Why should we forgive those who have caused us harm? Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to forgive. What if that person isn’t even sorry? What if they are still continuing to do harm? In these cases, it would maybe seem like they don’t even deserve our forgiveness. So who pays the price when we refuse to forgive? Is it that person who we feel justified to condemn? Are they living everyday with the repercussions of their own actions? Yes, because we all are. But are they feeling what we want them to feel about the situation because we haven’t forgiven them yet? Probably not. In fact I’d wager that over 90% of the time, the people we aren’t forgiving don’t even notice the resentments we choose to hold on to. They are most likely just off living their lives. We really don’t have control of other people’s feelings. We only get to control our own feelings.
So here’s the deal with choosing not to forgive: It’s the same as choosing to hold onto anger, and pain, and the suffering that was caused by these reprehensible actions. Maybe you weren’t the one who brought these feelings to life, but now you are the one feeding them and allowing them to survive.
You know how you can tell that you need to forgive someone? You search your emotions for any memory that you can call into your mind that is still emotionally charged, meaning it flares you up inside as you recall the details. Your body becomes filled with difficult emotions, similar if not identical to the emotions you had during the incident, and your mind becomes loud with an angry or sorrowful narrative. Meanwhile in reality, you are 100% safely away from that situation, and it’s over. But here you sit, still flooding your senses with unpleasantness every time you rehash the situation. For me, that is the red flag that I have some forgiving to do, because when you are keeping these emotionally charged memories alive inside of you, they can continue to influence you. They influence your choices, perhaps by holding you back from taking on exciting new challenges. They influence your opinions of other people, possibly causing you to misjudge. They influence your mood, because it traps negative energy that can seep out onto other areas of our lives. It disrupts our connection to Spirit, because Spirit is love and lack of forgiveness lives in the critical mind where love does not reign. And it even influences our physical health!
Watch this week’s episode for some rather shocking studies done to analyze the physical effects on the body from holding onto negative energy. The findings really knocked me for a loop! I also want to talk to you more about some baby step techniques that really help with releasing these old hurts and choosing forgiveness, not as a favor to those who have wronged us— But as a gift we are giving ourselves, because we are no longer willing to pay so high a price from choosing not to forgive. As always, the really cool exercises I have for you are gentle, effective, and are meant to be taken in baby steps that accumulate quickly.
Sometimes it can feel like holding onto resentment is the same as holding up a protective shield that will keep anything like that from happening again. Sometimes we are afraid to forgive, because we don’t want to just fall right back into the same trap again. It might feel comforting to hold onto that anger, but it certainly isn’t protecting us from anything. In the Universe, the Law of Becoming states that we become what we focus on. When the Universe observes us pulsing out feelings of intense anger, betrayal, and unhappiness, it provides us opportunities to continue on the path of anger, betrayal and unhappiness. The Universe says, “Yes!”
I want you to say “Yes!” to your own emotional well-being, yes to your own happiness, yes to your own freedom and future success. That is why it is so important to talk about rooting out those old lingering resentments, and using loving techniques to let them go, and find forgiveness. Let’s clear our channels of all the feelings that we don’t want the Universe to recreate for us, so that Spirit can flow freely in our lives and we can create new and exciting possibilities for ourselves.
I love having you as part of the Soul Manifesto community, and I’m excited for you and your journey toward becoming more free, more expressive, more enthusiastic, more joyful and more authentically you!