There are many aspects to the requirement to unconditionally forgive others before one can find inner peace. Primarily, there is the anger inside you. Anger, a primitive emotion, meant mostly to keep us alive, but is of less use in a civilized society. Anger unbalances you, it adds stress which destroys your harmony and turns good vibrations into out-of-sync tones. And, holds you back spiritually.
The Effects of Anger
The spirit Joanna, through the Spiritist medium Divaldo Franco, tells us about anger and the harm it causes:
“The sensation of actual anger has its roots in non-digested conflicts that were stored in the subconscious since childhood. They rise back again whenever some equivalent vibration reaches the fulcrum of the filed remembrances. When such occurs, they unconsciously exude all the unpleasant, but still living, incidents that were covered by the thin layer of forgetfulness.
Anger easily installs in people who lost their self-esteem and are complacent in the image that they project and not their self-value. In those cases, insecurity supplies the short-temperedness and vitalizes the dependence on someone else’s support. In conflict, the individual is unstable, because one does not rationalize the unpleasant occurrences, preferring to react and affirming one’s authenticity. That reaction is the launching of a smoke screen to hide one’s deficiency.
Every time anger is submitted to pressure and is not overcome, it produces damage to the physical and emotional body. At the physical level, those damages occur in the following forms: vago-sympathetic disturbances, such as indigestion, diarrhea, acid-reflux, dysrhythmia, lack of appetite or gluttony, self-punishment and so forth. At the emotional level, those are expressed as nervousness, anxiety, depression.”[i]
The cumulative effects of anger may be physically disabling. A calm and serene lifestyle is mutually exclusive with smoldering anger.
Joanna tells us that absolute forgiveness doesn’t solve anger. The root causes of anger must be sought out and corrected before the act of forgiveness effectively contributes to your physical and spiritual well-being.
To fight the fires of anger within you, meditation and study should be pursued. Understanding that we have lived through hard trials in past lives and experienced disappointments in our current life – coupled with the knowledge that we are all immortal spirits, who have traveled through difficult lives, will enable you to look at actions from a higher perspective. Which will help lessen the aspect of taking actions personally.
Joanna says to handle anger at its source:
“When offended, the individual should express one’s feelings to the aggressor, to friends, without complaint or sorrow. One should show that it is normal and that one deserves respect, consideration as everyone else.”[ii]
She tells us it is also important not to allow anger to turn into resentment. Just like anger, resentment unbalances the body and may cause long-term illnesses.
God gave us feelings for a reason. As a primitive spirit we need strong emotions of flight or fight in order to survive. Our path to spiritual growth is one of intellectualizing these feelings and turning them into methods of understanding others and focusing our will upon the task at hand.
Once we comprehend that we are on earth to make mistakes, just like the child who must repeatedly fail before mastering whatever they are attempting, we too are shepherded through multiple lives to allow us to overcome our primitive urges and replace them with positive attributes which contribute to our eventual graduation to become a pure spirit.
Spiritism promotes the ten thousand foot view of a story of many lives and experiences, in which we shall intersect with people who have been chosen as helpful agents or obstacles in our path (all for a specific purpose!). Realizing this, anger becomes a counter-productive emotion, which only serves to delay our growth. Instead, with a foundation of spiritual knowledge we understand our actions and the actions of others and use that to determine our current spiritual status.
Analyzing every episode on earth in this manner, changes the focus from our emotional state to our progress of our spiritual state. Thereby exorcising the powerful primitive agent of anger and resentment and replacing it with comprehension of the act in the overall scheme of our lesson plan.
Once we are free of the clouding effect of our emotions, then we can move to unconditional forgiveness.
Another aspect to attain unconditional forgiveness is our need for study and self-improvement so that we change and in doing so, we remove our predilection to be offended.
Often we are our own worst enemy when it comes to stirring passions. The best method is to control our thoughts and our speech. The spirit Emmanuel cautions us to nip bad conversations in the bud:
“Do not be misled. Bad conversation corrupts good character. – Paul (1 Cor. 15:33)
Undignified conversation always leaves traces of it inferiority wherever it has occurred. An environment of distrust immediately replaces the climate of serenity. The poison of unwholesome queries spreads rapidly. After unedifying conversation, there is always less sincerity and fewer expressions of fraternal strength. In its ignominious cradle are born the ghosts of slander that slip and slide amongst well-intentioned persons, trying to destroy honest homes; inferior preoccupations arise from afar, twisting respectable attitudes; criminal curiosity emerges, appearing where it has not been called and emitting uncouth opinions that induce listeners to lies and insanity.
