“It’s easy to forgive people who have never done anything to make us angry. People who make us angry, however, are our most important teachers. They indicate the limits to our capacity for forgiveness. The decision to let go our grievances against other people is the decision to see ourselves as we truly are, because any darkness we let blind us to another’s perfection also blinds us to our own.” – A return to Love, Marianne Williamson
Ah forgiveness, something most of us seem to think we are perfectly capable of giving, until of course that moment, situation, person or drama unfolds where we are hurt, angry, offended and being tested so hard that it feels as though between the chatter of our ego and the brick in our stomach the last thing we could possibly do is to treat that source of hurt with love.
But what if we were to look at forgiveness in a completely different light? What if we were to use forgiveness as a tool to not only help heal another but ourselves as well? What if we could finally truly, deeply see that forgiveness is the key to liberation like we have never yet experienced?
“When someone has behaved unlovingly – when they yell at us or lie about us, or steal from us – they have lost touch with their essence. They have forgotten who they are. But everything that someone does, says the course, is either love or a call for love. If someone treats us with love, then of course love is the appropriate response. If they treat us with fear, we are to see their behavior as a call for Love.”- A return to Love, Marianne Williamson
I, like many, tend to find it quite difficult from time to time, to truly, deeply, forgive others. It seems to stem from this notion of ‘they can’t get away with that!’ or ‘they need to take responsibility for their actions!’ or ‘that was so wrong and hurtful, I know I am right!’. But the truth is, holding on to thoughts like these, shaking our heads or pointing our fingers, only fuels the fire of fear, if we approach an unloving situation with the same unloving energy that created it, we’re only creating more of it.
Now does this mean that we lose all standards in the way we treat each other? That everyone can just run around being mean, hurtful and cruel because ‘oh well, they’re hurt so it’s all good’? Of course not! We need always take responsibility for our actions, that is part of the healing process, however, there are different ways to approach taking that responsibility.
We can choose to approach with condemnation or compassion. We hold the power to shift any situation for the better, we hold the power as a collective to help each other heal from our mess-ups rather than be villainized for it. Attacking back will only create more of the mess you started with, and eventually, that sh*t will boomerang right back to you, it always does. A never-ending cycle of hurt and fear. A war no one will win.
I once heard someone say, “hurt people hurt people” and it created such an impact and ‘aha!’ moment. It rang through me in such a stunning way. When someone acts unlovingly, they are acting out fear, out of hurt, out of their own sorrow. This notion created a massive shift which I try to hold on to when I find myself in an unloving situation.
“What we think of as people’s guilt is their fear. All negativity derives from fear. When someone is angry, they are afraid. When someone is rude, they are afraid. When someone is manipulative, they are afraid. When someone is cruel, they are afraid. There is no fear that love does not dissolve. There is no negativity that forgiveness does not transform.” – A return to Love, Marianne Williamson
When we choose to treat someone who has hurt us, with compassion, honesty, and forgiveness, we create space and opportunity for healing. For both parties. We are more likely to shift that person into a space where they are opened up to correction, where they may understand their own hurt, where they may learn from it, heal and soften. Instead of reciprocating the attack, creating defensiveness, and continuing that painful cycle for all involved.
Think about it, when you come at someone with an attack, or even become defensive yourself, they are more likely to put up their guard and shut down, but if you were too step back, and approach the situation with honesty and compassion, they are more likely to be receptive of that information and find correction within their behaviour. Ultimately it’s always a cry for love.
This doesn’t mean that this person is to maintain an active role in our lives, that is completely up to you, but it does mean that we create the space for ourselves to re-establish balance to our own inner peace, and to be able to move on from the massive web of hurt.
But how do we possibly make that first step to truly forgiving? By sitting with the hurt, the anger, and the sadness, by feeling it in every bone of our bodies first, by allowing ourselves permission to feel what it is we need to feel, no matter how ugly it may seem. By writing that letter we may never give, by writing that email we may never send, by simply (though not so simply) giving ourselves the space to release that energy from our bodies and from our hearts first.
Bringing back ease into our system, physically, energetically and emotionally. And then igniting the process of connecting to our own inner guidance system. Trusting that intuition on how to move forward. Knowing that love always leads.
Now I know, how beautiful all this seems in theory, and how much of a pain in the ass it can be to put into practice. But isn’t that what ‘practice’ is all about? We keep making that effort, keep making that commitment, and eventually, when it finally does work, it’s growth and magic in the most stunning way. If you ask me, it is well worth the practice.
Love & Light,