Like many I was brought up with a belief that it was necessary to forgive others who I perceived created trauma, heartbreak, grief etc., for me and were hurtful and/or abusive towards me. There were many to forgive in my life and I saw the only way to find peace and acceptance within myself was to do the inner work, feel the pain, shock, trauma etc., and to literally “let it go” and in doing so forgiveness came.
Letting go doesn’t appear to me to occur just in the mind by thinking you should let it go or trying not to think about it, if something is coming into your mind it does so for a reason and for myself letting go only occurs with releasing the energy of whatever emotions have been stored within the body and subconscious from the experience that haven’t yet been fully felt. This combined with “Forgive them for they know not what they do”, which had been drummed into my head as a child, all worked fine and dandy until recently.
There is much written about the necessity of forgiveness and for a while I saw forgiveness as being for giving to self and others. That worked too for me but as we are all works in progress “stuff” comes up and into our awareness and we also gain more insight and understanding as “time” goes on, becoming more and more conscious. Things we may have thought 10 – 20 years ago for example no longer apply to so many of us for we are forever evolving and learning. For myself I’ve always been learning, growing and changing and may I never stop doing so. Much I was sharing some 20 years ago with folk, who thought I was nuts, is now very common to read or over hear being said.
An event had occurred in my life way back that bubbled up emotionally yet again for me to explore. Of all the events in my life I would have to say that this particular one has had the greatest impact on my life and my heart since it occurred. Many say the past is in the past so just move on, forget about it, let it go, that whatever just wasn’t meant to be and I have always struggled with that concept particularly around this specific incident for I am very aware that past, present and future all exist in now and that the energy of what we label past has a huge impact on ever so many of us.
If it didn’t cultural traditions for better and sometimes yes for worse would not be handed down, people would no longer re-act to things others say and do, there would be no need for “protection” by way of the military or arms and so it goes on. How often for example does it occur that we have a gut re-action of anxiety, fear, defensiveness or attack, which is purely based on a past experience that is merely being triggered by a present situation?
This particular event in my life is one that wounded my heart very, very deeply. It is not something I will ever forget. It has been something that I have just had to learn to live with and allow the grief to surface and be released as and when it needs to be and so as I found myself re-visiting it yet again, as we do when something is so traumatic and overwhelming that to process it all in one hit is just way too much to cope with, I had the thought and feeling that I needed to forgive behaviour which I found totally manipulative and one of the worst behaviours imaginable to me. Forgiveness had come easily with ever so many folk yet with this particular event I was struggling big time.
I could see the gifts that had been received from the event as my journey through life would never have been what it was if things had of been different and there were ever so many gifts and so much to be grateful for. Yet forgiveness just was not coming and I started beating myself up about it not coming. Dreams were indicating that something really yuck and awful was on its way out and physically I became ill for two weeks with flu like symptoms as I was processing it all. My bones ached to the very core of them and I just had to shut down and off to sleep, dream and rest my body.
I then stumbled across a poster that Mena of Mena Canonico DARE to be REAL had shared on Facebook and it was along the lines of there being no need for forgiveness unless we see ourselves as a victim. A light bulb went on for me in the moment of reading that poster and the truth tingles ran rapidly through my body. I was SO delighted to have this come my way as it made perfect sense to me of why I had not for a second been able to feel forgiveness towards others who had created so much grief for me and for another, with their manipulative lies. It was indeed to my heart and head an unforgiveable act of manipulation and certainly not something I would or will ever forget or forgive.
It did however send me off on a tangent at a young age that without the gift of it I never would have taken. I could clearly see that at a Soul level if you like my path was just meant to be what it was and that these particular people had played their roles beautifully in ensuring I stay on track in order to achieve what I was here to do for myself in terms of healing and learning so that ultimately I could provide a safe, nurturing, validating and sacred space for others to explore themselves in.
Mena’s poster was a life changer for me because it is so very true that when we can see the lessons and gifts, can feel gratitude for all we have experienced and do experience, the good, the bad and the ugly, we gain acceptance and peace and we learn that truly there is nothing to forgive ourselves or anyone else for when you know with every cell of your being that you are NOT a victim, that you chose at some part of you to experience what you did and do experience for your own growth and learning.
This then led to another conversation with a longstanding and very dear friend about blame and judgement and we concluded for now that those too are all part of the Victim mentality. Of things being done “to” us rather than us taking responsibility for our part in the experience and seeing that nothing is ever done “to” us without our consent and permission at some level for we do indeed choose to participate in whatever we experience for our own development and evolution.
There is also much talk about forgiving yourself – for what exactly? For learning, for growing, for becoming the person you have become or are still becoming due to your lessons and experiences? What is there really to forgive yourself for? Why not just work on loving and being proud of yourself instead for being so brave and courageous to choose to experience ever so much that we all do here to ourselves and others, usually in ignorance, in this physical world.
Copyright – C. O’Connor 2015.
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