Iv’e considered this post for a couple of days. And I’ll admit to being a bit stymied at the notion of writing about a subject so universally acknowledged and equally misunderstood. What is forgiveness? I consulted my handy “Dictionary of Psychology” and will admit to being a little miffed at not finding the word listed. Isn’t to forgive a psychological act? I think it is. Could it be to forgive can only be understood through a religious connotation? Each religious ideology Iv’e studied bestows the merits of forgiveness: the act of letting go. Letting go? Some will never let go. Many will cling tightly to the events of their betrayal often as defining moments in a relationship between another. And never consider the impact of holding on to an event has in who they are and will grow to become. Forgiving is not forgetting. Forgetting is a cowardly act of denying an event: pushing or repressing the happening to the nether reaches of our mind. Forgetting is an attempt at moving something that profoundly effects us from the conscious mind to the unconscious realm as if a purposeful dementia. Holding onto events changes our perspective nature, clouds our point of view, smudges the lens of the glasses we look through in seeing the world around them. The act or event in need of forgiving does have the power to change us as individuals. Even in the act of choosing not to forgive changes who we are.
A cornerstone of Transformative Spirituality is the act of forgiving. We’ve all been told the first person in need of forgiveness to begin the process of forgiving is yourself. What did I do? I’m the victim of the heinous act. I was the one who suffered the betrayal, I didn’t do anything. It is also true in every event we play a role, active or inactive, in the situation. Perhaps difficult to acknowledge the role we play. I’m committed to EVERY interaction affords us the opportunity to teach or learn. So, maybe the lesson we needed to acquire, be reminded of, or even teach is a hard one? We shudder at the thought of growth primarily based in the lesson disguised within the event. We often recoil in the reminding of there is still more to learn because our ego tells us we’re complete even when our souls are still realizing its completeness. That’s why the first step in forgiveness is so difficult because we must first acknowledge our own participation in the event and that also requires us to surrender our position as victim. Ego constantly reminds us of our victimization as a defense mechanism. Ego robs us of the energy necessary to let go. Ego holds us in a place presumably safe, but also using energy to maintain that place. Also being stolen is the lesson.
Once we are truthful about the role we played or the lesson needed for our own growth the event has no use. The happening happened because it had to in order for us to grow. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes the lesson can only profoundly effect us through hurt. Hurts stay with us. The deeper the hurt the more profound the lesson. Like cow manure is the best fertilizer, it still stinks. Could you have learned the lesson without so much pain? Sure, the opportunities were probably present in your experience, but you missed it the first 482 times, you were busy being distracted, so the lesson needed to come to you in a bigger way. My near death motorcycle accident was a blessing. It hurt like hell, but a blessing in itself. It made me stop, recalculate my life, create a new paradigm and pursue a new direction. I literally had to “turn the other cheek” after the accident taught me the way I was headed was not in accordance with my own spiritual growth. Iv’e forgiven myself for not knowing the direction I was headed wasn’t in my best interest, spiritually. I now realize I was headed in a direction the world, other people, and ego were telling me I needed to go and Im thankful my Soul, acting through spirit Knew better. I understand their were many opportunities to learn this lesson that were simply brushed aside. God tapped me on my shoulder in many ways. I didn’t have time for God, I was following my over-inflated, highly reactive ego. That is not a statement of religious ideology, more a statement of who was leading in my life and what was I giving energy to, ego had me by the proverbial nose and I followed pretending like I had it all in control. In my forgiving myself Iv’e released myself from the emotional energy allocated to my victimization. If the car in front wasn’t going so slow, if I had not accelerated so hard on a powerful bike I wasn’t familiar with, if the highway engineers hadn’t designed such a sharp curve, and dammit who put that concrete barrier right in front of me? With spiritual energy free to be placed where I wanted it to be placed I began rebuilding a new life. My consciousness opened fully and I began fueling the unconscious mind to create. Ego persisted, what will she say, what will others do, what will I be, who will I be? Determined to find answers spirit directed me. With freed up spiritual energy no longer wasted in protecting the ego I began recreating. Things I hadn’t considered fell into place. People I needed to know to continue growing crossed my path. People that struggled with who I was growing into found their way out of my life. Life became exciting again, a feeling that had been forgotten overshadowed by ego’s need to keep fear at the forefront. Letting go of the event, I’ll never forget hitting that wall at 70 mph, gave way to embracing the lesson: follow your Soul.
Forgiveness is a power act. A willful act of acknowledging participation, accepting the unknowing, releasing the self-victimization, and reacquiring the misdirected energy surrounding a person or event. In doing so you take responsibility, become open to a new knowing, embrace your own power to create by consciously placing the spiritual energy into a realm of the unconscious mind that facilitates transformation.
Forgiveness is never about the other person or the event. Everything happens for a reason. It takes profound courage to look deeper into understanding the reason.