Forgive and forget. That’s all you have to do, right? Sounds simple enough, so why is there so much energy involved in forgiveness?
Why are there some circumstances, people, etc. that are easier to forgive than others? Why is it that at times you are more forgiving of serious transgressions, than you are of other more minor offences?
In the Catholic faith, a priest will absolve you of your sins in “confession”, and again when administering last rites so that any sins or wrongs you may have committed will not preclude you from entering the gates of heaven.
I’m not convinced it really works quite like that……
In your daily life, what can you not forgive someone? Was it a betrayal of trust? Did someone break a promise to you? Perhaps someone made a judgment about you that was completely undeserved!
Going deeper, did someone mistreat or abuse you? Were you abandoned by those who should have been there to protect you?
On the other hand, what have you done that requires forgiveness from another? Are you waiting for that forgiveness in order to be able to move forward, or have you buried that event somewhere deep in your subconscious awareness so that you don’t have to look at it any more?
As with just about everything in life, nothing is cut-and-dried. There are layers, levels and dimensions to forgiveness that lend it its complexities.
Perhaps when we find ourselves stuck in non-forgiveness, we first need to look at whether we may have done something similar in the past that we have not yet forgiven ourselves for.
This may seem a simple enough exercise on the surface, but when I talk about the past I am addressing not only this present life you are living, but also your library of past lives, the information from which you bring forward with you spiritually into this life.
This is where the ability to forgive is also directly connected to ones level of conscious awareness. The broader your vision and awareness of your spiritual and physical nature, the more able you are to see where energy may be trapped – perhaps in a painful or traumatic memory or event – and therefore let it go.
Each time we hurt someone be it physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually, and whether it be done consciously or unconsciously, the energy of that event is recorded in our spiritual and physical energy system. The same goes for when someone hurts us.
Earlier I referred to absolution offered in Catholicism, where a priest, on the authority of Jesus Christ, will free you from guilt and absolve or forgive you your wrongdoings in a sacrament of penance when sorrow and/or remorse is shown.
That may be one step in the process, but there is more to it than someone simply saying I forgive you – regardless of the authority they have to do so.
You have to be able to forgive yourself – release the energy that is tied up in that past event or circumstance, de-energize the emotion and heal that place by replenishing with your own neutral healing vibration.
Can you remember a time when someone said “I forgive you”, and yet you couldn’t quite let go of that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach?
Talking of letting go, I am reminded of a well-known Zen story about two monks travelling together – an elder monk and a junior monk – who come across a beautiful, young woman attempting to cross a river. Their discipline dictates that they have no contact with women, yet the elder monk seeing the distress of the young woman, picks her up, carries her effortlessly across the river, puts her down safely on the other side and continues on his path.
The junior monk is horrified but, out of respect for his elders, he says nothing for a number of hours. Finally, unable to contain himself, he asks the elder monk why he so flagrantly broke the rules by carrying the young woman on his back across the river. The elder monk smiles and simply says, “I left the young woman at the river, but it appears you are carrying her still.”
The elder monk’s broader vision and level of awareness, allowed him to see past the rules and assist the young woman.
Where are you stuck in rules and regulations, beliefs and judgments that don’t allow you to release yourself or others from past violations of those rules?
Forgiveness is not necessarily easy, particularly when there is a lot of pain involved. However, the healing experienced from releasing that painful energy is truly liberating.
At the start of this post, I used the well-known phrase, FORGIVE AND FORGET. I believe that phrase is erroneous. Forgiveness allows you to release and free yourself of a burden. This is a healing. However, forgetting that experience is not necessarily in your best interest. Retaining a memory of that experience or event without the painful energy, or emotional charge attached assists you in NOT creating the same experience again.
Take a moment to look at what you would like to forgive of yourself or others and give yourself the gift of a healing!
Photos courtesy of stock.xchng and flickr.