The Pricelessness of Forgiveness
I’m sure you’ve been told how important it is to practice forgiveness. You may have even been told that forgiveness is vital for healing, and you may even know that lack of forgiveness hurts you much more than the other person. But forgiveness is way more than any of these; it is priceless.
Forgiveness may be one, if not the most important issue in your life. Dr. Alex Loyd, founder of the Healing Codes, states that in all the years he was lecturing and counseling he had never seen a significant health issue that didn’t have an unforgiveness problem. Dr. Ben Johnson, who had been lecturing all over the world on cancer, said he’d never seen cancer where there was not an unforgiveness problem. Both note that they have talked to ministers, doctors, therapists and practitioners of all types who also shared that they have seen unforgiveness at the core of just about every problem they’ve ever witnessed or experienced.
So it seems that paying attention to your forgiveness issues is highly warranted if you want a long, healthy and happy life. Funny thing about unforgiveness – it often hides behind anger, fear, sadness and other negative emotions. Ask yourself, “Who do I feel some anger, sadness or fear toward?” Most of the time, it is unforgiveness at the bottom of those negative emotions.
Forgiveness, in the original language, means to “cut the rope.” Webster says it means to dismiss, pardon, let bygones be bygones, exonerate, write it off, etc. The problem with forgiveness however, is that many individuals say they have forgiven someone yet allow residual anger, hurt or grief linger, stuffing it away so that it continues to fester within them. When this is the case, it will continue to gain momentum over time and break forth in some way – and explosive encounter directed at someone or something, or in a disease or disorder.
I remember as a child being told to sit in my room until I was ready to say “I’m sorry” to whoever I had hurt or wronged. I often said that to my own children over the years. But how many times was it heartfelt? Very few times I imagine. It was said mainly for escape from a punishment or to be set free from the sitting-in-the-room routine. So let’s discuss what it really means to forgive.
Forgiveness is an expression of love. Unforgiveness is expressed through fear. Those are the only two real emotions present in our lives – every emotion falls under one of those two emotions. Love allows us to be compassionate, understanding, appreciative, accepting and of course forgiving. Fear however, keeps us expressing criticism, judgment, anger, jealousy, resentment and of course unforgiveness. So which do you think reaps the most benefits for your life? It’s obvious; it is love. Anything can be healed with love as the core emotion.
When you do not forgive, you become a victim. Victims are always in a place of smallness, dominated by feelings that originate in fear. Furthermore, when a victim, the incident and/or other person involved has control over you. That’s a scary thought to me. Who wants someone who hurt you or caused you pain to have control over you? Yet, that is exactly how it works.
When you experience a painful encounter, the first thing that occurs is that you become defensive. Ego takes over and tells you to protect yourself or stand up for you. You want to be right, so you enter into the drama and become defensive.
Next, blame sets in. Someone has faulted you and you are mad, or perhaps hurt. It isn’t right, so you begin the blame process. You want to get back at them and you feel justified, and you usually remove yourself from the blame. After all, they did it to you and you didn’t deserve it. Then you’ve become the full blown victim. You’ve participated in the situation and the other person has drawn you down into their low energy field, for anger, hurt, or victim all create a low energy vibration. Yet the amazing thing is that being a victim is the result of your own behavior. You always have a choice in everything, so becoming a victim is self-inflicted.
Here are some facts about unforgiveness. First, every painful encounter presents a reflection of you in some way. Somewhere in the past you felt this feeling before, so it’s as a mirror reflecting that feeling back to you; it’s a reference point from a past experience. Secondly, when you feel hurt of any kind or emotional pain, it is due to failed expectations. You expected something different from that person and when they didn’t measure up, you felt hurt or anger; these were your expectations. Unconditional love however, has no expectations. With no expectations, you cannot get hurt.
When you experience a confrontation, you either react immediately through the unconscious driven by the past reference points, or you respond with a conscious choice. Most people react, which is why they get so angry or hurt. But if you stop a minute to see what is really going on, you might respond differently.
Here’s an example. Suppose you hear that someone has said something untrue about you. Of course it bothers you to hear it, and you have choices in how to handle it. You could blow up and swear to those who shared it that it isn’t true, defending yourself, perhaps even loudly, or you could simply state it isn’t the truth and proceed to find the person spreading the untruth and confront them. Look them in the face and ask them if they said this or why they said it. Wait for their answer and then proceed with a healthy discussion, or at the very least let them know you are displeased that they said this knowing it isn’t a truth. By handling it this way, you diffuse the anger and therefore dissipate the negative vibrations/energy.
After attending various classes, reading multiple books and articles, through my own experiences , and as a wholeness coach, I have found 4 steps that enable individuals to completely forgive others as well as themselves. Here is the process.
First, you must simply accept the situation as a factual happening. Do not attach judgment or guilt to the situation, to yourself or anyone else. Realize it is a fact that occurred, but keep emotions out of it.
Second, feel the emotions that you experienced because of the situation. You must indentity the feelings so you can release them or you will store them somewhere inside of you, creating more baggage and suppressed negative feelings. Take the example of someone stating an untruth about you behind your back. What did you feel? Hurt? Shock? Anger? Stabbed in the back? Whatever feelings you experienced must be addressed to make it real. Once it becomes real for you and you feel the emotions completely, you are then able to shift the negative energy into something positive. You do have the right to stand up for what you know is true, but it is how you address it that makes the difference between a negative or positive in your life.
Once you have accepted the happening and felt all the negative emotions surrounding the experience, you next surrender the entire situation for resolution to God (Higher Power). Drop the need to be right and understand there is a definite reason for this experience, plus a lesson to be learned. Once you surrender the issue, you no longer need to put any of your energy into the problem. You release all judgments, freeing yourself.
Finally, you have the power of choice, something you were born with. You now can choose whether you want to experience harmony and peace in your life or something in a lower vibration. In the latter case you would be dancing with them in a place of unforgiveness, and whether you see it or not, it will be you who suffers.
Here’s an example of the whole process of forgiveness.
A employer seemed to have it in for one of his female employees. She continually finished her duties on time and accurately, but for some reason he continued to find fault and called her out on it in front of other employees. It hurt her, making her feel picked on, and she found herself continually defending herself as the anger rose in her. She had reached a point of not wanting to go to work because she was made to feel adequate even though she felt she did her work well.
After learning some tools of forgiveness, she tried something different. When the boss confronted her again proclaiming her deficiency in front of some of her co-workers, she replied, “Thank you for sharing this with me. I thought my work was done according to what you wanted, but I’d be happy to check it again to make sure. I’ll get on it right now.” With that she turned to walk back to her desk, smiling as she went because she didn’t feel defeated or hurt in any way. The boss stared after her – he had no answer since she diffused his negativity. After the boss left, her co-workers praised her for what she did.
The amazing part of unforgiveness is that you are the one who suffers the most, and in actuality, the situation and other person(s) involved then have control over you and your life for as long as you hold onto the negative emotions. A great thing to ask yourself whenever you are faced with whether or not to forgive or not is this – Which way will raise me up to a higher level or which way will pull me down?
Who do you need to forgive, regardless of what they have done to you or someone else? It does not mean you agree with their actions or the results of what they’ve done, it means that you refuse to carry their “stuff” on your shoulders by not forgiving. Forgiveness frees You!
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