Do we have an embedded belief that forgiveness, is a form of weakness?
This is such an amazing topic, lately. Over the internet and reoccurring in course themes or educational materials related to self-help, life coaching, personal growth, blockages to achieving success or abundance, or even when addressing the cycles that re-occur in one’s life, the concept of forgiveness comes into play. What feelings, thoughts or memories immediately come to mind for you, in just hearing the word – forgive? Does the catch phrase forgive and forget, send a subconscious message to our brain, that in order to avoid being hurt again, we cannot forget, therefore we cannot forgive?
I found a great article titled, Why is it so hard to forgive? Via www.powertochange.com, it is worth checking out:
Do you feel, the act of forgiveness, takes your right in some way? A right to hold onto, a memory, a feeling, pain, a reminder to yourself never to make the same mistake twice? There is a huge spectrum to consider, for example the difference between someone calling us a name, or being rude, up to mental or physical abuse, and even taking the life of a loved one. That’s heavy … if you are not faced with that challenge, consider that in itself a blessing.
Firstly, looking at the forgiveness of others. Sometimes the harder people to forgive, are the ones we have placed higher trust in, such as family, close friends or spouses. It stings more, when someone you trust, hurts you in some way, or does something that challenges a weakness, that only they would know you have. Say you have a friend, and they know it drives you crazy any time they get on a certain topic, or they forget to include you in social gatherings, maybe they always seem to need you when they are a low, but they are gone when life is good. Maybe a spouse downplays their partner’s concerns, when the other is overly flirtatious at social gatherings, causing feelings of embarrassment, jealousy or even challenging the boundaries of the relationship. Whatever the case, they hurt you, and unless a grudge is held, they will just never learn right? (Even if they are being a twit).
I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting someone know they hurt you, but beyond this is a concept of dwelling, reliving trauma or anxiety, and not letting go. Validly, even if that person says sorry, and we utter back “it’s ok” or “I know, but don’t let it happen again”, we are taking a risk they may do it again – especially if they don’t realize, or are ignorant to, how upsetting this is. There is a certain energy that is sent out to them, and yourself in forgiveness though. An energy that calls for a desire to move on, and for things to be better in some way. Even, if we chose not to see someone as much in our life (if that’s an option). Being able to forgive someone, in some capacity, takes courage. Taking a chance; hoping a wrong doer will come to the light, realizing you are worth more than their actions towards you reflect. Leading a rationale versus reactionary life may play a part in this.
Overall, we can choose whether or not we seek bringing peace to situations or to perpetuate turmoil. It takes one person to start a feud, but another to keep it burning. Ultimately, even if the other person does not change, and we choose not to try forgiving them, do we really believe we are off the hook? If we choose this path, we may be needlessly punishing ourselves and re-exposing ourselves to the initial negativity of when the hurt began. What good is that to hold onto? Is there someone, you have trouble to even think of forgiving because they hurt you? It is unlikely forgiveness will follow, if in our thoughts, we picture this person at their worst, and continuing to hurt us repeatedly. Is there harm in at least imagining how good we would feel, for this person to treat us superbly? Sometimes just uttering the words “I forgive you” while you picture someone in your mind, may shift the energy between you and that person. You may have to say it a few times, before you buy into it being real. Thoughts are energy. Is there much of anything that happens for a person without a thought behind it first?
If you cannot forgive yourself, how much harder is it to forgive others? Or is that vice versa? Or both. Do you feel that there is something blocking you, to becoming more of what you want to be or where you want to be, in life? When things come to mind that are faults or failures, do you credit yourself, with the pluses of what you learned or what strengthened you as a result of those life experiences. As creatures of habit though we may believe we are on a path seeking continual improvement, in doing so, we can easily fixate on a reliving a list of failures and short comings, such as jobs we didn’t get, hobbies that fell through, a trip that was cancelled, spending time with someone that was destructive or toxic in our life. Instead, in giving yourself credit (self-forgiveness), Did the experience serve a purpose at that time in your life? Because if you learned something, and if you became a better person, then a purpose was served. Sometimes we even become better people, by way of hardship or suffering. We learn empathy and compassion. The energy in self-persecution, can eventually affect a person physically, causing their physical health to suffer, along with mental health. If I had done wrong to someone, I had even appreciated them saying to me, “You know I am working on forgiving you, but give me some time – because it’s not coming easy”. This at least put us both on a human level, preserving dignity.
Check out this video series, by Dr. Joe Vitale, in what he refers to as a Hawaiian Clearing Technique; you will pull an easy to remember phrase (mantra) from video 4 of 7, which I found very versatile – I recommend all 7 videos in this series about Manifesting: The Law of Attraction. Joe is a wizard at breaking down limiting beliefs. Isn’t is cool that an expert teacher on Manifesting, who appeared in the movie The Secret, also talks about forgiveness as part of this:
”There is a time and a place for everything … “. When are ready to forgive another or ourselves? It is when we are ready to let go of something. Only you can define what the something is that you are holding onto. Maybe there are not even big things to be forgiven, but still, how we view the faults of others and ourselves may change, lifting a heaviness in energy that used to weigh us down. Our instincts may not always tell to us forgive, or be kind, at every opportunity. I don’t believe that by forgiving, we have to forget. But what do we associate with the memory? That’s the key. What are we clinging to? A wise person once said it’s better to have a long memory instead of a short temper. Consider that there is a time to forgive, allowing for a time to move on, to better things.
Be Well, Forgive Yourself and Others, And Heal