Forgiveness has been calling me. By that I mean for the last two weeks the word has been popping into my head relentlessly, jumping up and down to be heard, to be written about. This is a delicate area of life and one that may touch you gently or harshly. We often hear people resolutely say they will never forgive someone for their actions. Others say they forgive but will never forget. Some just blow us away with their words of forgiveness amidst the most heinous circumstances. One thing is clear, forgiveness is not just something than can be handed out on a plate, but it is one of life’s biggest hurdles.
For me forgiveness is about letting go of pain and torment... and more. I decided firstly that I was not prepared to awaken and spend another day in which my thoughts, feelings and actions would be guided by the effects this person was having on me. It had been affecting everything I did to my very core. My cortisone levels were through the roof and I was running on adrenaline like a huge pot on permanent boil. Living like that is incredibly unhealthy. It strains the heart, increases blood pressure and emotionally leaves you like a super volcano about to blow and wipe out civilisation.
Never a truer word has been spoken than those from the Serenity Prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to know the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”, because no matter what is said by another, no matter what action they take, no matter how many tears you shed as a result, no matter how off the rails they push you, there comes a point when the realisation has to set in that you just can’t change someone. You can’t think for them, you can’t feel their emotions, you can’t make them say what you want to hear, and you can’t control their choices or actions. To attempt to do so just might destroy you in the process.
If you are someone who is always trying to get people to do things your way, who feels hurt when someone say’s ‘no’ or are always trying to control circumstances for others, then you are not doing them or yourself any favours. When we live like this we are acting from the ego. We are trying to manipulate external circumstances to make ourselves feel good and to make others feel the way we think they should in order to be happy.
When I realised that I was never going to be able to change how this person treated me, a calmness flooded through me. It was the first step in awakening to forgiveness. The relief that followed from being able to put down the weight of the ongoing drama and upset was enormous. I began to realise that all I had to do was concern myself with me, rather than focus on what the other person was doing. I saw clearly the extent of the things that I could in no way ever change as they were out of my control. I then saw that my feelings of betrayal, hurt and anger that had come along for the ride belonged to me. In fact the anger left almost instantly as I grasped that it was mostly coming from being in a position of helplessness. The critical turning point came from the awareness that the emotions were mine, not the other persons, but mine! Now that was something within my control, something that I could change and so I did.
There comes a point in the journey of forgiveness when you strip away the drama and find yourself facing your own emotions. Those you can own, those you can change, and the biggest leap you make towards forgiveness can be found in knowing this...when you strip yourself back to source, free from the drama and the ego, and see the chaos surrounding you as something entirely separate to you, then you can only see the other person in this way too and there lies the key to forgiveness. We are all oneness.
The same energy that made this vast universe also made you. We are all made from the same source energy and we have the choice to return to source at any time. Just imagine a new born baby, free for any influence in this world and you will see your beautiful spark of creation, and that of others.
Forgiveness could lead you to experience a new sense of freedom and let you live a life where you shine bright once again.