For most of my life, I had a very different definition of Forgiveness than the one I understand and apply today. While I knew it was important to forgive, I told myself, "I might forgive you, but I’m never going to forget it because holding onto that memory will keep me safe going forward.”
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The only thing that holds a memory in place is a charged emotional energy; be it positive or negative. Simple, mundane events that happen in our lives are not stored in our minds for long because they just aren’t “memorable.”
It takes some kind of anchoring emotion to hold the experience in our minds. That’s great if it was a positive event since it gives us a happy memory.
But if it was a negative event and we hold onto that memory with a highly charged emotion such as rage, hurt, fear, embarrassment or shame and we do not release those emotions, they stay within us and continue to attract similar experiences until we finally release them.
When we accept and embrace the concept of ourselves as spiritual beings of energy, we also start to realize what we have been doing since birth is processing energy through our own unique perspective. We stop waiting for other people to change how they respond to us and we awaken to the fact that when we change, our world changes.
We also realize how emotional energies are processed (or not) in families are patterns handed from generation to generation until someone awakens enough to break the pattern.
Our country has generational emotional scars that have been passed down for hundreds of years due to injustices inflicted on our ancestors.
One specific real-world example is the descendants of people who were brought to this country in chains to be utilized as slaves. The culture of the societies they came from was largely lost due to the inhumane treatment they received and the shock of having to adapt to the environments to which they were subjected. Even after these people were granted freedom, the behaviors they encountered continued and to an extent still occur today.
The larger scars from how they were treated were often passed down generationally to how they unconsciously parented their own children and the lengths they went to in order to repress, minimize, avoid or deny the pain they carried.
What I am suggesting here is what would happen if people who still carried these emotional patterns employed the type of forgiveness I am sharing here?
This definition of Forgiveness does not say that what happened was acceptable; but that we no longer choose to carry this pain and continue to relive the same types of experiences again and again. We are no longer waiting for others to change so that we feel better. We are going to change. We are deciding to heal because we are choosing Empowerment.
When we truly understand and accept that we are the ones holding onto these emotional scars and that by letting this energy go, it is actually an act of self-protection, the healing will create miracles we could never have imagined.
The emotional pain we carry within us not only creates the mask through which we experience the world, but it also creates the reflection of how the world reacts to us, so when we change that energetic formula, there is an energetic result as well.
There are many examples both in this country and throughout the world to which this concept can be applied. The key is to embrace a new concept of Forgiveness and employ it both individually and collectively as a transformative approach to healing that could dramatically change the path of history in our lifetime.
As I have learned by applying this in my own life, it can have miraculous effects when we realize how harmful it has been to hold onto our pain from the past, but also that the only person that can heal me…is me.
Accepting that nothing changes permanently in your world…until you change is your first step to living an Empowered Life. When you choose to forgive anyone and everyone who has ever hurt you because you no longer want to experience the reflections of those energies, you take a huge leap forward and a whole new world you can’t even imagine yet opens up for you.
Now open your journal and write about a recurring situation. When was the first time you can remember feeling this way? Write about that experience and who was the person you experienced this with?
Sometimes we feel like we can’t or shouldn’t feel this way towards our parents or caretakers because of the sacrifices they made for us. But we must again realize that if the first time we experienced this situation was with our parents, then we need to forgive them to let this energy go.
There are literally dozens of guided forgiveness and emotional healing exercises on YouTube. While I have my favorites, I encourage you to find one that works for you before you delve too deeply into your journaling on this topic since it may bring up a lot of heavy emotions and it will help you to have a resource readily available when you do.
The exercise I use is called “Riding the Wave” on Yoga for Emotional Flow by Stephen Cope. It’s available on Amazon.
Find what works best for you and try different exercises until you find something that really helps you open up and help you to peel away the layers of your pain a little at a time.
Realize that for deep pains, you likely will have to do this several times because pain is often layered and the first layer may be something like Fear, the next layer may be Anger, the next – Hurt and the next again a layer of Fear. It may be many more than that, but for me, if I can identify what I am feeling, I can give myself permission to just feel it, breathe into it and let it go.