Wednesday, November 9, 2011

You are worth the effort of forgiveness

How do you forgive?

A couple of nights ago I held a forgiveness meditation on the beach in my town.  It was awesome!

I had a great group of people attend and you could feel the collective apprehension as they gathered and got cozy.

I could totally relate to their apprehension.  Of course, we all want to forgive, but we've never been taught how and it's a bit scary to think about letting go. 

I mean, if we let go of and forgive those we've been unwilling to forgive for so long, how will we feel?  What will happen next?  Will we survive without that story of unforgiveness?

These are definitely unchartered territories we are stepping into.

But, when the meditation was over I could see the physical changes in the way they moved and the brightness of their faces.  There was excitement in their voices.  Some were still very quiet, contemplating the enormity of what just happened or maybe trying to figure out how to maintain this place of peace.

The truth is, even the most stingy of people want to forgive.  It's our natural state of being.  We just don't know how.

Many people talk about forgiveness like it's no big deal.  Just forgive and let it go.  Let go and let God.

That's easier said than done.

Painful memories and hurt feelings keep us stuck in a cycle of unforgiveness.  A cycle of victimhood.

When you don't forgive someone you say things like "So & so did this TO me and I will never forgive her" and "My parents were unavailable emotionally for me when I was a kid and that is why I am like this today".

Some people won't forgive because they think the wrong was so big and so bad that forgiveness is undeserved.  There is a 'status' or 'label' put on the wrongs that we've encountered, some are worthy of forgiveness and some are not.  To be honest with you, if you have a status system going for your forgiveness, you aren't in a forgiving space to even forgive the smallest of hurts.  If you dig a little deeper you will find that you have never forgiven anything, you are harbouring experience after experience in your memory bank labelled 'unforgiven'.

When you don't forgive someone your body starts to show signs of wear, you become easily fatigued, distracted and frustrated.

Do you find that unforgiveness becomes easier and easier for you as you go on?  When you feel you've been wronged, you don't give it a second thought.  Unforgiveness just shows up as though it's the reasonable thing to do.  It's what is 'deserved'?

This is because unforgiveness and victimhood are cumulative.  They grow with each and every situation that you don't forgive or choose victimhood over empowerment.

I don't believe in snapping your fingers and "poof" forgiveness is found.  I'm sure there are people who can accomplish this, I am not one of them.

For me, it helps if I spend time with the stories that have been playing over and over in my head.  Getting acquainted with what I have been unconsciously telling myself gives me a perspective I might not have had before.  Where did these stories come from?  Are they true?  Can I find compassion for those involved in the stories?  If I can see things from a place of compassion and honesty then forgiveness streams in effortlessly, it just takes over and I find myself filling with love, empowerment and fulfillment.

There is extreme power in forgiveness.

How do you forgive?

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