The topic of forgiveness is complex and often confusing. We usually regard it as an issue between ourselves and someone else. Yet often the most difficult aspect of forgiveness involves forgiving ourselves for our failings.
This can be a powerful tool for self-healing in this lifetime, one that allows us to break the bond of self-doubt, of the need to punish ourselves over and over and to remain stuck in whatever place of negativity binds us.
But what about on the soul level? Does this notion bring us any closer to an awareness of the survival of the soul after death?
There is an interesting story that I’ve heard [an EEA–or Extraordinary Experience of Awareness as I like to call it.] The source is a Filipino nurse I know quite well who I will refer to as Maria. She claims to be able to communicate with souls who have crossed over.
Maria described trying to reach the soul of a young man who had committed suicide. He was the son of a family member and Maria had never met him. She described the ‘connection’ in which he claimed to be in some sort of ‘hell’. Now there are many who will dispute the existence of ‘hell’ but somehow this young man came through to Maria as being there.
She waited several weeks to attempt to reach him. At first unsuccessful she eventually reconnected with him. This time he appeared to be quite joyous and content. When he inquired how and why he changed, he responded. ‘I was able to forgive myself’.
It seemed as if his own soul-consciousness had created a prison for himself, a place of self-punishment for the unfortunate and self-defeating act of committing suicide.
Most suicides expect the act to bring them peace from their suffering in this existence. The persistence of consciousness after life assures that not only do they not escape from their earthly troubles, but they are compounded by becoming aware of all the suffering that follows their death. Their guilt at having put their loved-ones through such unnecessary grief compounds their anguish–they sentence themselves to a state of punishment–to hell.
What brought this story back to me was some that I just read in Dianne Arcangel’s book AFTERLIFE ENCOUNTERS. In it she relates a similar experience in which an individual who had committed suicide explains his personal release from a self-imposed hell. ‘I got out the moment I forgave myself’ he noted.
The fact that Maria had never read or heard of this book or of similar experiences adds credence to her experience as being true.
It also fits into a pattern, a pattern which can lead even the open-minded skeptic to consider such an experience as ‘evidence’ for survival of consciousness after death.
But even more important–it give us a needed reminder that we must forgive our imperfections in this lifetime. We need to face up to our mistakes and to atone for them–that is for certain. But then we need to let go and forgive ourselves…. It is a necessary step in the path to healing.