Caroline Myss says, “the capacity to forgive is nothing less than the acceptance of a higher principle of Divine justice rather than earthly justice, as the organizing element behind the events of your life.” Forgiveness, she adds, “requires you to surrender your ego’s need to have life fall into place around your personal version of justice.”
No wonder forgiveness is so hard. It does not follow any logic or reason. Trying to rationalize it could be ultimately frustrating because we are applying our humanly limited version of logic in a futile attempt to manage our fears and pains. We are trying to control the chaos of our life, or rather what we perceive as chaos and randomness.
We will never find logical explanations for all the circumstances of our life, good or bad. Through his poetry, Rumi teaches us not to try to understand. Whatever meaning, reason, or conclusion we draw are but tiny pieces of threads in the big fabric of reality. Life is much more complex. Rumi advises:
“Please don’t request what you can’t tolerate
A blade of straw can’t hold a mountain weight.” (140)
“If you stop reading from your own small view
The phoenix will grant kingdom then to you.” (1098)
To forgive, Myss teaches, we need to “defy gravity, to transcend the limitations of the reasoning mind and connect with an inner realm of mystical truth.”
Forgiveness defies reason as it defies gravity. It defies the clinging of the soul to explanation, order, structure, logic. It defies the gravitation towards a physical, inflexible, rigid realm and instead levitates us towards a heavenly mystical higher truth.
It is not easy… To forgive is to let go of a solid ground that might have supported us while we were trying to make sense of our life and existence; to let go of a familiar structure that held us as we navigated our way through life’s scary maze and wilderness. To forgive is to let go of the ant view and instead, fly high to see with an eagle eye...To see the bigger picture, the whole panorama, and realize that it is not about them… this is my story… my path… my journey; and all the challenges, troughs, snarls, and tangles are but lessons perfectly designed to help me build more resolve and strength, to help me advance on the Path and fly higher.
“Forgiveness, Myss says, is an act of release, surrendering the need for an explanation[…] forgiveness is your release from the hell of wanting to know what cannot be known.”
Myss sees that failing to surrender is a lack of humility as we cling to the illusion that we “can prevent God from creating chaos in [our] life.” “Certainly, you will never uncover an explanation that actually heals the full measure of your pain, because reason simply can’t penetrate the heart and soul that deeply.”
As Rumi says,
“The One from whom all benefits arise
Can surely see what you’ve seen with your eyes!
A million benefits are here and all
Compared with that one are extremely small.” (1531)
فكيف لا يرى ذلك الذي تتولد منه الفوائد ذلك الذي صار مرئيا لنا؟
وهناك مئات الآلاف من الفوائد كل منها تعد الفوائد التي ندركها بالنسبة لها قليلة القيمة
“If all Divine wisdom should be known to [the human being] at once, the benefits in it would leave him unable to act and the infinite wisdom of God would obliterate his comprehension. He would not be able to cope.” This is why God says, “We only send it down in a fixed measure” (Q. 15: 21) وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُۥٓ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍۢ مَّعْلُومٍۢ
Healing, teaches Myss, “represents a cleansing of the ego that liberates the embittered self. In its place emerges an inner truth that assures you that nothing was a mistake or an accident.”
“To surrender runs counter to all your instincts of protection, grounded as they are in your need for personal safety.” “Surrender represents […] a supreme act of faith that states, with God, all things are possible […] you leave it to God to chart the course of possibilities.”
Forgiveness is surrendering the ego… And, surrender is the ultimate test in humility. You acknowledge and assume your position as God’s servant عبدالله, you stop fighting for control or entitlement, you do the work and retreat in the shade, releasing the results, knowing and believing deep in your heart that the perfect plan is already in effect.
In Rumi’s words,
“The waves of peace collide with wonderous might,
Uprooting from men’s breasts all hate and spite” (2590)
“At one stage on this path snake venom changes
To wholesome food - it’s God who rearranges…
Things harmful to the soul in that pure sphere
Can be remedy where they are down here:
Unripe grapes are too sour for us to eat
But when those same grapes ripen, they taste sweet.” (2610-2614)