is a wonderful gift to give to people.
     
  20. tanguerra

    tanguerra Moderator Emeritus

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    Well said Aaron.


    Indeed, in this so called 'real' (Earth bound) life, 'stuff' happens. "That", as they say, "is life", after all. Sometimes it is 'good' stuff, sometimes it is 'bad' stuff. It is up to ourselves how we respond to this 'stuff'. We can be 'victims' or we can be 'victors'. Shall we be compassionate? Shall we be furious? Shall we be happy? Shall we be sad? It is a personal decision, and it's always up to the individual to make these choices in their responses. We can rise above and be forgiving, or we can do the other thing and be angry and resentful when 'bad' stuff happens. Which response is 'beneficial' (as the Buddhists describe it) and which response is harmful - not just in this life, but in the next few? It's all part of 'free will' and all that jazz. I really wonder if anyone is keeping 'score' as some people seem to imagine, or if really, we are, ultimately, on our own recognissance and responsible for ourselves? Is living 'well' ultimately depedent learning how to follow beneficial behaviour patterns through painful trial and error? Is 'compassion' beneficial in this process? Probably.


    This life is in some ways a game - but what are the 'rules'? Are there any? 'Love one another' is a nice rule. Is that all we need? Perhaps, ultimately, yes, it is. Compassion certainly helps in loving one's fellows - trying to understand what drives them, why, how, what, etc. by comparing their responses with our own.


    Ultimately, however, we are all immortal and cannot be seriously hurt in any permanent way, any more than we can be in a dream, however scary it might seem at the time! :eek:


    This 'living' is what we are 'up to'. Living is why we are here on this planet, in these bodies, doing this 'stuff' and having it 'done' to us. Life in a mortal body, it's not perfect. The body bleeds, it hurts, it dies, it grows, it gets sick, it gets hungry, it gets what it craves (or doesn't), it loves, it lives, it desires, it has joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, it grows old and one day, it dies .... That's life! It happens and we have to deal with it as 'beneficially' as we can - ideally! :laugh:


    This is what makes it so interesting, (sometimes). It isn't perfect, and as much as we may wish it to be so, I doubt there are any 'rules', at least as most of us would understand them. It isn't 'fair' (as far as most people conceive of 'fair') and sometimes it's good and sometimes it's not.


    The only thing we have control over is how we respond to the 'stuff' that happens. Indeed, perhaps that is the secret of the game, not the outward things that happen - dramatic and exciting and distracting as they so often are, but how we choose to conduct ourselves in response to them - how we find our way through the maze. In puzzlement and panic, or with calm and deliberation?


    This is the path of the master, grasshoppers (and butterflies). :)
     

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