The word ‘’forgive” can be quite the trigger word for people who have been traumatized. Especially for adults who were abused as children. For these folks, to forgive their abusers requires a lot of internal healing before even considering whether they want to forgive the person who made their life hell as a child.
Perhaps understanding the word “forgive” from the mind of one who spoke ancient Aramaic makes the concept more palatable. Dr. Michael Ryce discusses forgiveness in his book Why Is This Happening to Me…Again? If you’re like me, you enjoy listening to books on tape as much as you like to read. In that case, Why Again CD is available to listen to while you drive. Here you will learn that in Aramaic, the concept meant to cancel a thought. The word “shebeg” in Aramaic meant “to cancel”. In order to cancel a thought, it meant that one had to understand the entire situation before it was possible to let that situation go. Think of canceling a debt. When that debt is canceled, it is “forgiven”. That is what shebeg referred to.
To those of us with a Christian faith tradition the belief that we were to “turn the other cheek” when someone had wronged us, and to go ahead and forgive the perpetrator regardless of how much pain they caused was taught as the righteous thing to do. This wasn’t correct based upon the concept of shebeg, or to cancel, in Aramaic.
The lesson from Aramaic was that we are to “turn TO the other cheek”, not simply turn the other cheek and let the perpetrator hurt us yet again.
When we turn to someone, we begin to understand the situation from a meta-perspective. When we can see all sides of a situation, things then become clearer than before. We become aligned, seeing where we missed something that we can make right. With that alignment, we begin to shore up our boundaries.
This shoring up makes for a sense of empowerment that allows the wronged individual to say no the next time that they are presented with a less than kind event to manage with someone.
Forgiveness from this more balanced level of understanding then becomes something that we simply cancel, like canceling a debt. The situation has healed, and we no longer carry around resentment and anger, which are destructive to living the life we want for vibrant happiness.
That happiness is our divine birthright. No one has a right to take that away from us, and in fact, no one can unless we allow them to take it away. We choose to be happy. And by choosing to be happy, we choose what we focus upon.
The thoughts we feed our mind are the most crucial forms of nourishment we can offer our bodies. Good thoughts are as important as plenty of water and good, clean food.
The next time someone mentions forgiving someone, think of that process in terms of canceling the mind energy you spend focusing upon the situation. Canceling an experience from one’s mind is much better than harboring toxic energy that makes you sick in ways that you cannot see.
Canceling a negative thought makes room for a more vibrant and alive thought, which shows up in the light from your eyes, and in the way that you walk. Be the change you want to see, and cancel from your life anything that is not in alignment with your highest and best self.