Forgiveness - The Greatest Gift to Self
“We are kept from the experience of Spirit because our inner world is cluttered with past traumas… As we begin to clear away this clutter, the energy of divine light and love begins to flow through our beings.”
~ Father Thomas Keating
On any given day, we experience minor and sometimes major negative events that linger in our subconscious for moments or even decades.
Many are dismissed as harmless or accidental, and sometimes you’re simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (like when you just happen to be driving behind someone who decides to clean his windshield while in the fast lane and sprays your freshly washed car with stray fluid). Something as small as this seems incidental and not worth carrying around, but maybe it’s the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back when coupled with deeper disappointments or frustrations.
If you’re like most people, the concept of forgiveness is practically a virtue – something you do because it’s “the right thing” or what you’ve been “taught” to do. Forgiveness comes easy sometimes, but there may be things you’ve carried internally for so long that the very thought of forgiveness seems impossible. Perhaps, you even feel that by forgiving someone you’re actually letting him or her get away with something without being held accountable.
Is forgiveness a “get out jail free card?” Why would you choose to forgive someone who hurt you deeply, either emotionally or physically? Is there really anything to be gained by letting go of those injurious memories?
After pondering all of those questions, I offer you one more: What will you lose if you practice forgiveness? A lot, actually, but not in the way you might think. One of the greatest things you can do for yourself – and for a myriad of others who don’t yet know how your rejuvenated spirit will impact them and the energy around them – is to practice forgiveness as a form of self-care and self-love. The greatest gift of forgiveness is that we free ourselves from allowing the experience to adversely affect our lives.
Because we are free to make decisions, choose our own path, and decide how to live our lives, making forgiveness a priority is a way to shake off the past, close the door on old hurts, and release the hold these negatives had on us.
In the simplest terms, until we forgive in our heart, that person, event, or circumstance will haunt us again and again. And, if we say, “I just can’t forgive,” then what we are really saying is, “I prefer to live with my emotional poison, with my pride and my anger. I prefer not to move from this place of suffering.” And I doubt that’s a choice anyone really wants to make.
The Blessing of Forgiveness
I’d like to share some of the details with you about a process I developed called the Blessing of Forgiveness Process - it’s specifically designed to go deeper and more fully into forgiveness when the conscious decision to forgive has not been working as well as you’d hoped due to resistance at the subconscious level. And, for those times when the circumstances you endured had such an impact that it was carried into the depths of your being.
The act of forgiveness is a course of action, a catalyst, which frees us from the emotions of the actions we have experienced or witnessed.
It rescues us from the things that have hurt us in the past.
It helps us reclaim the power to decide how that past event will affect our life in the present and permits us to move forward, so we can get on with the venture of living a joyful life.
Until you forgive, you still have an energetic connection to the past person or event.
How does “Blessing” fit into the Blessing of Forgiveness Process?
Blessing is a quality of feeling, emotion, and thought that Gregg Braden, author of Walking Between The Worlds, says allows us to clear out our anger, judgments, and pain regarding specific events in our lives. It does so without condoning the action, pardoning the behavior, or absolving what had happened. It simply acknowledges that the event occurred. Forgiving does not mean the other person is no longer held accountable for his or her actions because those do have consequences. Nor does it relinquish responsibility. It simply means that when we bless and forgive the people, circumstances, and events that hurt us in life, we are acknowledging their existence, and by doing so, it allows the hurt to move out of our being.
This Blessing of Forgiveness includes all parties that were involved:
Those who suffer.
Those who inflict the suffering.
Those who witness the suffering.
Let’s break this down and take a closer look at each part.
Forgiveness of Others
This can be tricky because we get into our heads and find all the reasons why people should be punished for their actions. This is where pseudo-forgiveness usually shows up. We feel we ought to forgive because it’s the right thing to do, or it’s the spiritual thing to do. Unfortunately, it lacks authenticity because it is just a concealed form of judgment and resentment masquerading as forgiveness.
The real reason we forgive those who have hurt us is not because they deserve to be forgiven, but because we don’t want to suffer and hurt every time we remember what they did. As Don Miguel Ruiz says in his book, The Four Agreements, whatever anyone did to you has nothing to do with you. It’s about acknowledging that the actions of the offending person were the learned behaviors of that person at that time. They were dealing with their own inner anguish and torment. The words and actions that hurt you were merely a reaction to the turmoil that played out in that person’s own mind, and that they acted upon while involving you. Nothing anyone ever does is because of you . . . it is because of that person’s perceptions of the world. They simply act out upon their perceptions and the pain that they carry within them.
Once we have this awareness, it helps us to not take this personally, and, then with compassion and understanding, it will lead us to forgiveness. By forgiving others, we are simply acknowledging the existence of their actions, and by doing so with heart-consciousness rather than the mind alone, it allows that hurt to be released from the body.
Forgiveness of the Witnesses to Suffering
In the Blessing of Forgiveness process, we bless those who have witnessed suffering. They have a need to make sense of all they have seen, and they carry a part of the energetic imprint of the event within them. Many people suffer from their inability to comfort or lend a hand and see the events of their world unfolding before their eyes, feeling powerless or helpless to prevent the pain and suffering of others. When we bless those who have witnessed the suffering, it releases their energetic cords or connection to the situation.
Forgiveness of Yourself
Often, the people we most need to forgive are ourselves. Resentment and anger are emotions that actually bind us to the events that cause our suffering. Debbie Ford says that mostly we have to forgive ourselves for taking whatever happened to us too deeply—to the depths that shut us down—for keeping us in our smallness, and paralyzing us from living fully in this present moment.
Consider the following questions. Do you . . .
Judge yourself harshly?
Put yourself down?
Diminish yourself in any way?
Do things to harm yourself?
Drink too much?
Have an addiction?
You may wish to forgive yourself if you experience this reality and inwardly beat yourself up over it. These are all ways we inflict self-harm. Resisting forgiveness only hinders our growth and draws more unwanted experiences to us. It is time to make peace with the past—all of it. It is the key to freedom and inner peace, and it starts within you.
Forgiveness Begins Within
We need to forgive if we wish to live in greater joy, peace, and harmony. Doing this mentally is just not enough. We have to do this from the heart in order to free the energy that has paralyzed us and bound us to the past. When we release and let go, it frees our life-force and inner light to shine forth more fully and realigns us to our wholeness. We won’t forget or lose our sense of discernment; we simply release our emotional suffering and distress, freeing up the energy for our own healing and evolution.
When we forgive, it frees us from limitations to live in greater joy and happiness.
I look forward to connecting with you again soon.
PS: I’m here for you if you’d like to schedule an appointment (Dhebi@theHeartAndSoulAcademy.com) for the Blessing of Forgiveness process.
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