Not too long ago, I cried what felt like oceans of resentful tears. After a short time my oceans of tears dried up leaving behind only begrudging bitterness. Carrying this around with me, I told the story of my victimhood to anyone who would listen and sympathize. Each time I talked or thought about it, I relived it in my mind causing myself even more hostility. I went through day after day with the loathsome feeling of hate decaying me from within. I had become oppressed from being enslaved by my own bitterness. Finally, I could not bear the feeling of this dark toxic ensnarement any longer. This was when I began to realize that forgiveness truly is the magic that frees us.
A misconception that appears to be prevalent is that forgiving is about letting someone off the hook. The truth is, no matter how much bitterness we feel, we cannot force another to feel responsible or guilty. This is something that only they have control over within them self. Hence, forgiveness is not about releasing them from anything, it is about releasing our self. When we are in a place of hostility we are held down by feelings of depression, anger, and fear. Forgiveness releases us from these feelings. If we no longer hold bitterness, then these dark side effects will disappear.
Just as we cannot force another to feel responsible or guilty, they should not have the power to cause us to feel a certain way. If we feel hostility toward a person and we allow it to impact our emotions, making it affect our behaviors, conversations, and our attitude, then we are giving away our personal power. We are enabling the situation and/or the person to continue to burden our life with negativity. Forgiving enables us to reclaim our power by letting go of the negativity making room for an amazing flow of positive conversations, people, and situations. This ultimately will grant us an attitude that is strong, magnetic, and captivating.
The way to a forgiving place is through the understanding of path perspectives. We each have our own individual path in life. We all are in a different place upon the paths we walk. When we encounter situations along our path, what we experience and what we feel from that experience is different for each of us. It is from these experiences that we develop our own unique perspectives. We keep these perspectives with us for up coming situations. When something comes up, we pull out our perspective. Seeing the situation through the lenses of our perspective, we react and behave accordingly.
This is why when given the same situation, one person may be hurtful in their words and behaviors, while another can simply shrug if off and walk away. Our own personal perspective is all we have. Therefore, when we forgive we do so because we understand that the place that we are at gives us a different perspective than the place others are at. Our place on our path grants us a very individual point of view that others may not have because they are not where we are. If we were driving in a car and had just passed a large truck, we would now be able to see the road ahead much more clearly because the truck is no longer impeding our view. Yet, the car that was behind us before we passed the truck, cannot only not see the road ahead but they can no longer see us. This does not make their perspective of what they see wrong; it simply makes it different from what we see. We can forgive and release because we know people can only react based on where they have been, where they are at, and what they can see through the lenses of their perspective.
Forgiving based on our understanding of differing perspectives does not mean that we go back. We can forgive with Love and compassion due to our higher understanding, but there was a reason we needed to forgive in the first place. This is due to the fact that many times what causes the conflict is that our perspective is far different from another's perspective. This can lead us to feel uncomfortable around some people. This is okay. Just because we forgive does not mean that we go back to what was uncomfortable. We should forgive and move forward. Surrounding ourselves withpeople who when we are around them we feel inspired, emotionally and spiritually strengthened, and most of all Loved.
Forgiveness does not stop when we feel the release from situations involving others. We also need to remember the most important type of forgiveness is self-forgiveness. Many of us have a way of holding ourselves prisoner due to situations of our past. These thoughts and memories play over and over in our mind. With every replay we feel resentment, bitterness, or maybe even guilt toward our self. If we replay the situation again remembering where we were at on our path at that time, what experiences had lead us up to that place on our path, and what our unique perspective was during the situation, then we will realize we did the best we could based on what we had available to us in that moment. We should not hold ourselves hostage for situations in our past, based on the growth and knowledge that we have gained for living today. It is time to forgive and release our self.
True pure freedom lies in the womb of forgiveness. Through our understanding of individual perspectives we have the tools we need to ultimately regain our personal power, release our self from the dark bitterness of resentment, and move forward surrounding our self with people who support and fulfill. It is through the freedom from forgiveness that we can skip along our journey with a clearer mind, Love in our heart, and uninhibited potential.
Copyright Debi Hebel, 2010 All Rights Reserved
Debi is a Certified Master Coach, focusing her efforts on helping clients raise their level of life-satisfaction. As a coach, she has been able to follow her passion of inspiring people to uncover their individual greatness allowing them to grow in self-confidence, self-awareness, and ultimately life happiness. In her coaching practice, The Human Factor, Debi offers programs that take the most appropriate theories in psychology, life coaching, and emotional intelligence and uses them to help her clients advance and deepen their understanding of themselves. To contact Debi please email her here.