15 Realizations About Forgiveness
“Everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything.” – Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul
Like every human on this planet, I have experienced hurt and betrayal. The posts on this site are not intended to be some presentation of myself as an expert. Rather, it is an opportunity for me to organize my thoughts and communicate my own personal experiences in an attempt to grow and mature.
Two of the most difficult hurtles on my path have been dealing with intense emotional disturbances and ultimately realizing I have to forgive… everyone. But what does forgiveness really look like and in what ways have I missed the mark? Below are some of the things I’ve learned and am currently in the process of implementing that have made a difference for me. My hope is they may help you as well….
Caught in the Matrix
“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth… There is no spoon… Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.” – The Matrix
- Life unfolds as a reflection of long held hurts from the past that were not addressed. People in life intentionally or unintentionally stimulate those past hurts. Human beings tend to personalize who they are with their experiences and develop identities around them.
- There is a long held expectation that transgressors must identify with the suffering they cause. To acknowledge what they have done. To change their behavior. To never forget what has been done to hurt others or that they have been ‘forgiven’. Otherwise, the hurt they’ve caused would be for nothing. This is manipulation, not forgiveness.
- The uncontrolled mind will cling to the past in an attempt to control what does or does not happen in the future. It is a self-perpetuated, self-righteous, self-serving drama. Reality is this drama exposes not what is wrong with others, but what needs to be healed in ourselves.
- Nothing exists within any individual without their agreement. We live in a matrix of our own creation, in our minds. It is only us who experiences this matrix. It does not exist anywhere else outside the psyche. A guest on the Oprah show defined it as “letting go of the past we thought we wanted.” Our desire for a past that we wanted, is our matrix. They didn’t do this to you, they just did it. The rest you are doing to yourself. Tough pill to swallow.
- The cycle is continued by putting that unresolved energy into our environment. We expose our hurts through our behavior. We attempt to control those around us. We are harsh, cold, distant, reserved, sensitive, defensive, mistrusting, and easily offended. We inadvertently make ourselves unavailable to others open to loving us; we push people away to protect ourselves.
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
- Real forgiveness is the end result of completing the necessary emotional work required to really heal. It is a sign of true strength to find the ability to show mercy to those that have hurt us.
- It is not about making excuses for the people who hurt us. It is not trying to understand why they hurt us. It is accepting that we cannot know or control what people do.
- In order for our suffering to end, we must end it. We must realize it is our psyche that needs to change to experience a true separation from other’s actions and our torment.
“Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on.” – Criss Jami, In Every Inch In Every Mile
- We are the only ones responsible for our experiences. We cannot depend on someone else to fix how we experience life. We must be able to handle emotional disturbance.
- We cannot depend on others to behave in ways that we believe are necessary to ensure the continuation of our well-being. The people around us are caught in their own drama just like we are. It is a waste of energy to expect others to change for us.
- We are clear in the nature of our perceptions and thinking; we use our wisdom to see the illusion of the matrix and allow it to unfold without getting our true Self (our identity) involved in the drama.
- Recognizing that it is possible to see the truth of a situation without the need to fix our feelings in order for us to do what is necessary for ourselves. Providing the space to decide what is unhealthy and simply allow it to be. All of the energy we would use to try and change the other person we now have available to use to change ourselves, change what allowed us to get caught in that situation, address the areas where we hurt and long to heal.
“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
- Forgiveness is a process that happens over time; it requires continued effort; it is moving through the cycles of being strong, feeling hurt, finding strength, exposing deeper wounds, and so on.
- Will only be genuine if it appears honestly. The end result of a natural progression through the psyche; through emotional turmoil, through healing. Otherwise it is incomplete.
- We become able to learn from our experiences; awaken to our intuition; lean into our emotions as our protectors when they initially arise. We are responsible for our choices and the outcome.
“One of the hallmarks of maturity is to let some of what seems like your best hopes go; especially if the tide of life has taken you away from them and turned your face in a different direction.” – David Whyte, What To Remember When Waking
Until next time! Luciana
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