In “Finding Forgiveness” we discussed techniques to make it easier to forgive, and how forgiving others can benefit you. If we consider a world view that is different from most Western religions (but central to some Eastern religions), there is a step beyond forgiveness: gratitude and blessing. Usually this step can only be accomplished later in life, when you have seen the blessings and talents that are the results of your earlier traumas.
One world view is that the Earth is a school for our souls. We go through many lifetimes, seeking to advance our enlightenment to higher levels. Our experience on Earth is a contract we select in the time between lives. Before being born, we select which challenges we want to overcome, which lessons we want to learn. With each challenge/lesson come talents and blessings we can achieve if we meet those challenges.
Many of the challenges are physical hardships. That means that someone in our life is tasked with the challenge of providing those hardships to us. In providing trials and tribulations to us, they have provided fodder for our spiritual growth. But, in doing so, they have also sacrificed the life time they could have spent on their own challenges.
Consider the spiritual growth you have had, the blessings or talents you have gained — are they worth the trauma you went through? Are you happy with the person you have become? If so, then what is there to forgive? You can release any residual resentment and go beyond forgiveness to send thanks and blessings to your abuser for their role as your teacher. There is a belief that the soul of that person is in limbo, unable to reincarnate, until you can release them with gratitude and blessings. Otherwise you both carry the karmic burden into future incarnations. Do you really want to go through your troubles a second time?
While forgiveness can lift a weight from you and improve your health, expressing gratitude and blessings can be transformative. Embrace the opportunity, so your suffering is not wasted — you’ll be glad you did.