Mind & Body Wellness: Forgiveness & The Karma Puzzle

- Beth Hemmila

This past winter I spent five weeks devoted to working the Be Forgiveness process from my book. I made a list of all the resentments I was holding onto, the people I wanted to forgive, and things I'm ashamed for having done. It was a long list.

A couple times a week I chose an item from my laundry list of shame and worked the Be Forgiveness process. It wasn't easy. Sometimes I resisted writing in my journal. I would distract myself with things that were more fun or developed physical ailments as clever ways to avoid letting go of the past.

Eventually, I made it through my entire list, and from this experience I learned something incredibly valuable.

Even though the Be Forgiveness book is built on the concept that you want to learn how to forgive others, what I discovered is more than wanting to forgive others I was truly stuck on not knowing how to forgive myself.

Here's what I uncovered: Everything you say and do and everything that other people may say or do to you is part of a karma puzzle. And by karma I mean the life lessons you are here to experience and learn.

For example, maybe as a kid you were bullied by someone at school. However, you haven't forgiven the person who bullied you. Fast forward 10 or 20 years, and you've done or said something as a boss, parent, teacher, or friend, which resulted in someone else not feeling safe or loved. You acted like a bully and you regret your actions.

These two instances of the person from your past you want to forgive and wanting to forgive yourself are two pieces of the karma puzzle that fit together. Each one was waiting for the other to happen so they can come together in union -- a marriage of forgiveness. Fitting these two pieces of forgiveness together makes karmic peace.

I started to see that forgiveness karma is a like a couple, where two people are waiting for the other to have the same experience so as to be given the opportunity to see with "undiscriminating virtue," love, and complete acceptance.

Things that are happening to you now, things that have happened in the past, things that you are doing now, and things that you have done in the past are all ways to unite these karmic puzzle pieces. Like matching up two cards in life's game of Concentration, sometimes you have to wait for only the future holds the other half of the matching set. Other times you have to fall and make an incredible blunder to be given the opportunity to forgive someone from your past.

In this way, you can see that everything that happens is part of this incredible pattern in a puzzle that goes on and on and asks you to continually expand the territory of your love, compassion, and forgiveness.

To download a free copy of Be Forgiveness click here.


  1. years ago, my grandmother wanted me to end the feud my father had w/me... i was hesitant because, i may have been part of it, but he was the cause of it.. reluctantly, i did as told... i do know he regretted for being the way he was even tho, he never would admit it to me...time lessened the anger.. i will never forget what he did.. forgive? that is hard, since he caused a lot of what happened in our family... why forgive? is it because the person causing the issue is ignorant of their actions? in my case he knew exactly what he did .. it was his way or the highway... so i took the highway...
    i rarely forgive-especially if its deep hurt... i distance myself from that person...that is how i deal with it.. i think everyone is accountable why shouldn't they be as well?

    1. I respect your experience and always value what you have to say! Ultimately, your life is your own unique journey. This must have been a difficult thing for you to have gone through.


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