Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And the 78th Time as Well

"Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times."
Matthew 18:21-22

I do not know anyone who wants to live who will intentionality drink poison. I do however know people who poison themselves every day because they are unwilling to extend forgiveness. I understand why people hold grudges; when someone has done something to wrong you, you want them to hurt in the same way that they have hurt you. The problem here is that you are most certainly harming yourself and you have no control over the other person. It even happens that your opponent is unaware of the injury, so while you are laying in bed at night seething with anger, he is sleeping like a baby.

The truth is forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person, no matter how severe the wrong. Forgiveness is about letting  go of that anger that is slowly eating you and controlling your life. Worst case scenario is that you forgive someone and they don't care. They were already alright in the first place and now you have given yourself the antidote to what was killing you. Best case scenario is the possibility of reconciliation with another person.

Jesus advises Peter to make forgiveness a bottomless well because he understands that this is the way his Father forgives. Despite all of the harm that we have done, the Creator of all that is still wants nothing more than reconciliation. No one has done more harm to me than has already been forgiven me by God.

My theme for the week Tapas is about detoxifying all that we are. We come to the yoga mat again and again craving that post savasana feeling of lightness that comes after our practice has detoxified the body. The same thing is available to our mental and spiritual well-being when we apply tapas to the whole life. I intend to spend some time this week allowing the purifying heat of Divine Grace to burn away the toxins that burden me. Try taking your practice off the mat to experience real freedom.


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