Bad conversation corrupts the most dignified thoughts. Worthy conversation suffer its implacable persecution everywhere, and it becomes imperative for people to guard against its insistent and destructive siege.”[iii]
I submit that a large part of hurtful behavior begins with a conversation, that commences as an attack on others and next veers off, for no apparent reason, into something said which touches a nerve of one of the parties. Then the accusations fly and feelings are offended and angry thoughts swirl around. Which increases the temperature level of emotions and produces more pain.
Therefore, refrain from causing a person to be mad and to harbor resentment toward you. If a truth must be told, couch it delicately and with compassion. And if a person responds with accusatory statements, understand their pain and ignore it.
The key to unconditional forgiveness is understanding. The more you learn about why a person said or did an act you felt that was a grave offense, the easier it is to pardon them. And as you begin to forgive one after another, soon you will not find the need to comprehend exactly why an action was taken by a particular person – you will just know there must be a solid reason behind it.
The spirit Neo Lucio, writes about the talks that Jesus had in the homes of His disciples. During one discussion, the subject of being rudely rejected when asking for payment of a debt, came up. In response, Jesus told them the story of a wise teacher, who upon hearing from his student how improper he was treated as he went about the streets of Jerusalem, asking for donations for the Temple. The student complained about a man who had just been offensive to him:
“The master took the student by the hand and both of them cautiously continued on their way. They hadn’t gone very far, when they looked back and saw the man fall to the ground, writhing in violent pain. Everyone rushed to his aid. They soon realized that the irascible brother was suffering from deadly colic.
They continued on their way, when they came across a gentleman who didn’t even stoop to respond to their request – he merely gave them a hard and rancorous stare.
Teacher and ward followed him, and when the strange character reached his home, they saw that a small group of weeping people were waiting for him and that he joined them in copious tears. The two of them learned that the unfortunate man had come home to a dead daughter.
They continued begging on the street and were soon cussed at by a young man whom they had asked for alms. Expectantly, they withdrew a ways and after half an hour of observing him, they realized that the wretched man was merely insane.”[iv]
The two continued on and found more reasonable explanations for anti-social behavior. Jesus cautioned his disciples to show mercy on these harried people and instead of admonishing them, help them to regain inner peace.
Passages from the Old and New Testament, Buddhism, and other religions, plus messages from Spiritist mediums aren’t the only transmitters of the need to be understanding and forgiving. People who have had near death experiences, have come back with an even more personal story of the prerequisite for thinking before we emotionally strike back at a seemingly rude remark or action.
Amy, who had lived a life of agony, had a NDE when she accidentally overdosed on pain medicine. During her time in the spirit realm, she had a life review. She reported what she witnessed:
“I’ve lost my temper in horrible ways and I have had great trouble with forgiveness, and yet, I felt only Love and understanding through the entire life review. What it felt like to me was that I was being given the opportunity and Gift of being able to stand back and more fully understand and love myself. I was able to feel exactly what others around me had felt during my life. I understood how everything I did and said and even thought had touched others around me in one way or another. I was able to even enter the minds and emotional centers of many who had been around me, and understand where they were coming from in their own thinking, how their own personal views and lives’ experiences had brought them to the places each stood. I felt their own struggling and their own fears… their own desperate need for love and approval, and more than anything, I could feel how child-like everyone was. With every person I viewed, including myself, I was able to See and Feel with a Higher Mind and Eye. And the feeling I had toward everyone was nothing less than what a loving mother would feel for her own children at toddler age.”[v]
Amy eloquently described the revelations the spirits presented to her. She was able to stand aside, away from the emotions assaulting her, during her harsh conversations, and see, for the first time the fragile state of most people.
In the Home
Unfortunately, the vast majority of conflict and the place where the most emotional coin is spent is in the home. This is where understanding and forgiveness should reign supreme. Children, who are blessed, have parents that wisely perceive the ravages of different ages have upon both boys and girls, and forgive their trespasses.
The spirit Joanna de Angelis talks about the importance of trials within the home:
“The planet Earth being a world of a still relatively primitive stage, of tests and atonements, it is natural that in most family groups we see sufferings of all kinds, inviting to reflection and the search of inner illumination.
As reincarnation has as its ultimate end the development of values that lie dormant in the spirit, the mistakes and sorrows that are the results of unfortunate past experiences need to be rectified, and so present themselves in different forms of distress.
They can be manifested under an expiatory guise, through the severe process of degenerative conditions, deafness, blindness, paralysis, irreversible mental disorders, or in the form of trials, which are revealed as infectious-contagious diseases, accidents, moral pains, psychological disturbances, behavior disorders, solitude, conflicts …
There are few families where pain does not present itself as an invitation to spiritual ripening and to a deeper understanding of the superior purpose of existence.
