Why is so hard to forgive?
What if the real reason is not that we were hurt or betrayed?
What if the problem is that we are trying to forgive the wrong person?
Have you ever asked yourself if it’s true that you need to forgive her?
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.”
I need to forgive her, is it true?
The most common reasons that people believe that:
– To ger rid of the pain and hurt that cause them.
– To move on with their life
– To stop being a victim in their own life
They believe that when they forgive that person, they will be finally free, they will get their power back.
How do people react when they believe that they need to forgive somebody?
They try to communicate their hurt, they express their feelings, they use surrender as a way out. They use all those ways to finally cut the invisible cord between their hurt and the person that hurt them.
Usually, it doesn’t work instantly. They repeat the same or different process over and over again. They surrender the pain and act themselves to the universe over and over again.
It’s hard work.
Have you ever asked yourself who would you be if you never believed that you need to forgive? If nobody ever told you about the healing power of forgiveness?
If you never heard of healing the pain inside your chest with forgiving the person that caused it?
If the only thing that you ever heard of or knew how to heal the pain was to focus on yourself, find what is hidden behind the hurt that you feel in your heart.
Who would you be? Would it be possible to still feel like a victim of that person betrayal, if the only way to heal the pain has nothing to do with that person? Of course not.
The power will be back in your hand (and in your mind and heart) to remove the hurt.
If we say that people who do terrible evil are beyond forgiving, we give them a power they should never have…they are given the power to keep their evil alive in the hearts of those who suffered most. We give them power to condemn their victims to live forever with the hurting memory of their painful pasts. We give them the last word.”
― Lewis B. Smedes
Isn’t then the opposite truer:
I don’t need to forgive that person. I need to forgive me.
Where for-giving mean that I give myself the gift of removing barriers to feeling love inside me again. Buried deep down under layers of hurt.
That is still a process. There are still steps to take to get there. But the power that you need to do that is inside you.
You are not a victim of your wound not a victim of the person that has done that to you.
For-giving is about to whom you are giving forgiveness. It’s about for whom this giving is.
For – mean that it is FOR you
Giving – mean that you are giving yourself this forgiveness
What we need to address is the beauty of what is this all about.
Do not make it about her. When you are making it about her (and you know that you cannot change her) you are giving up your power to make a forgiving powerful act on its own.
It’s about giving something to you. It’s not about taking something from her.
It’s also not about giving something to her.
You will miss the point if you will make this about another person.
Also, your forgiveness will be just mental exercise or emotional exercise.
You will miss the profound healing that you could experience when you make it about another person.
When we try to forgive, we are actually declaring that this person took away something from us or cause us to experience pain, hurt, abandonment.
On some level that is true, but if we go there, we could do nothing to change that. We have no power to influence what other people did to us.
Do not make it about that person.
That person did enough harm to you already.
If you want to heal, you need to focus on you.
What did you accept into your body, your mind from that person?
What did you make of it?
What stories did your mind create to add to what that person said or did to you?
How much did you resist it and create painful emotions out of your story and sensations?
That’s the place where healing of forgiveness needs to start.
Go to the stuck emotions, the pain in your body. Where in your body you feel tense when you think about what that person did to you?
That’s the place where forgiving happens. You are giving yourself the gift of attention. Focus your attention to that area. Just observe the sensation in that part of your body. Be with the sensation. If your mind creates a name for it, just observe this label. If thoughts arise, just observe those thoughts. Just be with yourself, give yourself undivided attention. Be aware of your sensation, your thoughts, and emotions.
That’s what forgiveness is.
Giving yourself the gift of seeing your pain, seeing your emotions, seeing your thoughts. When you are really ready to see the hurt without resisting it, it will start healing. It will slowly dissolve.
If you make forgiving about another person, all that you will do will be about trying to let go of your pain while focusing on another person.
You know that you tried it and sometimes it seems that it’s gone away. But the next hour or the next day or even a month’s something triggers that hurt inside you and it came back.
At least you think that it came back.
But it didn’t. It was always there. Because you never gave it full attention, it’s still there waiting for you inside you. Trying to get your attention.
It’s like your kid when he says to you, mum listen to me. And you turn your head and look at your child and say I listen. And then you child repeat, you don’t listen. Because your child could feel that he doesn’t have your full attention. That you are only half present. Most adults will not notice the difference, but your child will.
Your pain is the same. It’s needed your full attention to be acknowledged. When you could do that, without splitting your attention between your pain and person that hurt you, it will be complete and it will dissolve.
While I don’t say that what this person did to you wasn’t wrong (sometimes it wasn’t and sometimes it was). But trying to forgive another person is useless. It will not help you to release the pain.
If another person feels guilty that it’s not about you. It’s about that person. S/he needs to deal with that.
And you need to heal your pain. That person could not do that for you and you could not do that for that person,
Steps to take to forGive:
– Remove the pain from your body (movement, physical exercise, gentle tapping, using body awareness movement)
– Release the energy of emotions
– Release the limiting believes
– Find out who you are without all that, what makes you alive
Only after you did all that, you are in the place, where you need to ask, Do I still want that person to be in my life or not?
Maybe that doesn’t sound like a direct route to forgiveness. But in the end, it’s way more effective than trying to forgive another person for hurting you. It takes less time in the long run. And the side effect is that with every step you feel less hurt. You are not just sitting and waiting for another human being (or him) to push the button and put you back into your misery, feeling the intense pain again and again.
There is an added bonus to all those steps. You create an invisible, yet strong connection with your true self, your inner voice that will guide you away from people who could hurt you before you get to close to them or will guide you to the solutions that will prevent that person to hurt you again.
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” – Louis B. Smedes
Photo by Matt Noble on Unsplash