There are certain universal laws, one of them being, "What you see in me, you have in you." Barbara Eckhardt is a practicing new thought minister, ordained by the Universal Life Church. She is the spiritual leader of Unity Church of Peace at 810 "C" Street in Walla Walla. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
If you see something in me that you will not forgive, that something is really in you. For instance, someone in your life has been murdered and you cannot forgive the murderer.
Does that mean that you are also a murderer? Most likely not in actual practice. You may not have killed anyone personally, but, do you think capital punishment is justifiable? Isn't capital punishment murder? In other words, is killing by a group less a murder than killing by an individual? Does a law passed by a nation make a crime such as murder OK?
Since when does national law take precedence over God's law? The commandment, "Thou shalt not kill", means just that, no exceptions.
Any area of your life where you are not forgiving is an area where you have similar traits to the one whom you will not forgive. Your life experience is the mirror in which you see yourself.
Have you ever noticed how you seem to have the same problems over and over again? If you continue to see the same situation in your life, the same negative way; you can be sure that you haven't completed your forgiving work in that area. And thus, you can't move on to a state of happiness and contentment.
Your thinking always reflects the choice of thoughts that you hold in your mind. No one but you put them there and no one but you can let them go.
As a child of God, you are made in the image and likeness of Spirit. It is a given that your creator is love and nothing but love. Therefore, so are you. Love is your natural way of being. Forgiving is your natural method of living life.
To hold a grievance, to hate, is unnatural; and therefore, takes a great amount of your energy and attention. Your unforgiving thoughts and resentments color everything that you do, affect every relationship, every part of your life.
Many of you have resentment toward a former spouse, and you wonder why you have difficulties with male-female relationships. Wonder no more. Until you forgive the former spouse or lover and let the past stay in the past, you will have problems with persons of the opposite sex, because your vision of the present is distorted by your unforgiving attitude of the past.
Your human experience can be reduced to two levels: love or fear. Love and fear do not coexist. If your mind and heart are full of hate, which is actually nothing but fear, there is no room for love. Peace comes only with love, and love always follows forgiving, that is why Jesus, the greatest teacher of love, taught forgiveness.
Peter once asked Jesus, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered him, " I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22). Seven times metaphysically means as long as it takes in earth time. Seventy times seven means as long as it actually takes, until there is nothing left to forgive.
Peter thought he was being extremely generous forgiving someone seven times, but Jesus shows him how long it really takes one to learn to forgive.
Last, it is very important to understand that your emotional pain always results from poor judgments that you have made. That was your first mistake. You then continue to hold on to that judgment because you don't like to admit that you may have been wrong. It's a trap. But, it's all happening in your own mind. The person that you are angry with may not even know about it or if they do, they really don't care. Thus, forgiving is not about another person. It sets you free, not them.
Namaste, Barbara Eckhardt.
If you didn't get it, blessings, Barbara.