Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past ~ Lama Surya Das
Being unjustly blamed, punished for something you didn’t do, cheated on in a relationship, robbed, or suffering abuse of any kind are just a few experiences in a long list of life moments that can invite you down the path of forgiveness. These experiences are not limited to external sources of injustice either. You can just as easily do harm to yourself in the form of negative self-talk, constant self-criticism, incessant feelings of self-doubt that inflict damage you need to forgive.
Whether external or internal, betrayal, abuse and physical, emotional or mental attacks can cause hurt, pain, and suffering that lasts for years. You can find yourself shadow boxing with these events from the past that have caused you to build up meaning, stories and beliefs around what happened to you. This preoccupation not only changes you but it also ultimately harms you.
Forgiveness is a conscious choice to let go of the story you have made up about a past painful experience. It is not about forgetting the transgression or denying its affect on you. Instead, it is about unhooking from the energy drain that holds on to the grudge or filters other experiences through the lens of that hurtful event. It is also about taking responsibility for your part in the event (childhood abuse excepted) and accepting it as an opportunity for growth.
The process of forgiving another or yourself takes time. Yet it is the way of healing and moving on with your life in a healthy and emotionally intelligent way. It is important to give time for forgiveness to work within you. It is a process after all which means you may need to revisit aspects of healing as you move through its layers.
Here are three suggestions of actions you can take to help you let go of the burden you have carried:
When we investigate the stressful thoughts that cause suffering, our minds open and then our hearts. When we don’t shut down we find that life is love. Without forgetting or denying the reality of what happened, an abuse victim can recover her integrity as a person who can bring joy to herself and others. ~ Byron Katie
Feel free to share your thoughts about managing chaos in your life and be sure to visit www.johnstamoulos.com to find out more about the healing power of your breath through the powerful process of Breathwork.