Forgive And Forget?
“Forgive and forget, let bygones be bygones”. Have you ever talked with someone who felt betrayed? Let’s face it, the emotions we are capable of wrapping around our thoughts can be intense. For some people, suggesting that they forgive and forget can be the straw that broke the camels back. Once we have our mind made up about something perceived to be a wrongdoing, the ongoing energy can be like a forcefield, intended to keep the deed from happening again.
What are the roadblocks in letting go and shifting into forgiveness?
- Grievance: When I look at the definition of grievance, it is a saddening, indeed. One of the definitions is “The act of inflicting hardship or harm”. There are those who would consciously choose to do harm to another, for whatever reason they have chosen to be their truth. But there are also countless times when something happens that is outside the realm of good intent. There are times when no ill-will was meant. Circumstances can play a part in how events are perceived, causing something that was intended to be a good thing to take a wrong turn. Grievance is a powerful force, consuming your energy and separating you from the creative dynamics we create when we work together.
- Guilt: Oh, the power of guilt. Guilt is a double edge sword, often doing more harm than good. The amazing thing is that guilt is often felt most deeply by those who hold the strongest love, and give whole-heartedly to others. Will they ever learn? Let’s hope not, for those individuals are a gift to us all. How do we deal with this force called guilt?
- Punishment: Punishment has been a leader in the world of guilt. I remember many years ago hearing someone say, “you’re going to be blamed for a while now, and you’re just going to have to live with it”. Immediately I could see the energy surrounding her statement. The person being “blamed”, working hard to be in good grace, was outside the circle of blame, replaced instead with an empty target wearing their face. There was no reality involved relating to what that person did, would do, or consciously contributed. Punishment can really be an excuse that others use to avoid looking at reality or their own actions.
Coming to terms
Should you forgive those who have “done you wrong”? Should others forgive you for decisions you may have made while under duress or misunderstanding? The answer is never an easy one, it is personal in every respect.
One if the strongholds of guilt focuses on taking responsibility, and yes, I think we all agree that we should all be responsible for our actions. But isn’t forgiving also a responsible choice that can be made?
To Forgive is Divine
It’s said in the most well known of christian prayers, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation.” Who’s responsibility is it to forgive? It’s a two way street. What about the temptation part? Where does the responsibility lie when it comes to temptation?
What do you really want?
What do you really want? There are times when the emotions are so intense that it’s not the time to ask this question. What do people say about this? “You’ve got to let things cool down.” We do have a choice in how we release those intense emotions. Blame, hate, and grievances are harsh energies, never allowing anyone to feel “at home”. The tendency is to get them out of your own “space”, consciously or unconsciously. Where does that energy go? Is it projected toward those believed to be at fault? Just those words, “at fault” describe a weakness. How are we helping the situation by piling harmful energies on someone who’s already dealing with a weakness?
Consider the outcome. What do you really want? Do you wish that what happened never happened? Doesn’t that say that you, and others, want to restore the peace, love, and feeling of connectivity? To restore our happiness means letting go of the harsh feelings. It does not mean overlooking intentional actions meant to cause others harm, or turning the other cheek just to be slapped once again. We all have situations we can and should grow from, and we all have the choice to live for the convenience of the moment, or to live from our heart.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
~ 1 Samuel 16:7.
We see life through our own eyes, and at times attach ourselves to a “truth” that is a partial truth or perception. Our “truth” never stands alone, either. The moment our truth is created it is surrounded by anything that supports it. The “support” that gives credibility to this newly created “truth” can come from past experiences that have nothing to do with the present moment. Our “truth” can even be one or more unspoken pieces that allow us to cast the spotlight on something other than ourselves and our contribution to “the truth”. On many occasions, as I look at the energies involved in a conflict, I have seen “the truth” being used as a convenient way to step away from our own inner conflict. It may be easier to blame someone else, or use them, but what do we gain? What we avoid in ourselves often comes back into our lives, even if the names and faces change. Our “outward appearance” is not always who we are, and can easily be a shadow cast by something we’re holding on to. How do you want to live, how do you want to be treated? By your outward appearance, or by your heart?
What does it mean to live from your heart? It means letting the core of your existence speak, not from emotions or ego, and not from your head, but from the centered, purposeful part of you that is stronger than any circumstances we can create.
© 2014 Estee Taschereau. About the author: My greatest love is assisting others shift into the comfort of acceptance and appreciation. This relational, open-hearted energy carries into my many interests: photography, symbiotic gardening, long walks, and enjoying nature. Ready for a shift in your own world? Sessions available by appt.
Image credit: The Penitent Magdalene by Guido Reni (1575–1642). According to Christian tradition, after meeting Christ, Mary Magdalene repented of her former sinful ways.