Message of Faith – The Healing Power of Truth, Forgiveness and Self-Love

This weeks Message of Faith submitted by Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

The Healing Power of Truth, Forgiveness and Self-Love

In the Gospel of John 8:32 Jesus tells us, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” I invite you to consider whether you are experiencing freedom in this moment. Perhaps, like me, you might experience freedom, and then move out of the experience, only to move back into it again. When I am not experiencing freedom, it is because I am stuck in what Unity calls error consciousness, and what Don Miguel Ruiz calls the “Poison” of my mind. How do we move out of this error consciousness?

In Unity, we teach the idea that forgiveness is to give Truth for error. Forgiveness, then, becomes one of the most powerful tools to move into the freedom of Truth. Forgiveness is also a powerful tool in self-love since it is truly a gift we give to ourselves. Through forgiveness, we free ourselves from the bondage of the past.

Forgiveness is not condoning the actions of another. Forgiveness does not say what you or another did was right. Forgiveness is not being in agreement with whatever occurred. Forgiveness is not even dependent upon the other asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is also not forgetting about what happened. Forgiveness is recognition that whatever occurred was done in the consciousness of error. As Ruiz tells us in The Mastery of Love, “You will forgive them not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because you don’t want to suffer and hurt yourself every time you remember what they did to you, you are going to forgive them because you don’t want to feel sick all the time.”

According to the Mayo clinic, there are a variety of benefits in forgiving including healthier relationships; greater spiritual and psychological well-being; less anxiety, stress and hostility; lower blood pressure; fewer symptoms of depression; stronger immune system; improved heart health; and higher self-esteem. Truly forgiveness is healing!

How do you forgive? Forgiveness is a choice we may need to make over and over again. One way that we can come to deep forgiveness is to discover the gift in the experience. This gift could include something that you learned like strength you didn’t know you had or the power to understand you are not defined by the experience.

Forgiveness was a powerful practice that Unity co-founders engaged in daily. Our spiritual practice this week includes forgiveness work. Each night before you go to sleep, pause and consider whether you left anyone out of your heart today. Take a breath. Forgive. Invite them back in.

Abundant peace and blessings… Rev. Joanne

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Rev. Joanne Rowden
Rev. Joanne Rowden

Rev. Joanne Rowden is the senior minister at Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, OH. She served as the minister at Unity in Edinboro for 13 years before taking on this new position on November 1, 2014. She lives in Hinckley, OH with her husband.

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