You need to learn what are the benefits of Forgiving Them. We know that everyone makes mistakes, but for some reason, we tend to take exception when it comes from our own sweet selves. Everything you’ve ever done, no matter how foolish, selfish, or mean it was, had some kind of motivation. I mean, unless you’re a sociopath, you’re not going to just go around hurting people for the fun of it.
There is always a reason. Usually, it’s to somehow help you feel better, or at the very least, help you feel less pain. Just like the people who have hurt you had a reason, and I’m not saying it was right or fair, but just maybe it deserves forgiveness.
Reasons For Forgiving Them
Bullies were bullied, haters were hated. We treat people the way we were treated, that is until we wake up and realize the cycle stops when we say it does. Remember, when we forgive, we’re not endorsing bad behavior; we’re just stopping the bleeding of our own wounds. The longer we harbor hatred, directed inwardly or outwardly, the more energy we drain from our dreams and from our higher selves.
I have found that many people find it easier to forgive the big whoppers of wounds easier than the day to day hiccups that hurl themselves at us when we least expect it. It may be from people we love, work with, or who check us out at the grocery store. Anyone anywhere can say the wrong thing, give the wrong look, or not comply with your best intentions or requests. This is the tricky thing about life; we can feel all full of ourselves when we forgive the bad guy, but then the neighbor asks us to trim our tree and all hell breaks loose.
Back to biology, we can recall that anytime our brain senses a threat, our whole body slips into survival mode faster than you can run for cover or grab the chain saw. A snarky remark from an in-law at Thanksgiving dinner can have your system flooded with cortisol way before desert. But here’s the thing about our brains. They have reasons for what seems to be them deceiving our bodies into fight or flight.
If the snide remark from an in-law reminded you (even if unconsciously) of the time your mother said your sister was always smarter than you, then it’s only natural your body is going to go back to the actual instance with mom and sis. As far as your protective brain is concerned, you just got rejected by your most important care taker and that rejection certainly warrants a 5-alarm alert.
I teach communication courses for a university and I always tread tip-toe-light when it comes to this topic of triggers. People generally don’t seem to grasp or accept the idea that maybe it’s not the other person who pissed him off, but rather, the other person who helped trigger an emotional sore spot that’s been there all along. Taking radical responsibility for our triggers is key to what I teach. The thought-spiral is the hardest to break when we’re spinning in survival mode.
Someone hits a trigger and you spend the rest of the day and half of the night re-thinking, re-living, re-evaluating it. This kind of crazy-making keeps us stuck in survival and scarcity mode. We cannot create our dreams and live with open, giving hearts when we’re using our essential energy to ward off imaginary attacks in make-believe wars.
Part of living a fully forgiving life has to do with acceptance, like in the Serenity Prayer. Acceptance of what you can’t change is like a wheelbarrow load of stress being lifted from your body. A delayed flight is a pain in the ass; a long line is irritating; a big tax bill can be deflating, but what we have to ask ourselves is if it can’t be changed then what’s throwing a fit going to do about it anyway? Allowing ourselves to get all worked up over what is has a very clever way of keeping it in place. I once read that the martial art of Akido practices non-resistance.
I’m no black belt, but the idea is to go with the force so that it doesn’t slam straight against you. There is so much wisdom in non-resistance. I’m clearly not saying we should lay down and let people walk all over us, or even accept bad conditions if we’re able to instigate positive change, but rather, that most people waste ample amounts of time complaining and grumbling about what is instead of looking for what could be better.
A lot of us carry resentment over our own jealousy or intentionally snide or harmful remarks or actions. This too requires forgiveness. Even if someone is clearly being an out and out asshole, it’s an asshole that you’re empowering energetically if you hang on to the harm you think they’ve caused you. Resentment causes cancer and other diseases because it’s an ulcer in our aura. It eats away at our soul, and eventually our physical body too. May as well drink a pound of poison than walk around resenting other people.
Not only will the culprits not be killed from your lethal dose, they will likely not even be aware you’re choking. We tend to judge those we are jealous of most harshly. We may not even consider it jealousy, but envy is a wide net. Thinking or saying things like, must be nice to marry well, or sure, she has a great body, she’s never had kids, or even, if I had all that money, I’d be more generous. Those are all resentful sentiments that take you farther from your core; from who you are in your highest self.
Release the bitter pill of envy by recognizing the universe is showing you what’s possible if you’ll only open up to it. In fact, the stronger the emotion triggered by what someone else has that you want, the more certain you are meant to have it, if you’ll only get into the alignment of making it so. You can only do this by applauding and appreciating the success and joy of others. The opposite is nothing less than spiritual suicide. Be happy for people who are doing well, release all forms of resentment, and forgive yourself and others. It’s the only way to truly thrive and open your heart to more giving.
One of our main challenges in life is becoming more aware. To notice the moment when an emotion sweeps us out to sea and to make the conscious choice to let the feelings arise and then dissipate. Dr. Jill Bolte says that the feelings of a negative emotion only last 90 seconds, yet most of us choose to nurse the hell out of them and just continue riding that wave. Maybe it makes us feel more alive to be angry, rant on social media, convene with others over how terrible things are; yet no good can come from that.
Forgiving others doesn’t mean you need to kiss and make up or take them for drinks. Actually, forgiveness is more for you than it ever is for anyone else. Whatever spiritual real estate you’re giving away to someone who has hurt you, is space that’s void of love. Releasing hate, anger, resentment, and even regret or sadness aimed at yourself or someone else will free space for your soul to come shining through. While I cannot blame my grandfather for never being able to forgive himself, I pray for the family involved in that tragic loss and hope that somehow, some way, their sorrow has subsided and that all their souls are healed.
Ultimately, we are response-able for how we choose to hold on or let go of hard feelings. Forgiveness can unlock the door to emotional healing and conscious creation can push that sucker wide open.
Excerpt from Mind Over Matter, Going From Surviving to Thriving by Tamara Dorris