Thursday Tidbits: The Fragrance of Forgiveness

This week’s Thursday Tidbits post considers forgiveness, which is also the Bloggers for Peace challenge for March. Forgiveness may be the heart forpeace6of peace but giving and getting forgiveness from the heart is not easy for any of us.   

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.   (Anonymous) 

Always, we wish to know the fragrance of the violet but must it always come at such a price? It seems to be the history of humanity that it does, yet it is also the history of humanity to know peace, compassion, love, and equanimity, all inherent in the fragrance. We begin where we can, within ourselves.

Consider The Four Agreements of Don Miguel Ruiz:

  1. Be impeccable in your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best.

waters of forgivenessInherent in the agreements is maitri, of which compassion is certainly a form, but maitri is the complete and total acceptance of one’s self. No conditions. Maitri is where forgiveness begins, a seed that we all may plant, and as the seed grows, so grows our ability to accept ourselves.

In accepting ourselves, we pursue compassionate truth, regardless of outcome. We do not deceive ourselves for outcome is often a sticking point, but if we do not take things personally and do not make assumptions, we are doing our best to be impeccable in our word.

Anger has a role in forgiveness as well as in peace, and not to acknowledge anger is not to pursue peace. There is the anger from a closed heart, the kind we all readily recognize, and then there is anger that is not personal or based upon any assumptions, the anger of the impeccable word, the anger-with-the-heart-open:

“For when there is no desire to wound or punish or blame, we become able to speak with great clarity and power. We may roar like a lion, but it is a healing roar. We may be challenging, but we are infinitely fair. We may be outraged, but we are respectful. This is ‘anger-with-the-heart-open’ and it has a beauty, a passion, and a clarity that is unmistakable”
(Processing Anger With An Open Heart).

In forgiveness, we leave the past where it is, when it happened, who did it, and what occurred. We accept that the past cannot be changed:  

“Forgiving someone can mean giving them another chance, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because they need it.  When you forgive, you love.  You stop being a victim and you let go of the pain.  Forgiving others can give us back the laughter and the peace in our lives.”

We immerse ourselves in the acceptance of all that we are and are not, our wisdom and grace, our missteps and shortcomings. We accept that all the life we have lived up to the present moment is the foundation for our being here now. On our impeccable word floats the fragrance of forgiveness.

This week’s video features an acoustic version of Matthew West’s “Forgiveness.”

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

19 thoughts on “Thursday Tidbits: The Fragrance of Forgiveness

  1. I especially like “don’t take anything personally.” At the heart of that is having a self that is modest in size, one that realizes it is not important enough to be a target, or even worth a lot of thought by its owner. The giant self puts everything else in its shadow.


    1. Like you, not taking anything personally seems to loom larger than the other three, which is not to diminish them, of course. Along with objectivity, I like being “impeccable” in our words. Thanks, Adrian!


  2. This is one of the core aspects of forgiveness for me: “In forgiveness, we leave the past where it is, when it happened, who did it, and what occurred. We accept that the past cannot be changed” and also that we have understood the lesson from the past, then it can go. Thank you for a very thoughtful article! ♥ tomas


    1. Yes, Tomas, in accepting the past is done and cannot be changed, we no longer carry it around with us for we have learned its lesson. Thanks so much, Tomas.


  3. I really enjoyed the song and the passion in which it was sung. I was just thinking about how all our posts cover the same topic but yet are so different. Maybe between us all we will capture the essence of forgiveness, thanks Karen, loved your post.


  4. Beautiful. I have found that there is a release in maitri that opens the floodgates of gratitude, and that gratitude is the first of all virtues. Thank you for your thoughtful post.


    1. I agree, Piper, maitri opens us to the gratitude that is in all of us, and once we are grateful, oh the possibilities. Thanks for your kind words.


  5. Mahalo for sharing this and for sharing Matthew West’s beautiful song. I tweeted your post via @nouturnsinlife and am posting it to my FB page Village of Support too.


  6. Karen,
    I love this analysis of forgiveness, anger, and the four agreements. It reminds me of something that Deepak Chopra said on NPR recently. He said that he made a promise to himself at one point never to be offended. Similar to “don’t take anything personal.”
    I love, love, love how you quoted Grandmalin. I was reading the quotation nodding my head like yeah this is the Truth, and I saw that it came from a Blogger for Peace.
    Thank you for this pastiche of forgiveness. Love the song as well. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo


    1. More and more, I explore forgiveness as a culmination of us. As simplistic as it sounds, I often consider whether or not forgiveness is the one quality we are able to grow much more readily than some of the other seeds in our ongoing life practice. In extending forgiveness to ourselves so we may forgive others, it seems that we move into the practice of loving-kindness (maitri). Can compassion be far behind? However, I suppose all first steps are the hardest but still….

      As always, thank you for your kind words, Kozo, and yes, Grandmalin’s post on forgiveness was just extraordinary. Also, thank you, Kozo, for starting Bloggers for Peace and bringing so many of us together.



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