“Beyond our ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.” – Rumi
How many times have you said, “I forgive you,” and actually felt the impact of these words?
I have experienced two memorable betrayals that could justifiably be deemed unforgivable. I knew intuitively that if I didn’t release that negative energy, I would carry it with me and hold a grudge. When I paid attention, I could feel its grip deep in my gut – it felt like I was tying knots over and over again and stuffing them into my heart to rot. After a while, it was more difficult to access true feelings such as empathy or love.
Finding a place of forgiveness can free yourself while attracting positive energy and there are steps you can take to find that forgiveness.
It’s all too simple to become a victim of an injustice and harbor anger or resentment. It is the easy way out. In truth, we can’t clear our own self-limiting perceptions until we release the hook that keeps us fixed in this place of blame. When we don’t want to look bad, get in trouble or let go of being right, we put ourselves in lockdown with an unwillingness to budge. We either truly learn to forgive or we live as our own internal prisoner. We get to choose the path we take: One leads to salvation and peace, the other to bitterness and contempt.
To learn about the effects of emotions on our bodies, check out The Hidden Messages of Water by Masaru Emoto. He studies how emotions change the molecular structure of water. Words like happiness and truth attached to a bottle of water form beautiful crystals. Words such as jealousy or anger form disjointed crystals. Since our bodies are made up of 90 percent water, imagine what is happening inside us when we are circulating negative sentiments.
You will know forgiveness when you feel compassion and are cultivating positive responses. It’s easy to say the words “I forgive you,” yet secretly have contrary notions and continue to cycle the story over and over in your mind. If this is the case you haven’t quite been successful in letting go. Take note of what you do with your thoughts before they spin on this hamster wheel.
In the first situation I mentioned, enough time went by that the knots just fell away. Unfortunately, I carried that burden for a long time because I didn’t have the skills I now have as a life coach. More recently, I took the opportunity to work with more awareness and intent around wanting to forgive and clearing my heart so I could integrate the experience into my life in a healthier way.
Here are some important components of forgiveness:
1. Give yourself space and remove yourself from the situation or person to gain new perspectives and insights. Spend time alone.
2. Create the intent to forgive. Remind yourself what your objective is and learn more about what forgiveness means. Ask others about their experience, Google it, read articles and watch for signs.
3. Be patient. This is a process and none of it will happen overnight. Trust that what you need will come your way, eventually.
4. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and learn about the specific circumstance, situation or condition. Ask them to describe their perspective in detail then listen, ask questions and be open to learning.
5. Find compassion. From here, feel into that person’s experience and perspective. Understand what it’s like to be in their situation.
6. Give respect. We are each on our own journey with our own unique understanding of the world. We are doing the best we can with the tools and awareness we each have.
7. Humility is important. Start to look at the role you played. Take responsibility for your piece of the drama and admit it’s possible you have not acted perfectly either.
8. Where is your “edge?” What are you comfortable with and what are you not? Note your differences and don’t judge them.
9. Take personal responsibility. Forgive yourself first and then forgive the other person. You are equally responsible no matter what.
10. Apologize. Tell this person you are sorry and if you can’t, tell the universe. All words are heard.
11. Find acceptance. We are imperfect, we make mistakes and we will have another chance to try again. Anything worth learning is gained through difficulty – it is only then we get to see who we really are.
How will you know when you reach a place of forgiveness? You will be happier, attract authentic relationships, have more energy and good things will come your way. You will travel lighter, feel peace and – most telling – the person in question will no longer be on your mind. You will be free.
Reynolds is a Certified Life Coach living in Ridgway. To learn more about one-on-one coaching, call 970/623-2442. Read more: kimreynoldslifecoach.com