Sometimes people do harmful things to you. Sometimes you do harmful things to others. Both must lead to an act of forgiveness on your part but those acts take different forms. In doing my MM work, version 6 or 7 if you are counting, I have been lead to forgiveness.
This has always been an issue for me. Why would I forgive a person that does not feel they have done anything wrong? Why would I forgive a person that has demonstrated a propinquity to do the same to others? What does it mean to forgive a person? Where is the value? When I read on the topic I continually encountered the idea that forgiveness is about one's self not the other person. By that standard, forgiveness is a selfish act. That didn't sit right either.
So within my meditation the other day, Hermes Chthonios appeared and started pushing this forgiveness idea. You do not need to rationalize your position on things to gods, They know. To make a long story short, Hermes kept showing me visions of the event(s), my feelings, attitudes and perspectives. He challenged me to remove all except the events themselves. In that, I came to a deeper understanding as to how the perfection and unfolding occurred through the negative forms I experienced
Step 1: Forgive the Universe
I cannot argue with the Universe and the creative forces of nature. It was the easiest thing to do to forgive the Universes for its method. Yes, I forgave the Universe. That part was easy. I was never upset with the Universe.
Then Hermes Chthonios showed me the Ace of Swords from the Thoth Deck. Immediately, I was able to divorce the personalities from the events. My attributions of the motivations of others fell away from the causal actions. I still had my perspective but the personalities and events were no longer one thing but two.
I am not sure why that aided the process but it did.
Hermes Chthonios showed me that the lack of forgiveness was holding on to pain in my heart. I visualized the pain and made the statement I was willing to let it go. A good part of it faded and a good part remained. The point is that I have made the decision to let it go and it will over time. I have done this sort of work a long time now, long enough to know that the beginning of the process is the end. The completion will come.
This is the part that leads some to believe forgiveness is about one's self. Sure, it is better not to hold onto the pain. This does one a lot of good. However, this is not the end of the process.
:Step 2: Forgive the so-called wrong doer.
Hermes Chthonios immediately showed me step two. It was about the connections humans share. The best way to share this is to use a more human interaction rather than the personal visions he provided me.
If someone does something wrong and is confronted by the wronged party or even a third party, the first tendency of most is denial. In time, most people come to realize their level of culpability, be it great or small, and some of the courage to make amends. Often, this begins long after the original accuser is far away as the process is internal and private. This is readily understood by most.
When the aggrieved hold onto the pain and accusations, even if unspoken, those energies stand as a constant accusation on the formative plane. This is met with the impulsive energy of denial from the other on that same plane. In order to stop a cycle, that is impacting and influencing both the injured party(s) and the other(s), one side or the other must break circuit. No matter who does it, no matter how it is responded to, this is an act of compassion. This too, is not the end of the process.
Step 3: Others
Holding onto the pain of the original causative action creates a filter through which we see the world. That filter interferes with the relationships between oneself and all other parties. If you embody any level of agape toward your fellow humans, you owe them to approach them with a pure heart and clean perspective. This is a debt of human existence that must be continually paid. The only way to pay true respect to the stranger or anyone else is to do so from a pure stand. One must forgive. One must be pure. One must remove every possible filter.
This is very difficult. It is impossible if one is hanging onto a painful past.
More personal note: I have sent two messages of forgiveness to people who participated in a painful past event. Not quite yet to the primary actor, she will take a bit longer but that too is coming.