Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Sometimes I think that one of the reasons I was put here on earth is to learn, or better still, embody the essence of forgiveness by being challenged every now and then to apply it. Like today in which I was confronted with a maddening situation created by someone’s outright immaturity.

It is indeed tempting to succumb to anger and think bad thoughts about the culprit; however, in the end of the day, I would still be feeling enraged while the other guy would go about his usual ways unperturbed. I say unperturbed because if he weren’t, he would never even think of committing such things. My only choice in this matter then, although extremely challenging, is to simply forgive that person.

To succeed, I would have to remind myself that I do not want to fill my consciousness with negative thoughts about him and his action. Also, I have to say to myself silently, “Whatever he has done, that’s his problem.”

I learned this practice back in New York when I came across a book by Emmet Fox in which he argued that if you saw a little child unable to reach a high shelf, you wouldn’t condemn him for it, because you know that in due time he would gain the height. So it is with spiritual infants — we have to give them time to grow. And for not condemning but instead understanding them, we help them in the process. And by helping them, we free ourselves. To quote Emmet Fox:

"Setting others free means setting yourself free, because resentment is really a form of attachment. It is a Cosmic Truth that it takes two to make a prisoner; the prisoner and the jailer. When you hold resentment against anyone, you are bound to that person by a cosmic link, a real, though mental chain. You are tied by a cosmic tie to the thing that you hate. You must cut all ties, by a clear and spiritual act of forgiveness. You must loose him and let him go. By forgiveness you set yourself free; you save your soul. And because the law of love works alike for one and all, you help to save his soul, too, making it just so much easier for him to become what he ought to be.”

Perhaps, in one way or another, this is what letting go and letting God is all about. Only problem is, although we may have already forgiven the person who had offended us, certainly, angry thoughts would come back to nag at us. In this case, what I would do is say the following silently to myself:

The good in me salutes the good in you. The good in me understands the good in you. Therefore, I forgive you. I bless you. I free you. I understand you and you understand me. I release you to your highest good.

Another that helps me is silently saying to myself as I think of the offending party, “Go to God. Go To God.” I would keep repeating this like a mantra until I have cleansed myself of negative thoughts about that person and what he had done.

Try it someday and let me know how you fare with it.

The Sermon on the Mount
By Emmet Fox
Harper & Row, New York, 1938

Photos taken at Fort Santiago, 1/7/07

posted by Señor Enrique at 8:25 PM


Anonymous manilenya said...

nice entry senyor... bait bait mo pala
I'll take this to my daily reflection.... talaga!

January 10, 2007 9:29 PM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

This is a very inspiring post. But what if that person offends you again and again.... and you happen to live under one roof... Oh, Eric - some situations are just impossible.

January 10, 2007 9:52 PM  

Blogger ia said...

I needed this, Senor. :) I'm currently annoyed that somebody used my photos for a company recruitment poster twice. (I got extremely annoyed this time, the second time around.)

You say I have to give in and let things slide, but it still was an injustice, no matter how small it was. I just don't like how people can get away with such things. That you have to make them understand that it just wasn't right.

Sigh. :(

That photo of a bougainvillea (that it is, right?) is awesome. Very vivid. My mom's particularly fond of fuchsia ones. :)

January 10, 2007 10:24 PM  

Blogger BW said...

Nothing can be farther than the truth in what you said Eric. The only issue with forgiveness is it can be quite difficult for some people. Although the mind is willing, the flesh is weak. Although much desired, it is fact that forgiveness can't be bestowed in a jiffy. For some people, a bit of time is required. But as long as this principle is ascribed to, our world will be a much better place to live in . Great post :)

January 10, 2007 10:42 PM  

Blogger Photo Cache said...

how timely....sets the tone for the rest of the year. btw, have a bountiful new year with a loving heart and a peaceful mind. keep clicking and blogging.

January 10, 2007 11:31 PM  

Anonymous treu said...

we are confronted daily with situations
where others give us a bad time and we feel that our day is ruined.
"he who angers you, controls you". kaya pag merong nagba-badtime sa akin, i always shrug it off and say, problema mo yan, and smile at the other person.

January 11, 2007 4:16 AM  

Blogger Senorito<- Ako said...

The book sounds interesting. I'll check if our library has it. :)

The truth is you can never be free. Next time you meet that person you'll be on your toes, if he's an acquaintance then your very much trapped. It's much better if it was with a stranger.

January 11, 2007 5:51 AM  

Anonymous jhay said...

It's not really bad to be angry or mad at someone. As long as you are the one who was offended or you know you're being mad for the right reasons. Even Jesus himself went berserk when he saw the marketplace in front of the temple and all the crooked things that goes on there.

