Are You Confused About Forgiveness?
by Paige Bartholomew
What even IS forgiveness, anyway? People are confused. I was confused.
“Forgive your father. Forgive the terrorists. Forgive yourself.” Those are nice thoughts.
Forgiveness heals. It changes a YOU and the person who done you wrong. Forgiveness is the act of applying love to a person who has lost his or her alignment with Love. Forgiveness is the most masterful thing a human being can do within relationship.
Forgiving Someone We Like: Loving someone I like is easy. They may have a fault or two that irk me. They may make mistakes sometimes, but it feels comfortable to give them leeway. “He had good intentions. He was trying to do the right thing. We all miss the mark sometimes. I can move past this. I know he’s basically a good person.”
Forgiving Someone We Do Not Like: This is harder. The person may have abused me. They may have seemed to do it on purpose. It might have been heinous. It doesn’t feel comfortable to let them get away with it. Forgiving someone we are angry with, or who may have hurt us is more complex because it’s actually a three step process instead of just one, like the example above. When we do our work to forgive someone who has hurt us, we have to take a preliminary step before we forgive: we have to protect ourselves.
Steps for forgiving someone who has hurt you:
1) Protect yourself. Set a boundary. Do not allow them to hurt you again.
2) Once you are safe, it’s time to forgive. Open your heart. Picture that person as a small, lonely, wounded child. Think these words, “You behaved very badly. Your actions hurt me. What you did is not OK to do again, and I will not allow it. But I know you did this out of a wound. I sense that you are lost, broken, and hurting inside, otherwise you would not have hurt me the way you did.”
3) Administer Love. “Instead of punishing you, I give you love. Instead of pushing you away, I will see if it is safe to bring you nearer. Instead of holding a grudge, I give you the gift of starting fresh.” Seeing my perpetrator as a hurting person ignites empathy. I realize they are not that different from me. I, too, have the capacity to lose my mind and lash out when I’m in deep pain. It’s harder to hate someone when we feel empathy toward them.
Yourself: This can be a tough one because the person I am angry with, and the person who is angry is the same person – ME! We get stuck in self-judgment. We can’t let ourselves off the hook. Maybe we betrayed our own integrity. Maybe we betrayed someone we love. We think we are bad and we don’t know how to get over it.
Steps for self-forgiveness:
1) Close your eyes and imagine you are two: one of you is your childhood self, the other of you is your higher self. See how innocent that child is? If she did do something wrong – she didn’t do it on purpose! Her intentions were pure. She is beautiful. Sweet. Loveable. In your higher self, go to her and hug her. Give her some of the love she never had. Drink it in for a while.
2) Wipe that slate and start again. Close your eyes and imagine you are two: one of you is the higher self, and the other of you is the one who did something you’re not proud of.
From your higher self, look upon that unforgiveable person. Ask yourself, “What motivated the unsavory behavior? Did it come out of a deep wound? Did it come out of loneliness? Depression? Despair? What would have made me behave in this way?” Find a reason. If you can’t find one, make one up (this will help you get closer). There is ALWAYS a reason we do what we do. When we behave badly, it is ALWAYS originating from an inner place of confusion, hurt, or despair.
3) Love yourself. From your higher self perspective, open your heart. Go to the “bad” part of you and hug her. Imagine love pouring out of your heart and showering her with it. You may imagine that she resists it. That’s ok – stay with it anyway. Shower love. Say, “You made a mistake, but I know that you are good in your core. The mistake can be repaired. Love will show you how to make repair with those whom you have wronged. I give you the gift now of release. You may start anew here.” Let the love seep into the places that you cannot forgive in yourself. Let it wash you. If you stay with it, it will change these places… you’ll feel and visualize shifts happening right before your inner eyes. Let the sighs come. Let the ease come. Feel the pressure lift.
4) Do this every day until you can see yourself differently.
5) If possible, repair damage with people you have hurt. Make amends. That’s all that’s required. If you are sincere, they will know, and you will know. Constant and repeated penance is not necessary.
To forgive is to LOVE.
Paige Bartholomew a licensed therapist and certified hypnotist, specializing in New Paradigm Heart Technologies for transforming the self. A student of the Law of One, a teacher of A Course In Miracles, and a Sufi Master Teacher, Paige can show you how to live from an entirely new paradigm of love. Make the shift you've been longing for and start living the peace and certainty that is the True You. “Join Paige’s Love Revolution on "FACEBOOK”. www.paigebartholomew.com Articles written by Paige Bartholomew were published on Awakening People with the author's her explicit written permission.
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