We have been taught to believe that forgiveness is saying to the person that hurt us that what they did it is ok. I “forgive” you for hurting me. We are also taught that once we forgive we are supposed to then forget that the incident happened and everything is ok. The truth of forgiveness is the opposite of this belief.
When somebody does something “to” us and we are hurt, angry, etc. we feel it to the core of our being. We take it to places far beyond where we should because those feelings are so hurting and damaging. Being hurt to the core of our being like that goes very deep and starts to fester and can destroy us if we let it. But, let’s examine what being hurt so deeply really means. Somebody says or does something and we get hurt. “We” get hurt. Does it matter whether it is intentional or accidental? No. It just hurts and we want to feel better.
We think or say that that person needs to make up for it. They need to apologize, change their ways, pay up or do something in order for us to feel better. Basically, what has happened is that we feel less than, put down, and we want to feel better. When the other person(s) don’t do what we think they should do to make us feel better we get angry and the festering starts. We say, when they change I will feel better. Right? If they do this or that then I will feel better and then I can forgive them. Yes! Well, maybe some will change for us but on the most part that will happen when pigs fly.
Do we really want to wait until “they” change? And why should they?? Now wait a minute, don’t get mad yet. First of all, who are you responsible for? Just who do you really have the power to change? You and only you. When someone did/does or said/says something to you or about you and you become upset, who is responsible for reacting in a way that you become upset? You.
How much control do you have regarding what they said or did? None. You are not responsible for what they “did” to you any more than they are responsible for how you reacted. Now just think about this for a minute. We are only responsible for our perception of events not for the event itself. If you are a passenger in a car where the driver does something that causes an accident and you get injured you are not responsible for what the driver did, but you are responsible for what happens to you after the accident. This is a somewhat gruesome example but it explains it clearly as you happen to get hurt because of another’s actions.
Forgiveness is not saying I forgive you for what you did. You don’t have any control of what they did. Forgiveness is taking responsibility for your reaction to the incident. When you get your feelings hurt it is important to be able to get to the place to say to yourself, “I am really angry and hurt that you did this or that.” “Because of what you did/said I feel (you put your feelings here) and I don’t like that feeling.” You are not responsible for what that person did/said and trying to get them to admit it if they don’t, or to change so you can feel better is futile. All you can do is to admit that you feel really bad because of it and when you are able to change your perception from they did this to me and they are going to pay/change to they did this to me and my reaction is inappropriate for my well being/happiness. I will let it go.
Once you can get to that point it is easy to let go of the incident and the person(s) responsible so you decide where you want to go with it. Does that mean that you are saying that what they did is ok? No. Does it mean that forgiveness means you need to continue to be treated that way again? No. Does it mean that forgiveness means you will forget about it or will never get mad about it again? No. Forgiveness is how you deal with the memory when it does come up again. Forgiveness is being able to look at it when it comes back and feel the anger, pain, etc., etc. and deciding it isn’t worth your while to go back into that darkness and stay there.
Forgiveness is being able to look at that darkness and saying and thinking – I am ok. I am only responsible for changing how I look at this and how much of it I want to hang on to or do I want to let it go. You cannot change them and what they did. You can only change your perception of what happened and not hang on to it. Does it hurt? Yes. Is it possible to change your perception of the memory? Yes. Is it easy? No. It takes time and forgiveness of yourself for hanging on to the pain instead of understanding the reason. We hang on to it because we cannot express the truth of the reason for the pain to the person responsible. Once we can express it to ourselves and if possible the person who hurt us it is much easier to let go of it. The secret is – the ability to detach from the incident and to look at it differently. To be able to change it from they did this to me to they did this and I reacted this way. Change your reaction and you change the perception of the incident.
You can free yourself when you can see the other person as the loving individual God/Spirit/? intended her/him to be before they got beaten down by life. See that person as an infant being held in loving arms – innocent. A being brought here as absolute love and light. See the light of the infant being held in love envelope the entire scape and let it cover you as well. See the love of the innocence and delight of babies and send that love and light to the person who has hurt you. Whether they did it intentionally or unintentionally is not important. Your happiness lies in the light and love you receive and share with all who surround you. Love and light to you my dear. You too are an innocent being held in arms of love. Share it with others, especially to those whoyou feel have hurt you.