Finding Forgiveness

At any given point in time, most of us could use a release in energetic/emotional weight, worry, or anger.  It's not uncommon to carry these burdens for so long- or so unconsciously- that we forget that we're even carrying them!

In fact, the release of karmic patterns is just that- a release of burdens that we've been carrying for many lifetimes. 

If you're looking to release some baggage you've been lugging around, or you're looking to put a little pep in your step, I'd recommend considering...

... forgiveness. 

Who is it that you've been harbouring a grudge for?  Who have you been secretly (or not so secretly) feeling bitter or resentful toward?

Anger and resentment are heavy, heavy loads.  We might feel we're punishing the person we're upset with, but we neglect to realize that we're really the ones paying a price.  Carrying the stories we've invested our self-righteousness into is a lot of work and takes a lot of energy.  These stories create blocks in our flow of prana as well, and over time this emotional resentment can literally threaten our physical well-being.

In the name of healing, letting go, and forgiveness, I'd like to share a few key points to consider around the release of the heavy burdens of anger and resentment.

1) We can forgive without receiving an apology.

If you're holding out to hear the words, "I'm sorry," consider they might never come.  Consider that either the person you're upset with has no idea, or they just aren't at the point where they're willing to let go of their version of the story.  Ask yourself whether you might be able to speak your truth in a compassionate way to this person.  Beyond that, you cannot control the way another person is thinking or what they are feeling.  You are only responsible for the way you interpret, your choices in thought or how you behave.  In other words, you do you.  Is it worth carrying this anger if you might never receive an apology?  Or can you let it go and give yourself freedom despite what the other person chooses to think or do?

2) Forgiveness is not the condoning of a behaviour or act.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you accept being mistreated or invite more of the same mistreatment.  It doesn't mean that you even necessarily invite the perpetrator of the mistreatment back into your life.  You need to consider whether or not this person is in a place where they're capable of cultivating a healthy relationship.  If they aren't, you can still release yourself from the prison of anger and hurt by forgiving and distancing yourself from future interactions.  Forgiveness is an act of love for yourself, just as much as it is an act of spiritual growth.  If you can see it in that light, it makes it easier to forgive someone who really and truly harmed you.

3) Anger is based on fear in the interpretations or stories of events.

Consider the story you're telling yourself.  Is it possible that your interpretation might be biased?  How might the other person be interpreting the event?  Again, this is not to say that you should walk back into a toxic or harmful relationship- but do be willing to consider that the other person is telling their own story out of fear.  We all have our own truths and interpretations, all coming from our own unique perspectives, biases, and pasts.  Peace comes when we remember that our story isn't necessarily the be all and end all.  If we can come from a place of empathy and compassion, we can more easily consider the other side of the story.

4) Anger toward someone else usually indicates that we're also holding onto some self-hatred.

Others act as a mirror for us.  What are we intolerant of?  Where can we consider our own actions or beliefs?  Etc, etc. If you are frustrated with someone else for behaving in a way that you consider to be inconsiderate, then perhaps you can examine where you might behave in a similar manner?  Where are you perhaps holding onto self-guilt or anger toward your own self?  It is amazing how once we forgive ourselves, we cease to be as hard on others.  Coming back to One-ness is so healing.

5) Sometimes repetition is key.

The Ego adores to hold onto old stories. Its survival techniques involve using fear. When we forgive from our Hearts, the Ego will resist.  If you find yourself coming back to the feelings of anger, simply let them go again.  It may take a few times of letting go of the habitual patterns of self-righteousness or anger before you find them eventually fading from your thoughts.

6) You don't have to know the "how."

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming attempting to understand "how" you'll ever forgive someone for wronging you and hurting you so badly.  The beauty of the gift of forgiveness- the gift we give to both ourselves and the other person- is that we don't always have to know "how."  We just have to be willing.  When we set the intention and open our hearts to possibility, it's pretty amazing how the Universe can deliver.

In a soon-to-be-released post, you'll find a guided meditation to aid you in letting go (or at the very least bringing to your awareness) any blockages of anger or guilt you've been clinging to.  In the meantime, I wish you much love on the journey of forgiveness.

Sat Nam.