The Power of Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a tricky subject. Most people avoid discussing it let alone undertake the acts to forgive in life, but it is an important aspect of wellbeing. The emotional pain the body stores when it needs to forgive manifests into many physical issues and dis-ease. I cannot attest to the science of this, but there is growing discussion around the act of forgiveness curing cancer*.
Why is my shoulder connecting me to forgiveness?
For me, my dodgy (three dislocations) left shoulder flared up one morning for no apparent reason. I did a great deal of energy healing and physical rehab training, but it continued bother me for two months. As I enjoy my change of life and this new opportunity to reset, remove and release old patterns I am discovering I need to forgive, a lot.
Forgiveness can be a challenge for many as our Western society where values the rational mind and thought set limiting beliefs based on an objective judgemental attitude. An attitude of judgment always seeks out the negative through apparent improvement, perfection and conditions.
The result is we live in a society that considers punishment and limited resources is the answer. We place self-imposed standards of expected behaviours that are hard to ever meet and so we feel like constant failures.
I loved being a lawyer because it allowed a place for my perfectionism and problem-solving abilities to shine. It also perpetuated a self-righteous, resentful aspect of my character as I balanced my hard-nosed work with people-pleasing.
The heart and throat chakras are deeply connected to the expression of love. The shoulder spans these two chakras and where in your body the pain resides is telling you the aspects of your self-work. I knew instantly that my pain was about forgiveness and receiving love.
I have made many decisions from previous conditions, such as fear of future lack, and lessons have appeared quickly to remind me of my self-work yet to be accomplished. How do I move forward and clear this past? Law of Attraction is a positive thinking method that has transformed my life over the last 3 years.
Become Unlimited with Forgiveness
A key step to Law of Attraction is the letting go of limitations to allow the ‘impossible’ to arise. I cannot welcome the abundant and limitless opportunity of my life if I have not forgiven myself for my old way of life, completely. I see how easily I slip into those old thought patterns and I must forgive, forgive and forgive.
Many systems of recovery and rehabilitation use forgiveness as a key step – forgive others for harm that they have done to you, forgive yourself for harm you have done to others, and forgive yourself for the harm that you have done to yourself.
I decided to approach various key people throughout my life about forgiveness in their relationship with me. I recognise that especially when I was depressed I could be cold and judgmental, so I asked them what I had done to harm them the most, had they forgiven me and why had they forgiven me. The responses were varied and interesting.
What struck me most was the need to allocate blame or opening something painful that should be buried away. That “something had robbed” me of my responsibility not to harm another person when depressed. In all the responses the moments of harm were perspectives I had not foreseen. The unfolding of events from a perspective that missed elements of my pain that led me to behave in a hurtful way. Some responses made me cry, others laugh and a few triggered deep hurt inside me for why I had acted that way to harm another.
I do not believe that I am ever excused for my behaviour. I am always responsible for my thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviour. Excuses disempower me and make me the victim of self-sabotage. Depression is a horrible illness but the behaviour that arises from it is never excusable. Illness never gives you the right to be a harmful person, but it gives you the right to get selfish and focus on your healing journey that aligns to your values, gifts and serving the world to your best.
Why forgive then?
Because our society is highly judgmental. It is engrained in us to judge ourselves, others and wonder what everyone is judging us for. It is hard to be free to be uniquely individual when trying to comply with other’s expectations.
1. Forgiveness is needed because we place expectations on others to meet our inner criteria. What we want from them. But maybe it’s not best for them to meet that expectation?
2. Forgiveness is required because we judge ourselves against other’s expectations for us and ourselves. To meet approval of others. But maybe that is not best for me?
3. Forgiveness is necessary when we do not have full unconditional love and acceptance of someone for who they are.
How to forgive?
There are various methods to approach forgiveness, but I like these tools that empower me and remove the ‘victim’ feeling:
1. Remember that you have a choice about how you react.
2. Be aware of the negative emotions and feelings that arise in the body when reliving the situation, you are the only one reliving the situation.
3. How long you choose to hold onto the grief only affects you, so it is your choice.
4. Do not take offense in the first place – my self-interest is not someone else’s self-interest, so we may not meet in the middle and this is nothing to be upset about.
This brings to a wonderful response I received - so perfect and heartfelt she used the approach of Eckhart Tolle’s ‘Pain Body’.
1. At the time my pain was ….
2. Your action/ words ….[explain] had this impact on me…[explain]
3. I could not ....[do/say/other]
4. I think you were trying this ….[offer alternatives for actions that are not excuses]
5. But it felt to me like this…
6. I know that you were doing your best but it was not what I needed at that time. We were both doing our best at that time.
Often contact with others is an important part of the process because it brings up more that needs to be forgiven that what we can do alone. It can reconnect important relationships or allow peaceful endings.
How is my shoulder? Slowly easing. Not everyone I contacted responded and I understand that their pain cannot face this exchange at this time. I send them love for what I did and what they did to me too. Each day my work is to forgive myself of my old ways and embrace unconditional love for myself.
Forgiveness really it is the acceptance of someone through eyes of love. It is why unconditional love is the most powerful tool for forgiveness. Because it removes blame, excuses or judgments. There are no conditions or limits placed in our connection so it can be profound and deep. It acknowledges that we are perfect as we are in the very moment.
Many of us struggle with finding unconditional love, so forgiveness is a great step on the path. It really helps to have someone not connected to the life stories to be beside you as you process the forgiveness and welcome unconditional love, mostly of yourself. Law of Attraction is one of the many tools to make powerful shifts that we can support you with.
Find out more about other ways that we can help you reveal your unconditional love for yourself and others, or work with Nid on Law of Attraction to discover your unlimited power.
*STUDIES ABOUT FORGIVENESS BENEFITTING WELLBEING
**Article summarising contribution of anger to deficient immune system response in illness https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_connections/forgiveness-your-health-depends-on-it