Is Forgiving Forgetting?
Newsletter January 2006Is Forgiving Forgetting? Someone says or does something that hurts. It hurts you or someone you care about. Your anger surfaces.
Most people either become defensive and angry or grow quiet while smoldering or crying inside. That’s a natural reaction.The Four Agreements would counsel us to avoid taking these actions and words seriously. Such good advice, but sometimes so hard to do!
Why is it so hard to keep from jumping into the pit of anger? Why is forgiving another so difficult?
In this time of great change, our challenge is to bring the wisdom of our beingness into our every conscious moment. In other words, reprogramming human reactions is a high priority. Reprogramming the mind to remember there is a divine presence here is the order of the day. It is time for the first reaction to come from the divine side of us instead of the human side.Recently I saw a movie of women in a concentration camp during the holocaust. The SS guard was especially cruel. After one of his worst acts of cruelty, one woman looked at him with great compassion. Another woman asked how she could do that. She said that the worse people acted the more she seemed to feel sorry for them. Through her inner eyes she saw how afraid this guard was and how lost.
Humanity is at its worst when it has lost connection with its divine side. Those who would make others victims of their cruelty, however they express it, are the most lost. They have no idea that they are not alone. Survival and power over others so they can be top dog and be safe is all they know. But, are we any different in our reactions? Are we not also responding out of survival?Let’s reframe forgiving. It is the act of deciding that you are unwilling to hold onto anger, frustration, revenge, and a need for the other person to say he is sorry. You are not agreeing with the action. You are simply choosing to step out of the arena. If one person lets go of the end of the rubber band, there is no more tension.
Since our responses are so much part of us, it either takes great inner will or help from our divine side to make the change. Visualization is my most effective tool. Remember, it feels like you are making up the scenario because you are. As the great creator that you are, every imagined scene is as real as your next word or action. I imagine that the Spirit of Love comes to me, dissolving all the feelings I have held onto. The Spirit of Love might be a cloud of energy or a smiling angel or a great light. That doesn’t matter. It is my intention to invite this Spirit to be present that matters. Another time I might imagine I have placed all of my unwanted emotions in a bag that I hand off to the angels asking them to take the bag into the light or into the arms of Love. So long as I am ready to let go, the result is amazing! If I am not ready, then I first ask for help to be ready.Sometimes it is helpful to realize that strong emotional reactions come because there is woundedness within us that is triggered by the current situation. If I experience harsh words from someone and I react to them, there is a vulnerable part of me that is still feeling hurt about something that happened earlier in my life or in a past life. Otherwise, I would simply experience the energy, noticing how strong it is, while wondering what is up with the other person.
Some years ago my extended family had gathered for Thanksgiving dinner. As we were about to say grace, I suggested that we might all say something we were grateful for. My Dad, who has since passed, responded angrily as if I had said something out of place. My immediate reaction was “I wonder what’s going on with him.” In the past I would have been angry and hurt, wanting him to apologize to me. None of that surfaced in me. I was amazed. It was proof positive to me that the vulnerable part of me had healed. I just sat there without anger, but with a kind of surprised compassion. I said nothing. Very shortly Dad did apologize to me!This is how I understand the process of forgiveness.
May you choose the freedom of forgiveness and the compassion of discernment.Blessings on your journey,
Copyright Arlene Arnold 2006 (Feel free to send to others when information is included about where it came from. Thank you)
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