Besides, how could you forgive if you have not taken an offense (and your reaction is to be mad or angry first) to begin with?

January 11, 2007 6:43 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Melai ... hindi sa ako'y mabait kundi as self-preservation kailangan nating gumawa ng paraan na ma-heal natin spiritually agad ang ating sarili laban sa mga hindi kanais-nais na pagiisip. Yun lng yon pero hirap gawin minsan.

I agree with you, Rhoda, but to a certain extent. Although some of those who put us in such trying situations are family members or those we share our abode with, I'd like to think that they were meant to teach us (spiritually) what we really need in this lifetime. Personally, a sibling did it to me, but in time I've come to let go and let God and thereby learned to forgive him. It took time, but it wasn't impossible.

Incidentally, Niceheart has written some wonderful entries about forgiveness, which I used to inspire me in those times I was dealing with this family situation.

January 11, 2007 7:12 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Now that's really tough, Ia, especially if the offending party may be a client or something and the infraction has to do with copyright infringement.

What I would do in this case, is write a friendly letter and tell the guy he owes you lunch (yes, maintain a friendly tone) for having used your picture twice.

And while still maintaining that friendly tone, add a paragraph or two about how you took that photo and the efforts you put into it. I'm sure he's smart enough to catch your drift, but without outright telling him that he's a jerk for having stolen it ... hehehe.

BTW, I put in this bougainvillea becuase its color is the closest I have a picture of to lavander which denotes spirituality. Thus, the symbolism here is peace and higher level consciousness (hope hindi corny).

Oh, yeah, if ever you heed my advice and successful, bring another friend with you on that lunch date as extra expense to the guy ... hahaha!

January 11, 2007 7:31 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes ... yes ... yes, BW!

It took me years to forgive an offending sibling, but once I had finally done it, I felt a huge weight off my shoulder.

And the thing is, fate continually brings us a similar situation until it becmes second nature for to simply forgive and forget. Guess, that's how we achieve spiritual maturity as well.

Many thanks, Photo Cache! I wish you the same :)

And that is what I do, too, Treu -- say silently to myself. "That's your problem for having done that to me!"

And how true what you said -- "he who angers you, controls you!"

Sabi ko nga kay Melai, we have to develop these tools out of self-preservation.

January 11, 2007 7:43 AM  

Blogger minotte's notes said...

hi eric, i can't tell you how timely your entry was, parang nakita mo akong nakikipag-away sa parking lot bec a 15-yr old HS student called me the B word bec i told her (nicely, promise), uh, to use the sidewalk instead of walking in the middle of the road. . . grrrr....

my mom said huwag patulan and not to stoop down to their level. it has been hard for me bec i keep making patol. when i was meek and reserved in manila, dito, war freak na ata ako--fighting for my rights kung saan-saan, in the grocery line, in the parking lot. sobrang walang respect yung kabataan dito and it's hard to take that with a smile. (help!)

so to showcase that my kids are not like that, please call my son. i will email you his details. also of course, for the hopia!!!

really? touched ako!!!!

January 11, 2007 7:50 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

We have got to be free from such maddening situations, Senorito Ako! Kasi at the end, hirap lang tayo. And making matters worse, oftentimes, the offending parties are those close to us or we live with. Kung minsa mas malupit pa nga sila kesa mga strangers, di ba?

Well said, Jhay! This reminds me, too, of what my brother used to tell me -- "As long as you are not the one who had done wrong to someone." His point was, the karma, or effect caused by hurting others is by far worse, though we tend to think that those jerks often get away with murder. Hehehe!

January 11, 2007 7:51 AM  

Blogger minotte's notes said...

can't find your email, eric. kindly email me at

thanks for the entry and for the wonderful pictures!

January 11, 2007 8:03 AM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

I don't harbor anger against anyone. When I get offended what I do is let the person know about it, otherwise, I can't have peace. Basta nasabi ko na sa kanya ang nasa loob ko, kahit di siya humingi ng tawad, pinapatawad ko na. But I think my experiences are only at small scale. Minor lang ang mga karanasan ko, so to speak.

I am so amazed however, with one neighbor - at how she can be so forgiving of her husband who womanizes and not hide it. That one time, she came to my house and handed an invitation for the birthday of her husband's child with another woman. I mean - Wow! I can't imagine how she can live her life like that. I mean - okay - so she may forgive her husband - but what about her rights? What I can see here is - she is condoning his wrong action.

Oh, Eric, sorry - I'm getting messed up with this forgiving thing. Siguro, natatakot lang ako - kung sakaling mangyari sa akin ang ganoon sa neighbor ko - hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin ko. Hay naku! I can't be a martyr!