Many people assume that life on Earth is an enchanting voyage to a land of illusions, an experience enriched only by pleasures and enjoyment, and so they forget its transience and the phenomena that affect all, melting away those fantasies and bringing them back to reality.
Therefore, suffering is the silent friend that infiltrates in the spirit in order to make it educate or reeducate itself, developing those latent feelings of love, compassion, and charity, so that it can reap inalienable treasures beyond the grave. Those resources make our real property, because they follow those who possess them, while all the other possessions remain only as memories for those who utilized them and were force to see them pass on to somebody else’s hands.
So, it is the duty of all parents to enlighten their children about the vicissitudes present in our evolutionary path.”[vi]
It is in the home that spirits emerge in newly born physical bodies to start their classes in the school of earth. It is in the home that training begins to prepare them to accumulate the required lessons for them to rectify what was wrongly done in the past.
A child is pliable from birth to the age of fifteen to eighteen. According to Spiritism, only in the later teenage years, does their personality from their previous existences come forth. This makes the youngest years vitally important to set the stage for future improvement.
One of the most important missions we all have on earth is to raise children. Only by billions of single victories, whereby spirits improve and ascend spiritually will our planet be transformed into a planet of regeneration.
Therefore, raising children to be loving, charitable, honest, and aware of the spirit realm’s grand plan for them, will collective humanity gain the right to live in a paradise of equality, fraternity, and justice in our world.
The spirit Emmanuel implores parents to create an atmosphere of tranquility and safety. We should not let harmful vibrations rent the environment of the home. Anger, yelling, and physical punishments should be kept to a minimum. By raising a child in a house full of harmony, a precedence is set for them to desire harmony in their lives as they transform into adulthood.
With harmony and balance, understanding other’s concerns and foibles becomes second nature – forgiveness hardly needs to be exercised.
Forgiveness becomes Unnecessary
When there is nothing to forgive, since the reason for anyone’s loss of control is understood and your emotional reaction is one of empathy and desire to help … then you have reached a higher spiritual state.
The spirit Joanna prescribes how to channel your mind to lift your thoughts to an elevated plateau:
The magic élan that will unite all people someday, love must be cultivated as a new experience, the practice of which will become a habit, a normal state of the spirit.
Love’s power restores one’s confidence in people and in life, for its presence produces stimuli that enable the blood to periodically receive revitalizing charges of adrenaline that reinvigorate the body.
Through its optics, events reveal previously unseen aspects, keeping the emotions from becoming either deadened or overexcited, while at the same time predisposing one to the humanizing quality of compassion.”[vii]
When we are driven by compassion, we, by habit, extend compassion to others as we would like to receive it. And in utilizing compassion, our interaction with others take on a better and more positive approach.
Joanna explains the ultimate benefits of compassion:
“Love offers the compassion that one would like to receive if the situation were reversed; it decreases the intensity of the blow and nullifies its harmful effects. Compassion speaks of God’s Inexorable Justice, which reaches everyone and requires benevolence toward one’s opponent, rendering him or her – albeit indirectly – aware of the fact that a wrong is always worse for the one who commits it.”[viii]
Hence, unconditional forgiveness, comes from a self-imposed state of love and compassion. Training ourselves to peer out at the entire world through lenses of affection for all mankind prepares ourselves for rapid spiritual advancement and to assist others in their planned life events.
With the realization of the great trajectory of lives that all spirits must trek to reach their destination, comes an understanding of each individual and their circumstances at their present spiritual maturity and their required trials.
Spiritism provides the framework for changing your life and a perspective of how you affect the lives of those around you. Your positive attitude and non-judgmental demeanor will enable delicate spirits to withstand their harsh episodes. So that you and your family and friends may help the entire planet become the paradise it so wishes to be.
Learn about the spirit realm, your place in it and how we are guided to the path of learning. Read my series of three books.
[i] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publisher, pp. 136-137
[ii] Franco, Divaldo, Self-Discovery – An Inner Search, Leal Publisher, p. 138
[iii] Xavier, F. C., Our Daily Bread, EDICEI, pp. 161-162
[iv] Xavier, F. C., Jesus in the Home, EDICEI, p. 134
[[v]] Near Death Experience Research Foundation, “Amy C Near Death Experience”, n.d., http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/amy_c_nde_4720.htm, (accessed Jan. 3, 2015)
[vi] Franco, Divaldo, Family Constellation, Leal Publisher, pp. 127-128
[vii] Franco, Divaldo, Plentitude, Leal Publisher, p. 105
[viii] Franco, Divaldo, Plentitude, Leal Publisher, pp. 105-106