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A Good Time To Forgive

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A Good Time To Forgive by Geoff Thompson

We are powerful:

Our money and our arms and our guards and our borders and

our very high walls and our razor-topped fences

and our laws

they procure and they protect entitlement

they bankroll and bloat and glut our security

they boast every power

We are masters…of the earth and the air

and the land and the seas

We hold dominion…over all manner of creeping things

We eat all manner of creeping things and yet…

In this world of pseudo power of wealth of control

an infinitesimal enemy

is bringing us to our knees

Fear…wipes out human artifice like a wild fire

It threatens our only real power

the ability to breathe

It is no bad thing for a crisis to show us truth

A crisis is not a crisis unless it comes with truth

This might seem like a bad time for the world body

but it is a good time for the human soul

This is a very good time

to lighten its load and forgive

We have already been forced to escape

our other false-idols

why not take advantage of this exodus

and evict the squatting demon of vengeance

It belittles us

Human intolerance emasculates the living spirit

It leaves the door wide open for beast and foul

I am not talking about letting people off

That it is not what forgiveness is

It is a moral flaw to judge the failings of others

whilst we still fail to judge the moral flaw in our selves

Be in no doubt:

reciprocity settles its own accounts

It doesn’t need our help, this Force;

it does not need our witness in order to work Its power

If we deny this law

it is only because our understanding is embryonic

The Truth is undeniably right in front of us

Forgive

Give it over

Place it down

Don’t cleave to the instrument of your own torture

and then call it power

Be God-like in your grace:

Similis erit deo

Forgive because to forgive is divine

Heed the wisdom of Maimonides

and his Thirteen Attributes of Mercy:

Compassion before offence has been taken

Pardon in the aftermath of abuse – we all need mercy

and we can only be forgiven

to the degree that we can forgive others

Forgiveness is emancipation

It is freedom from the hidden control of adverse forces but

…these aphorisms, these spiritual truths

these seeds of wisdom

they fall on hard ground

I understand that

I nursed and fed my own revenge-story

for three long decades

before I realised…that holding on

painful painful holding on

invited continuation of the abuse

even in the absence of my abuser

I understand

that these are mere abstractions in the absence of faith –

so you might deny forgiveness as a metaphysical power

Perhaps then I can persuade you

with a biological certainty:

Grudge, violence, anger, confusion, fear

they weaken immune function

they suppress your natural defences they close them down

If you are not convinced

of the hidden benefits of forgiveness

be entirely persuaded of its revealed power:

Forgiveness fortifies immune function

It is a physiological precedent

You need some protection

In these uncertain times

when the roaming lion of pestilence

is looking for bodies to snatch and souls to invade

you need every protection

Forgiveness is something you do for yourself

for your own health

for your own wellbeing

It is not out of kindness

for the recipient of your pardon

that you release the burden of your pain

the kindness is for you

it is for you the kindness

…the kindness is entirely for you

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