January 11, 2007 8:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Interestingly, Minotte, from my observation, in the States, "spiritual infants" abound among the youth; whereas, here in Manila, among the adults, which makes it even more astounding and challenging.

I think the reason you find yourself becoming more outspoken over there is because, as progressive and developed America is, what is eroding from its overall culture is the "sense of community;" hence making it easier for others to arrogantly cut in line or grab someone's parking lot. However, right after 9/11, what I noticed was that everyone suddenly became nice(r) to one another. It was really strange. Tragedy certainly has its unifying efffect on people.

Here in Manila, although the sense of community remains prominient and the youth respectful of elders, it is the "pervasive anger" amongst some adults that hinders development from being spiritual infants to fully matured spiritual beings. To better understand my premise, observe those arrogant and disrespectful kids in America, and then take a look of those adults running the Philippine government. Do you see any similarity?

Nonetheless, so as not to be so affected by such negative forces, better we learn to forgive -- and fast!

I'm sure your kids are fine and well-brought up. The hopia is the least I can do for reciprocating your kindness :)

BTW, the photo of bamboo trees. This is meant to remind myself to remain pliant and sway along even with the fiercest winds so as to prevent from breaking :)

My emai:

January 11, 2007 8:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That would be a good course of action, Rhoda, that I, too, had resorted to -- making the offending party aware of how adversely I was affected by his action. Whether he chooses to absorb it or not, problema na nya yon. Like you, basta napaalam ko din sa kanya in one way or another.

As for your neighbor, the way she is dealing with or enduring it, I am sure, is the best she knows how at this point in time. All I can say is that her husband is one spiritual infant, if you ask me. Tough situation indeed, but we can only wish the best for her.

As for your marriage, better focus on what is good and beautiful about it kasi sabi nila kung ano ang nasa isip natin, yun din ang nangyayari sa ating buhay kaya fill our thoughts with what we want, di ba?


January 11, 2007 9:00 AM  

Blogger Amadeo said...


The sense appetites of man, or the passions as we popularly describe them, are really quite slippery. We know them as love and hate, hope and fear, etc. But you did choose anger, instead of hate. Now, anger is the passion that does not have a counterpart and as such it can be an instrument for either good or bad. For example, anger towards an act of injustice is essentially good especially if it moves one to seek redress.

In your case, your anger is caused by somebody’s unacceptable behavior toward you. And I truly believe that you most definitely are correct, even on the practical level, to not plant negative thoughts in your mind, which only serve to gnaw at your inner being like a consumptive disease. And as you rightly assume, the object of your anger may treat it simply like water flowing through a duck’s feathers.

And I also affirm your need to forgive, though hopefully you are silently making the qualification that that differs from the act of forgetting.

January 11, 2007 10:58 AM  

Anonymous rhoda said...

Ay, oo nga ano - I better shake it off. Masyado akong nag-iisip ng negative. Mmmmm.... erase.. erase.. LOL.

Thank you Eric... you enlightened my mind. Di mo ba napapansin, parang nagiging "advice blog" itong site mo? Something like... "Dear Kuya Eric.." Hehehe.

But I truly love visiting your site. Your writings speak of wisdom and your photos of art, life, beauty, passion - everything! :)

January 11, 2007 11:16 AM  

Anonymous iskoo said...

thats the spirit! anger or unforgiveness will just speed-up your aging. stay happy and clean in the spirit and mind

January 11, 2007 11:47 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

We're now into contemplative mode, eh? My two cents, also in some way explaining the hesitation of some commenters to immediately render out forgiveness: mercy should go hand-in-hand with justice. Justice is for the growth of the society while mercy is for the growth of the individuals.

January 11, 2007 11:22 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Allow me to add another dimension to this discussion in light of this blog entry’s title which is Forgiveness Divine. And I am assuming here that most of us participating are Catholics, or at least Christian.

If one follows the process of forgiveness, it is a bit involved. First, there is the requirement of full knowledge, that the object or perpetrator has full understanding of his act. Secondly, that he is repentant, thus filled with sorrow. And thirdly, that there is on his part a firm resolve not to do the act again. Only then is Divine forgiveness available to him; and thus, by extension, also our own human forgiveness. The free will of man precludes this becoming an initiative coming only from one side.

January 12, 2007 12:52 AM  

Blogger sheilamarie said...

Hola Eric! Very uplifting thoughts you have shared with us.

Basta ako, I am the "forgive and (not) forget kind of person" hehe :D

I am a mild-mannered person, once I am over the hurt or anger (maybe my having ADD helps, hehe. shorter attention span), I simply remove all thoughts of that person from my mind, lest it affect me mentally (maloka), spiritually (sumuway sa Dios by physically doing harm to that person)and physically (atakihin sa puso). LOL

Seriously, I too believe in karma. Whatever he has done, it will have a repercussion on that person someday. So why bother losing sleep (and sanity) over it?

