[1/17/22] Mind-Body Monday: Forgiveness (part 2)
Welcome, and thank you for joining me Casandra MacAlan here at Free the Wisdom to Heal the Body, for our next exploration about forgiveness. I must tell you that in preparation for this talk I decided that I needed more soul searching about my own areas of unforgiveness. I spent over an hour in meditation this morning trying to see the cause of one particularly stubborn connection with someone that I couldn’t seem to release. And, lest we think me a monk. I do not meditate for over an hour generally.
However, I was really struggling with some old painful thoughts and memories that seemed to be refusing to leave my mind, body and energy system. You may ask, why is this so important? Why should we seek and even struggle to let go of old pain? Why not just stuff it down instead of releasing, and hope that it removes itself instead?
Well, last week I shared with you my belief that unforgiveness contributes to illness. Like the allegory: “holding on to resentments, is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” It is the way we think we can punish someone else for our pain. However, righteous, or not, we are the only ones that suffer because of our refusal to release others from this valuable space in our minds.
Esther Hicks says, “Forgiveness is us feeling good anyway, regardless of what someone else says or does. We can’t make someone be different, just so we can feel different. In other words, no one is here on this earth to be responsible for our emotions or our emotional symptoms. They are here for their own reasons.
The great news is also that we are not here for anyone else either. We are here to discover the grandest and greatest version of ourselves. Forgiveness is about us finding the way to let the energy flow to US again, so it is not blocked by these memories, resentments, and grudges. It is saying to ourselves, “I am no longer going to use you and your actions as an excuse, not to love me.”
The Mayo Clinic says, “Letting go of grudges and bitterness makes way for improved health and peace of mind. In the words of Alexander Pope, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” It feels divine to stop holding on to resentments towards others, and most especially towards ourselves. They act like weights, that keep us from moving forward on our path. They slow not only our mental and emotional progression in life, but also often prevent us from achieving our goals. They do this by drawing our attention to the past. Spending time looking backwards is not time preparing and planning for where we want to go next. So, why do we do it?
Well, I believe that we ruminate on the past to remember our perceived failures or those of others. What we did or did not do. What we missed out on or what we regret we did, and/or how someone else harmed us in a way that becomes seemingly unforgivable. I believe we hold on to unforgiveness because we believe it keeps us from being hurt again. For instance, If I choose to mentally replay hurtful conversations that I had with a man that broke up with me, it is likely because I believe that in doing so, maybe I can somehow prevent anyone else from doing it to me again. Or if it does happen, then maybe I could prevent myself from suffering again.
Because, when something happens to us that we don’t appreciate or enjoy, our natural desire is to make sense of why it happened. This is often because, whether we realize it or not, we all are affected by a societal conditioning called, “Belief in A Just World”. It is the belief that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. It is the reason behind victim blaming. We need to find a reason why someone who has suffered was in some way culpable or deserving of that suffering. This keeps us from truly looking at the chaotic beauty that is life. From realizing that it doesn’t matter what we do. Sometimes bad people get rich and seemingly live a good life, and sometimes good people become ill and die. This “Belief in a Just World” doesn’t operate on the surface. Rather it operates in our subconscious as we seek to find ways to keep ourselves and those, we love safe. And as I spoke last week about “state vs trait”, the stories we tell ourselves most likely make us the victim and the other person the villain. So, if we combine these two unconsciously held belief systems, then we see that if something “bad” happens to us, it is either because we deserved it, or because the other person (or situation) was a “villain”. Thus, to forgive someone can feel like an acknowledgement of our own guilt and shame. As if we are forced to accept that we must have somehow deserved it. We are blind, foolish, allowed ourselves to be duped, mistreated, etc.. And there again we have a “reason” to hold on to our grudges. To prevent Us from making the same mistakes again. To protect us! But it doesn’t protect us. It just creates a lack of faith in us. Can you remember a time it felt like you first decided you were untrustworthy? I know I can. But it wasn’t true.
When it comes to the baggage that is made up of our own perceived failures, we must first realize that nothing that we did or did not do was a mistake. It was a part of our journey of life, our unique story that can only be written by us. Our own letter to God or the Universe that we write every day through our thoughts, words, and deeds. A story that says, “This. This is who I am.” Every act both positive and negative, was necessary… Essential if you will… to get us to the place we are today. Now, this doesn’t mean that it was all enjoyable or pleasant. It most certainly wasn’t. Life rarely is ALL enjoyment. Rather it is about learning and living and laughing and loving! (Creator knows, I do love a good alliteration).
Now, this doesn’t mean that knowing what we do now, (with hindsight being 20/20), that we wouldn’t want to do it differently. However, we must trust that we did the best we could at the time, given the situations we encountered.
Now, how do I know this, you ask? Well, because we’ve already done it!! If we were capable of doing something different, we would have done that! And we can’t successfully argue against the reality of the existence of our past actions. Lol. Nothing but shame is ever gained by saying, “I should have …”, and feeling bad that we didn’t. We need to stop expecting that who we were yesterday should have been able to make the decisions and actions that we would today. It’s unrealistic and unforgiving. This path of holding ourselves forever and unremittingly at fault will only lead us to further distrust the decisions we make today. This leads us to find more reasons to blame ourselves, and thus even more reasons to be unforgiving. Leaving us in pain. Which of course is the opposite of where we want to get to.
Now… it is understandable that we might wish that things were different today. We have the ability as a conscious being, to regret our decisions and believe that if we would have chosen differently, then ‘perhaps’ we would be in a better, happier, more affluent, etc., place today. However, we must also consider that a different choice would have likely led to a different outcome that would require choices of its own which could still have taken us down a path we could choose to regret. Thus, wishing and regretting for some perfect ‘present day’ that we have no idea whether we would be capable of achieving, is a waste of precious time, thought, effort and energy.
It fills our body and our being with resentments towards an innocent us of the past who was doing all it could in life to create the building blocks of who we are today. That shame, self-blame and guilt can quite literally weigh down the vibratory energy which are the building block(s) of dis-ease of the body and mind. Remember, “show me a body that harbors dis-ease and I will show you a body with unforgiveness.” If self-blame or resentment is an illness, forgiveness is its cure. Forgiveness of self and others…..
Please share this blog or my Youtube channel or FB Group, where you can watch me live every Monday, with anyone you know who is seeking freedom from mental, emotional and physical pain. You never know who might be helped until you offer. This is why I am here, offering you all my two decades of study and practice. To help people heal as I have. if you have specific personal questions, you can also schedule a free 30 minute Freedom From Pain session with me through the calendly link in scheduling.