“Forgiveness is about empowering yourself, rather than empowering the past.”—T.D. Jakes
Is there anyone in your life who you could forgive?
Forgiveness can be the most difficult thing you’ll ever do. People who have been deeply wronged often feel they can’t and shouldn’t forgive. If you are one of those, you aren’t alone.
We all have been hurt, some more than others. We aren’t strangers to bitter disappointments. But have you wondered what it is that hurts?
Is it just the assault that hurts us or is it influenced by the relationship that you have with the perpetrator?
Regardless, we all feel betrayed and our need for retribution takes over our lives. We all long for justice. We all long for amends. We all experience anger, indignation, resentment, and pain. And as if the infraction was not hurtful enough, we often torment ourselves even more with the shame and guilt associated with it because we feel responsible in some way for not seeing it, for allowing it to happen and perhaps for being too trusting.
Regardless of your battle and what wrong has been done onto you, let it go.
Yes, you read this correctly.
L.E.T. I.T. G.O.
The shortest and surest path to a grave is a resentful heart.
If you wish to have a life of peace and joy, you must learn to forgive.
There is a grace that comes over us when we finally let go of the things we cannot change. This is not that you are excusing or accepting the behavior of those who’ve hurt and abused you. Let’s be clear as to what forgiveness isn’t about. As author Gary Chapman says, “Forgiveness isn’t about wiping your memory. Forgiveness isn’t about removing the consequences of wrongdoing. Forgiveness isn’t about rebuilding trust nor is it that forgiveness guarantees reconciliation.”
To me, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself! Forgiveness is about loving yourself enough to set yourself free. It’s about letting go of what you cannot change. It is about giving up the hope that things could have been different. It is about freeing yourself from the grief, resentment, and pain that poisons your spirit.
The scariest part about forgiveness for people is the erroneous notion that they may have to face their pain-inflictor, their wound-giver. You don’t have to face or talk to the person who inflicted pain on you unless you choose to. Forgiveness is an inside job and it only concerns you. It is your choice and you can do this entirely by yourself. Trust me! Been there, done that!
So how do you heal your life and achieve forgiveness?
The most effective way to rid yourself of resentment is through finding something about the experience that you can be grateful for. Finding the gift in the experience, as painful as it may be, will shift your perspective. For me, it was the powerful act of focusing on what the experience had taught me and being grateful for its lessons that helped me find enough compassion to eventually lead me to forgiveness —forgiveness for those that had wronged me, but more importantly, I was also able to forgive myself for my choices.
Yes, GRATITUDE is the first step to authentic forgiveness and thus freedom.
There is something beautiful that happens when you decide that you will no longer be ruled by the experiences and emotions of the past. As Joe Dispenza says, “When you remove the emotional charge from a painful experience, it becomes wisdom.” So today, I’d like to invite you to turn all that hurt, all that shame and regret into wisdom. Focus on what it has taught you instead of what it has taken away from you.
With your eyes closed and your hand on your heart, breathe in deeply and out slowly and I’d like you to bring into your heart, the image of the person and event that has hurt you. When you have it, think of all the things this experience has taught you. Don’t focus on the pain, the disappointment or betrayal —that will only prolong your suffering. Focus on the lesson because when you focus on lesson, you evolve.
I am a strong believer that every experience presents itself to teach us something. It is up to us to seek its treasure. Sometimes without realizing it, we become addicted to the pain, we spend too much of our precious time being upset and resentful for the wrong done upon us. It is normal of course to feel distressed over hurtful events. What is not normal, however, is to relive the event over and over in our minds. We are the only mammal on Earth who chooses to relive and replay our hurtful events.
When you chose to replay hurtful things in your mind, your body’s physiology gets the full impact and your brain receives the signal of distress and now you enter into a fight or flight state and if you are repeatedly staying in that state over an extended period of time, you are simply teaching your body to stay addicted to those low vibrating emotions. Your brain equally learns to produce more of the same chemicals to match the current state of your thoughts and emotions of grief, sadness, depression, etc. It is a merry-go-round that eventually will surface in the form of disease.
Every time you choose to think of your hurtful event, your body feels it is living in that past moment because it cannot discern that you are simply having this experience by thought alone — to the body it is real. Your heart rate increases, your breathing accelerates, your throat tightens, you feel the pain and your tears start to flow — you feel every emotion as if you were reliving the event again. When you think logically about this, who wants to go through that hurtful event again? Yet we do it all the time.
You must become vigilant about your emotions and thoughts. The minute you find the lesson in the experience for as hurtful as it was, the emotional charge on that event or person immediately shifts and weakens. When you do this consciously and consistently enough —catching yourself and interrupting the tape you play in your head, you’ll start to transform your hurt into wisdom.
Don’t be afraid to let go of the emotional addictions you may have over your past hurts. Surrender the need for revenge, surrender your need to hear the person make amends to you. You can’t control what they say or do and that’s not your journey — it is theirs. All that’s in your power is how you will continue to react towards that experience. Are you going to move on with your life or are you going to choose to stay angry and resentful because you aren’t getting the retribution you feel you deserve?
“LET GO AND LET GOD!” is a powerful expression.
Repeat it until you finally feel it in your body and can truly get to that place of peace — that’s what you deserve and that is right under your control. I believe that nobody gets a free ride in life.
One way or another, we pay for all the pain we inflict on others. Life, karma has an interesting way of making sure of that, but it is not up to you to make that happen. The laws of the Universe are laws of balance and as such we eventually reap what we sow. You may not be conscious of how holding onto resentment can cause illnesses in your body, but trust me, it does. It happened to me.
