Spiritual Pardon: Taking Forgiveness Deeper
A spiritual pardon is an act of forgiving others and restoring harmony.
Forgiveness is a vital skill for living in harmony with others. Every day mistakes are made, feelings are hurt, and pain is caused. We all can fall short of doing
our best when we explore life. Forgiveness allows you to continue in integrity on the journey, letting go of the burdens of resentment and anger.
But forgiveness can be hard when you don’t really understand what it means when you forgive someone. Are you excusing their actions, condoning their behavior, or
pardoning the event?
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, to excuse is to pass over a mistake or fault, usually a minor one, without demanding punishment or redress. To condone
is to overlook an offense, usually serious, and thereby give tacit pardon. To forgive is to grant pardon without harboring resentment, and to renounce anger or resentment against
the other party.
Forgiveness is a gift of spiritual pardon, which is a process of releasing yourself and others from carrying the pain of the experience, restoring you anew. The
definition of pardon is to release a person from punishment or to forgive. In Roman Catholic tradition, after a person was forgiven, an “indulgence” was granted as a remission
of punishment for a sin. One definition of remission is to restore to original condition or put back. A spiritual pardon is an act of forgiving others and restoring harmony.
In applying a spiritual pardon to everyday situations where people fall short of doing their best, you can move beyond anger, pain, and resentment, which are
behaviors that punish not only the person who hurt you, but also yourself. Through the act of remission, you restore your life to its original condition: a journey of faith in
finding the truth and wisdom of God in your life.
The concept of spiritual pardon sounds good, but how do you forgive people for acts that had a major impact on your life?
As a person who experienced sexual abuse during childhood, I understand the difficulty of forgiving people. On my journey of restoration, I’ve sought to forgive my
grandfather for his abusive behavior. I’ve found that one of the first and most important steps in spiritually pardoning my grandfather was releasing attachment to the labels of victim
and survivor to define myself.
During my spiritual healing process, I realized that the labels of victim and survivor affected how I viewed myself and my personal power to restore harmony in my
life. Labeling myself as a victim meant that I had no personal power, not then and not now. Seeing myself as a survivor would mean that I was able to endure the abuse but I wasn’t
able to use my personal power to stop it. But with the survivor label, I would not be assured of having personal power today because I would have to continually reinvest energy to
make the statement of “self as survivor” true. On a bad day, I could feel down and relive the experience from a victim’s perspective, and need to turn those energies around
so that I could feel like a survivor again. Keeping either the victim or survivor labels also meant that the issue of abuse could still exist within my consciousness, and arise in
other situations that trigger old emotions.
I will guide you to affirming your spiritual nature in Who I Am.
To finally release myself from the chains of the abuse and the links of related behavior it created in my life, I chose not to label myself as anything other than a
human being experiencing all that life has to offer, including pain and joy, suffering and salvation, and distrust and truth. With the label of human being, my life is devoted to
wholeness, growth and discovery. In releasing attachments to the labels of victim and survivor, my potential as a human being is free, restoring harmony to my life.
In recognizing that I am first and foremost a human being, I take a step towards restoring my original condition when I was born into this world: complete and total
union with God. Forgiveness is a path that allows you to remember who you are—a beloved child of God. Spiritually pardoning others and letting go of resentments allows you to see
others for who they are—the sons and daughters of God.
Together, we return to our origins as children of light and love.
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