I was thinking about forgiveness today and what a difficult subject it can be to talk about, consider, and take action on. What we think we have to forgive is usually something that is hard to let go of, people can do terrible things to each other and there are things that we think are unforgiveable, if we look at forgiveness as a pardon or absolution, as if what they did was not important or didn’t matter to us.
Because it does matter, a lot.
The things we think we should or must forgive are those things whose memory stays with us for a long time. We remember the hurt that others do us and no matter how long ago it happened, the memory can evoke feelings that hurt as much today as they did when the situation happened.
But that’s not looking at forgiveness the ‘right’ way because aside from the emotions that we harbor around these situations there is another, more powerful way to look at forgiveness and that is from an energetic standpoint. You see, forgiveness is, first and foremost, all about energy. Sure there are a lot of emotions around it but it allows us to disconnect from these emotions because it releases the energetic hold they have on us.
Think about something someone did to you that really upset you — it was unkind or cruel, thoughtless, inconsiderate, deliberately hurtful, and it caused a lot of harm. How do you feel right now? That’s the emotional energy that this situation has and you’re probably feeling hurt, angry, embarrassed, and very emotional when you remember that person’s actions or that situation. For example, I remember the first time a boy broke my heart in a very public, humiliating way. I was 16 years old. I can’t remember his name or his face today, but I remember how hurt I felt and it happened over 40 years ago.
These emotions carry a lot of strong energy and because they usually involve difficult situations that we remember for a long time, they have a powerful, long-term impact on our lives. How many times have you said you would ‘never’ let someone hurt you again, or you would ‘never’ let someone get close to you because of something that happened to you?
What do you think is being impacted in your life by those beliefs and feelings? A lot more than you think.
Forgiveness is not an absolution or pardon, it doesn’t make anything ‘OK’, nor does it lessen the other person’s responsibility for their behavior. What is does is let you get rid of your emotional baggage, the hurt and anger that limits your life, and lets you move on.
And there is a way to do forgiveness that prevents you from feeling that you’re letting someone ‘get away with’ bad behavior. Instead of saying ‘I forgive you’, say ‘I forgive us’. And there is an important reason for this.
In my book 30 Days to Everyday Miracles, I talk about being responsible for your reality. You create everything in your life and you are responsible for its presence. Why would you create painful situations? That has to do with your life lessons, healing purpose, and karma. If you don’t take responsibility for what is there, you cannot also take action to change it because the power you used to create something is the same power you are going to use to create a different reality. By acknowledging your responsibility for everything in your life, you also acknowledge your power to change it. Otherwise, you are blaming someone else for your life and giving your power to them.
How do you forgive without feeling out of control? By saying that you forgive ‘us’ instead of ‘you’ when you do a forgiveness exercise. And by using ‘us’ instead of ‘you’, you remove the energetic connections that exist between you and that person and situation, keeping your power intact, taking responsibility, and not giving your power away.
Here’s how it works: Imagine someone who has hurt you in some way, and it can be anyone in your life. You don’t have to tap into the emotions but you can if you feel it’s necessary. As you are seeing them in front of you, imagine a cord that goes from you to them, which holds the energy of the situation and all of the emotions around it. Now look at them in the eye and say ‘I forgive us’ with the intention to remove that connection, dissolve the connection cord, and release every aspect of the situation that exists between you.
You may need to do this several times with someone until you really feel the release but eventually, you will be able to think about that person or situation without also feeling angry and upset. And you will also be able to stop the spillover of those emotions into the rest of your life.
Copyright (c) 2018 by Jennifer Hoffman. All rights reserved. You may quote, translate, reprint or refer to this message if you mention the author name and include a working link to http://enlighteninglife.com