50 Days of Gratitude: Forgiveness

May 18, 2016 was my Forgiveness Day.
It was glorious. 

I'd woken up and I decided that my stagnancy wasn't worth whatever lesson I was supposedly teaching my Thems by not forgiving them. I'd come to realize that I wasn't choosing love if I wasn't choosing forgiveness. 

Unselfish love is the basis of true forgiveness. We're talking true unconditional love. My journey from love to forgiveness wasn't so picturesque. 

This, by far, was the heaviest part of the experiment; What was supposed to take 10 days, actually took me 37 days. And girl, did I have a lot to forgive. Mr. Coffin and his culprits, Cathexis, Co-workers. Whew. (If you don't know who or what Cathexis and Mr. Coffin is, you'll have you read my earlier posts for context) Besides all of those Thems, though, there was a huge Me who also needed pardoning. 

I used the tools I sharpened in days 1-40 to begin a journey of self-forgiveness, forgiveness of others, and asking for forgiveness. I literally had to affirm and manifest forgiveness in my own heart, cling on tightly to my new found joy, do some serious reflecting, and continuously choose love. That's how I did it: I dug deep. I don't have some seven step easy guide to forgiveness. I can only offer my spiritual journey to enlightenment and self-awareness. 

I had to learn and accept a few things about forgiveness:
1. I realized that forgiveness doesn't pardon the offender. In fact, it does just the opposite: It pardons the offended. 

2. I learned and practiced empathy for the other person (and hoped that they could/would return the same when it became time to forgive me). 

3. I went back to Love. God forgives and loves me in my inconsistencies. Let's be honest, I love Her, but I haven't always consistently served Her. Also, my display of love for Her hasn't always been consistent too. And then I thought, what if God never forgave me? My heart dropped and I decided to have a little more God in my heart, a little more Love, a lot more forgiveness.

When I truly forgave others in my heart, some who asked for forgiveness and of some who probably/may never will, it made my "I'm sorry's" that much more beautiful of an experience because I understood the journey of what had to take place in their hearts to get to their "I forgive you's". Some happened instantaneously (ah, the beauty of Love), and others needed to go through a similar process as I did. But for once, I understood where they were and I was patient. I was okay and able to sit in the purgatory of offense and forgiveness because I'd put so many other people in that same space. 

Danielle Lyles Barton