I am not telling you anything that I have not lived myself. I kept so much pain inside of me from a horrible experience that nearly destroyed me and that pain and anger developed into a chronic illness, yes chronic like the fear and desperation I felt over my inflictor. The irritation I experienced in my skin was a side effect of the irritation that I felt inside for the person who so carelessly betrayed me. The illness manifested interestingly enough through my skin in such a manner because of the shame I felt for having been so blind and tolerant of his abuse. If you are feeling this way, let me tell you as loud and as clear as I can, STOP! No person, no thing, no circumstance is worth your peace of mind and your health.
LET GO AND LET GOD! Your job today is to find the lesson, find something from that experience that you can feel grateful for. I can certainly tell you that after doing the work, I can now find so many lessons that I am now appreciative for. As crazy as it may sound, I’ve grown to actually feel that the relationship was not a mistake, but that it was preordained.
Had that experience not happened, I would not know true darkness and without that darkness, I would not have been able to see just how much light and power I actually have and you would not be reading this blog!
What is your wound?
Whatever darkness you are in, embrace it. Breathe light into it and express your gratitude for it. Recognize that it is only through the cracks of your wounds that your light can shine through —that in itself is something to feel grateful for. Life is about choices. Only you can make the choice to embrace the pain, find what is here to teach you and evolve.
Change your perspective and let your heart feel grateful so that perhaps, in spite of that horrible rape or abuse you endured, you are still here to tell the story, to warn and educate others and you are stronger because of it. You are a survivor — we all are. You can be grateful that such an experience tested you and you didn’t let it destroy you.
We are put on this earth to evolve and transcend and part of that evolution is learning to master our own suffering. Ask yourself, what can be learned from your ordeal? What qualities surfaced as a consequence of it that you didn’t know you had? What has life presented you with that you would have missed had you stayed in that situation or state of pain?
You will be surprised just how much you can actually grow to appreciate and learn from your ordeals. When you choose to see things as preordained by the Universe to help you evolve, you learn to see things as blessings, yes, even the ones that hurt us.
I am not sure if you believe in soul contracts. I do. There are people who will come into your life to teach you lessons: some come to help you, some come to love you, and some come to hurt you. But I believe that all those significant encounters are pre-arranged contracts between us that are made before incarnating and those contracts were made to help us experience, learn, evolve and help us reach our ultimate destiny. If this is something that resonates with you, surely you can see how one could be appreciative of even the contracts that come to disrupt and break us open —inclusive of the people who are chosen to be the wound inflictors, no?
I’d like you to think about the outcomes that you were able to obtain because of that experience. Maybe that hurtful point in your life taught you to be more aware, more patient, more analytical, and more cautious. Perhaps you can be grateful that this experience has taught you what you don’t want for your life. Sometimes knowing what we don’t want is as equally important as knowing what we want.
Perhaps you can find gratitude in the tears you shed because it has shown you that you can be strong and resilient. Maybe it has made you understand just how big your capacity for love is. Your hurt is a reflection of your inner strength, of your humanity because one cannot hurt this much without having loved that much.
Whatever the circumstance, whatever your experience was, I’d like you to consider that your inflictor’s soul contract was to come into your life to put a flashlight into all the parts of you that needed healing. Understand that what that person did to you was not about you — it was about him or her. It wasn’t that you weren’t good enough or lovable enough. It was that he or she didn’t love themselves enough to be able to love another person.
Consider for a moment perhaps that it was this person’s destiny to be the wound inflictor and how sad it is to have that role — for that you can show compassion. Perhaps you can find gratitude that this experience has taught you that you can love, hurt and forgive and that you love yourself enough to set yourself free.
Have you considered that such experience has given you a direct glimpse into what a lie can do to a person and the pain it can inflict? The gratitude can be found in you choosing to never inflict that same pain unto another.
Turn the page. Don’t stay a slave to your anger and resentment. As deep as the cut maybe, life does go on and things don’t end after a hurtful chapter. You are the creator and you get to write your own story and how it is going to end.
When you can learn to feel compassion for the role that person played in your life good or bad, it helps you find forgiveness. Have the compassion that, for whatever reason, this person was chosen to be the Judas in your story.
Whether you are a “religious” person, or not, Judas is the perfect analogy. Judas was someone Christ loved, someone Christ had chosen to be his disciple and yet also chose to be his wound giver. The betrayal of Judas was preordained, as it may have been the case of your wound inflictor. Judas’ actions were necessary because, without Judas’ betrayal, Christ could not have fulfilled the prophecy of his death, resurrection and subsequently the salvation of the world as per the scripture. All too often what may seem like an evil act to us may have a divine component attached to it. As it is said, “God used the wrath of Judas and through the deed that Judas did, God brought salvation. Judas meant it for evil, but God used it for good.”
The same way, I’d like you to consider, instead of staying bitter about the wrong that was inflicted onto you, that perhaps there is a master plan for it all. You may not see it yet, but by feeling gratitude for this master plan, you truly heal the wound. Believe that something great, something better will come out of this hurt.
Don’t waste a minute longer reliving painful experiences of the past. Don’t waste your present and future attached to dark moments of the past. Remember that after every storm the skies clear. The Universe has given you all the clues in nature itself. The darkest of nights has the sky filled with stars. There is always a light that breaks the dark and that is what opens up your soul to transform. Diamonds don’t form without extreme heat and friction.
Learn to embrace the storm and the rainbows. They are all part of nature just as our painful and blissful moments. Embrace it all. Love who you are because of your experiences. They shaped you into the diamond that you are and as such, one cannot hate the things and the people that have made you into the person that you are.
Learning to forgive is not only important but necessary.
Forgive and allow your life to transform!