Moving Into Forgiveness
This blog post is developed from a recent episode of the the Rich Ideas Radio show: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/richideas
There are certain things that will block your dreams.
These are the things that are like dark clouds that blot out the sun. You know that the sun is there just behind the clouds, but you cannot see the sun in its full radiance or glory because the dark clouds obscure its light.
Unforgiveness is that cloud.
Forgiveness is not generally a popular subject!
However, If you've been stuck in limitation....you cannot get unstuck and start living your dreams, without the oil of forgiveness.
In case you thought differently, let me say:
"Forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for you!"
It's part of taking responsibility for how you show up in your life. It's part of self-care and self-love.
Here's another one of my favorite passages of scripture:
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified."—Isaiah 61:3.
For-give-ness = For
your old ashes; comprised of grudges, hatreds, bitterness and other toxic emotions. Should you choose what's behind door number one, you will be give
Beauty, also known as... peace of mind, joy, happiness and release from your own insanity!
Man! Who wouldn't want to trade ashes for beauty! What a deal!
And yet, it's amazing how hard we will fight to hang onto our useless old ashes!
Are you willing to put as much energy into being the person that you said you always wanted to be? This is a no-brainer!
Choosing to forgive is part of powerfully taking responsibility for how you show up in your life! Moving Towards and Into Forgiveness
Forgiveness can be simple, but for some of us...it ain't easy! I get that. Either way, I'm not mad if you choose to hang onto the ashes a little while longer!
Key things to remember for the purposes of this part of our journey: Forgiveness is a process
Sometimes it can happen instantaneously, but mostly it takes time and practice to make it permanent. Forgiveness is for you
Often the person we need most to forgive is ourselves. If you cannot extend this precious gift to yourself, you will find it hard if not impossible, to forgive others. No matter what the behavior, what is absolutely true about you is also absolutely true about the other person. They are still a spirit be-ing!
Yeah, even that guy that cut you off on the freeway while speeding, talking on his cell phone and still somehow managing to flip you a bird! In Forgiveness Rests Power
After a million years, my mother finally divorced my abusive stepfather. But, I stayed angry. I had a very distant relationship with my mother who I judged for not protecting me. My judgment of her...“She's a bad parent.”
I blamed my stepfather for everything that went wrong in my life. He was the reason why I wasn't able to be the person I always wanted to be. It was so easy to blame him. Then I didn't have to take any responsibility for my life. After all, who in their right mind could blame me? I was the innocent victim! Poor thing, no wonder she's not living up to her potential!
My victim-hood even had a name: “Incest Survivor”. And let me tell you! I wore it like a badge of honor. One little thing though... badges of honor can get real heavy after a while.
My life felt stagnated. I had all of this repressed rage. I was teaching about the power to heal and change your life, but I was not experiencing it fully for myself. Not because it wasn't available to me, but because I wasn't open to it.
About five years ago, I was introduced to a wonderful forum where I had the chance to create an opening. This allowed me to see the possibilities of living life without the label of “survivor”.
Inside that experience, I had a conversation with my mother and I was able to hear her say that she loved me for the first time since I was a little girl! Not because she had never said it to me before, but because I couldn't hear it.
I was too busy judging and blaming!
I also had a conversation about forgiveness with my stepfather, who I had not talked to in almost a decade.
Woooo! I cannot tell you what joy, freedom and peace became available to me in the moment I was able to give up those ashes! My life has never been the same!
One major lesson that I got was this: Everyone, no matter who they are, what they do or have done…is doing the best they can in the moment with what they are working with.
Choose to conduct your life like the statement I just made is true. The mercy and compassion you give your brother, is the compassion that becomes available to you.
Believe that God is present everywhere and in everyone. Then, forgiveness will become a practice that you will do with much more ease and grace.
You will be able to take things that happen far less personally.
You will detach from the toxic emotions that the pain of unforgiveness creates, choosing beauty over ashes naturally.
When I could see that my mother was doing the best she could, given her own pain and confusion, our relationship was healed and restored just like that!
I did not choose to pursue a relationship with my stepfather. Because I know that forgiveness does not mean that I have to be in relationship with the person I forgave. It just means, I let him off the emotional hook I had him on. He is no longer a member of my Blame Gang! I pray for him and do not fantasize about him being hit by a Mack truck anymore.
Does that old way of being start to creep back in? Sure. That's where you use the power of responsibility to choose to exercise the power of forgiveness in order to stay unstuck!
Do it day by day and moment by moment!
I had that badge of honor melted down into a lovely candy dish!
No way do I want those ashes back!
If you want more on forgiveness, Rev. Charlette Manning has some great books on the subject!
Remember our acronym for W.O.R.K.? W
illingness to O
pen and R
eveal our K
nowing. It's time to go to work!
Take a deep *breath and release it before you start!
Part 1 Answer the following questions:
1. Where and with whom in your life do you need to
do forgiveness work?
2. Are you wearing any badges? What label(s) have
you taken on?
Part 2 Read the whole thing through carefully before doing this portion of the exercise:
1. Close your eyes and use the power of
Imagination to have a conversation with yourself.
Imagine yourself in a safe, serene setting free
from anger, hurt or upset.
Imagine that you are a child that is speaking with
the adult you. Let the adult you offer your child-self
the gift of forgiveness.
Embrace and release your child self when you are
ready. Send your child-self love and light as you
watch him/her walk away.
2. Close your eyes and use the power of
imagination to have a conversation with others t
that you want to forgive. It does not matter whether
they are living or dead. Imagine yourself in a safe,
serene setting free from anger, hurt or upset. Say
what you need to say to them.
Forgive them, release them and bless them for
what they have taught you.
3. Notice any resistance that you feel during this
exercise and note where in your body you feel it.
Record it in your journal.
Do the last exercise over and over again as
needed. With each repetition, become clearer and
clearer about the W.O.W. (Words of Wisdom):
Everyone, no matter who they are, what they do or
have done…is doing the best they can in the
moment with what they are working with.