Forgiveness may be difficult but it’s not impossible.
Again and again I work with people who are weighed down and disabled by their past experiences or from their negative attachment to what is happening to them right ‘now’. They can get angry with me when I talk about forgiving and letting go. They will often shout and tell me that I don’t understand when I tell them that if they become grateful for what they have ‘now’ they will be able to let go of their negative thoughts and feelings of the past and create a happier, healthier future.
To let go and forgive requires a good dollop of gratitude in the present. It requires that we each learn to love and grow from those things that we currently dislike or hate and seek to avoid. When someone says to me…
…”I try to see the good and be grateful for the good things that happen – but it doesn’t make sense to me to be grateful for the crap.”…
They have completely missed the mark. It is in being grateful for the crap that it does begin to make sense and then life really does begin to change and it changes fast. This takes a step up in consciousness, in awareness. To see the things that were previously experienced as bad and horrible, as good and positive is counterintuitive. But it is the breakthrough point to awakeness when you become the creator of your experience rather then the reactor to events.
Is the universe out to get you?
This is an important question and lays the foundation for how you experience your world. For me all the things that have happened to me have taught me lessons. Some of these have been easy good lessons and some have been hard lessons. When I now look back I would rather not have needed to learn some of those lessons but they were there and I dealt with them. Sometimes the same lessons would come back and back until I got the point. This process is on going. It is life long learning. The main thing they have taught me is this…
When I experience something, or someone, who makes me angry, upset, hurt or whatever, I have a choice I can either assume victim mode and be weighed down by it or, I can observe, learn and grow from the experience. It may be that others see this process as me withdrawing; some might see it as sulking (that is their stuff) for me it is the mindful observation of self, situation and of others so that I can learn and in learning I can grow.
Over all I see the universe of experience as a set of lessons and I see us human beings as points of consciousness, or our sense of self, surrounded by a set of physical and intuitive senses that enable us to learn from our experiences. We are always facing new lessons if we choose to see our experience that way. Of course, if we choose to see life as a problem in various states of fairness or unfairness then we never grow, or we grow slowly.
On a moment-by-moment basis we exercise our choice. Will we learn, grow and develop from what we experience or will we use it as ammunition to reinforce our problems and our negative view of a universe that is out to get us.
The confusion of forgiveness and gratitude
In attempting to forgive we can become confused with the idea that we are condoning behaviours that we know are wrong. We might feel that we are, in some way, saying that what people did, however bad, is ok. This is never the case. To forgive means to forgo your retribution or let go of your hatred and in, letting go of what was in the past enables us to focus on the gratitude of what is in the present. If you hold onto negative thoughts they will, in the end hurt you. You cannot live a happy now, or create a positive future if you believe that the past has done you wrong. It is never what happens it is how we deal with it that makes the difference.
The only person that hatred will ever harm is the hater.
When you hate, or have any negative thoughts about others or any situation, your body creates all the negative chemistry that will ultimately damage your body. It raises your blood pressure, hardens your arteries and leads to strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, back ache, neck ache, head ache and, dementia. Then come the nausea, irritable bowel, eczema, asthma and so on. The list really is endless.
In hatred it is as though you have taken the poison expecting it to kill someone else
Sadly the only person your hatred damages is you. Even worse is that these things that we hold on to, in our negative attachments to the past, stop us moving forward.
All the emotions of the negativity that we hold about other people, or events, are like elastic bands that keep pulling us back and stop us moving forward. The trick is learning to love adversity, love your enemies, love the difficult situation, love the crap and use them all as learning points so that you can grow.
In forgiveness, forgoing or letting go, choose the word that works best for you, you will be able to get into your present. In your present you are then able to create the life of gratitude that you really want for your self. When you are bound to the past you will never create a future that you desire.
Just a thought. If the science of karma, the law of cause and effect, is right, I suspect that it is, then everyone gets theirs in the end. There are no free lunches all debts need to be paid in full. It would seem that it is not my role in life to punish people for what they have done. It is equally true that I do not need to punish myself either. In letting it go I step out of the cycle of karma and move forward unencumbered by the past in to a happy and fulfilling future.
Let go, be happy and live in your present