Where there is no forgiveness, there is no freedom. The unforgiving are bound internally, hosts to anger and resentment. Whether feelings of harm are justifiable or not, the effects upon the individual are the same. The mind and spirit stay locked in chains for the duration as enslaved bitterness takes refuge in the energetic body of the offended. Once a victim of another, the unforgiving keeps himself a casualty as long as he hangs onto hatred because of a perceived or actual wrong committed.
When it comes to forgiveness, most people will outwardly admit, “Fat chance”. It is culturally acceptable and expected for us to hold onto resentments, despite being warned that it’s not good for us. I look around at all of the things that aren’t best for us, and see that people hold onto many of those things, tenaciously. They consider it their right to do so and shrug off the ill effects. I have done so repeatedly in my own life, and so I know what I am talking about. I denied each one until my condition became unquestionable.
Forgiveness operates a lot like love. In fact, it is a part of what love is. Loving a person well, even the self, requires being able to forgive. A person has to be able to love himself to be able to love another well; similarly, a person must be able to forgive himself to be able to forgive another. Our attitudes, beliefs, values, and practices about how we treat ourselves and others run on parallel tracks. How a person treats others is mimicry of how he treats himself.
How does one make the shift from holding onto indignation to releasing people from their missteps? He begins by releasing himself, holding himself accountable with forgiveness. He acknowledges and accepts his own imperfections, no longer hiding from himself. He then accepts his incapacity to control others and ends the fantasy of forcing repentance, which in the end, he might not accept. There is no sorrow substantial enough to cure his blistered soul – unless he restores it himself. He sets to work correcting the only person possible, himself. He applies compassion to his wounds.
He does this through attending his own pain, no longer covering it with substitutes. He sits with it until he has listened to himself enough to fill his need to be heard. It is only through his own listening he will be comforted. He releases his dream of a better past and integrates what is dead and buried with the person he has chosen to become. He shovels it six feet under because he loves himself enough to walk on ripe earth under fresh air.
He lets go because the weight he has been carrying has become too heavy to bear. You too, can choose to leave it behind in your own metaphorical graveyard. Shut the gate and bolt it. Turn toward the setting sun and feel the warmth of peace and freedom.
Krista is a Certified Life Coach in the areas of Wellness, Transformational Change, and Spirituality who helps people implement an authentic healthy lifestyle, leave behind harmful habits and behaviors, and step into their highest potential. She is also a Certified Meditation Instructor and Yoga Teacher. For more information on her transformational change, wellness programs, and coaching visit www.theomshanty.com.