Forgiveness is one of the major causes of the lack of being present in the experience of love. It is difficult for me to witness how much more painful life can be when forgiveness is not readily accessible for people. Believe me, I do understand how hard it can be to forgive, because it often feels as though it involves swallowing your pride. I believe when people truly forgive, then they also forget. Of course, the actual transgression itself isn’t wiped from memory. To me, what’s forgotten is the repercussions of whatever event you have to forgive; the forgetting comes when you free yourself from the circumstances. When you are free yourself from circumstance, you can then live on the stories of your life, rather than in your stories. When you live within your stories, you are limited by your circumstances. When you live on your stories, you are set free from parameters and can live in peace. It is in this place of peace, that you can make a difference in the lives of others through your stories. And, it is truly a place of loving empowerment.
We have all heard that forgiveness is for you, the person doing the forgiving, and not for the other person. Forgiveness is for the purpose of setting you – the forgiver – free. For me though, it is truly for both parties. When forgiveness is at large, life just works. However, when forgiveness is withheld, life is a bitter struggle. You are robbed of your spiritedness, your alive-ness. You cannot expect to be present for the anger, fear, and resentment associated with a lack of forgiveness, and also be present for own experience of love simultaneously. It is a choice of one or the other. It is probably a far reach for me to ask you to love the person you cannot forgive – though I feel that is also vital – but that’s a topic for another day. I am only asking that you realize your ability to be present to love for anyone, including yourself, is not possible in the moments you are engaging in the power of non-forgiveness. Here’s a little exercise to expose just how toxic it is to withhold forgiveness:
Step 1: Make a list of all of the people/events in your life that you haven’t truly forgiven, and set them free from your own heart. You will know when you have truly set these people/events free when you can be around the same person(s) without passing judgment.
Step 2: Determine how much time you will dedicate to thinking about the person/incident.
Step 3: Now, notice how you cannot be present to love for yourself or anyone when your heart and mind are preoccupied with the resentment.
Step 4: Finally, notice what it would be like to have that amount of time in your life with love being present in your mind and heart. Imagine how much more time in your life you would have with love being the focus.
The cost of doing anything but being present for love is far too great! For most of us, it’s years of love that we have lost, because instead we chose to harbor non-forgiveness. It is true that what happened was real, you did not imagine your list of events or people who have cause you pain. But, choosing to be trapped in it is coming from you, and it’s due to your withholding of forgiveness. You are carrying the pain further and further along with you, it is not because of what occurred, it’s from your lack of forgiveness. So, I leave you with this question: “What would it look like for you to be all-forgiving?”
I leave you with the thought. What could your life be like if you were free? It is possible in ALL CIRCUMSTANCES? I know, because I have had many places in my life where forgiveness was my only way out of the pain. I am present to love, and not to pain. I only wish the same for you!