January 12, 2007 4:23 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Happy New Year, Eric!
You are a wise man. Thanks for the reflection.
I also realized some time ago that life is too short to be busy with negative thoughts.

January 12, 2007 7:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Elegantly articulated, Amadeo, as always :)

Yes, not so much to forget so as not to be subjected to same unplesant experience. As they say, "First time it's his fault; the second, mine.

Alas! Although the culprit is a devout Catholic, I doubt it very much if he so much applies any of its basic tenet of basic common decency; otherwise, he would have not engaged in such unscrupulous acts. But then again he probably believes that he can attain absolution on demand simply by going to confession ... and then committing it again. Hence the vicious cycle of hurting others is perpetuated to no end.

I do know that to err is human, but again, for self-preservation, better just forgive and and not be imprisoned in bad thoughts by such vile characters. Also, in the end, he and he alone will face God and lay claim to all his actions.

January 12, 2007 10:24 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's right, Rhoda. BTW, I've seen a pic of yours posted on your blog, he'd be a fool to lose your trust and love!

Many thanks for your kind words, I just hope I ive up to all of them :)

Kuya Eric? Di pa rin ata ako ganon kahusay sa pagiisip kasi kung minsan ako din infantile, eh ... hehehe.

Please tell your son to participate in the QC photo contest!

January 12, 2007 10:28 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Tama ka nga, Iskoo. dali mag-mukhang matanda kung masyado natin didibdibin ang mga pagpinsala sa atin. Kaya laking tulong talaga ang gaanan ang ating kalooboan.

January 12, 2007 10:30 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I understand, Dave. It is indeed disheartening to realize that many people in this day and age would choose not to exercise "basic common decency."

January 12, 2007 10:34 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hahaha ... tama ka din Sheilamarie!

Yes, better we remain cognizant that there is indeed the universal law of cause and effect (you reap what you sow)... KARMA :)

Unfortunately, we can all sometimes suffer from serious conniptions by not having the patience to wait and see what karma will do to these culprits ... lol!

January 12, 2007 10:40 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sidney! Are you back?

Yes, better we let go and let God ... and then go on enjoying our lives!

Will send you an email soon about project!

January 12, 2007 10:42 AM  

Anonymous niceheart said...

The start of 2006 found me so embittered and so full of resentment and last year had just been so emotionally draining for me. As we entered 2007, I once again found myself in a situation where I felt so much pain and I just asked myself why do I subject myself to this? It's true that I have written how people around me has learned to forgive and forget, yet, here I am struggling everyday to do just that. It is just now that I am learning to let go, little by little, because I also realized, as you have said, "in the end of the day, I would still be feeling enraged while the other guy would go about his usual ways unperturbed." So why sweat it? Tumatanda lang tuloy ako at baka magkakulubot lang ang noo ko.

Your posts about forgiveness and letting go have also inspired me and made me really look at myself. Thanks.

I love the pictures by the way, and your analogy about the bamboo and being pliant so you won't break. I love that.

January 12, 2007 11:17 AM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Hi Eric,

I think this is my favorite post of yours.

Very touching.

God bless! =)


January 12, 2007 8:54 PM  

Anonymous kyels said...

It's touching, really.

Sometimes, we all should learn how to forgive and learn how to let go but not people are able to do that. It's a laborious task.


January 13, 2007 7:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I really believe that these setbacks are indeed for the evolvement of our soul, Irene. I say this because I don't think I consciously or subconsciously cause others similar harm (karma, ba) yet, I find myself dealing with such unleasant situations. So I can only surmise that these are to make me stronger as a person and spirit.

I'm glad that this post of mine helps as much as yours have guided me towards right thinking when I needed it most :)

Thanks, Irene!

January 13, 2007 8:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Much thanks, Hb00. My best to you and D!

January 13, 2007 8:22 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

How true it is, Kyels! It's tough but do-able, as they say. A real challenge!

January 13, 2007 8:24 AM  

Blogger cathy_bythesea said...

Eric -- the number of comments this post has receivedonly proves that forgiveness is sorely lacking in this chaotic world and it is an art, a virtue that needs to be put into heart. we on our own cannot forgive and it is then we need to ask God for help to complete the task. thanks for inspiring us! you give dr. phil a run for his money! God bless!

January 15, 2007 1:30 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

How true it is, Cathy. I, too, have to seek guidance and help from God simply because forgiveness is not so easy to do at times. Yet I know once I had given it, I'd feel much "lighter." So, it is also healing to do so!

January 15, 2007 7:44 AM  

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