The process of forgiveness essentially consists of three steps that lead us from our ego back to love and our higher self.
Most of us grew up believing that you forgave by overlooking something that we believe actually happened and by doing so we would see the error that someone has made and attempt to overlook and forget about it.
When in fact we need to recognize that it is our thoughts about the situation that we need to forgive. What we made up about ourselves because of it.
You see we give everything the meaning it has for us, and therefore it is our interpretation of any situation that needs to be forgiven. So, it’s all about having ‘a little willingness’ to look at our unconscious, limiting thoughts, feelings and beliefs in order to release them.
If it’s true that “We are all Spiritual beings having a Human experience”, then whatever happened or happens to us in our lives on a form level can’t actually hurt us in anyway. It’s not to say that the behavior or event didn’t happen, but what we believed about ourselves as a result of it did not. Our true self, our spirit, was never hurt or damaged or wounded in any way.
“Well that’s all fine and great!” you say, “But how?”
The first step entails the recognition that what we have attacked and judged against in another is what we have condemned in ourselves. That means we need to take a nice big bite of humble pie. Not an easy thing to do for sure.
You see the ego’s job is to divert our attention away from ourselves and, by convincing us that it is not inside us, we devote our attention to correcting the problem where it is not. All projection has this as its aim: to be a distraction or smokescreen so that we may never look within to where the problem truly is. What the ego does not reveal, of course, is that beyond this smokescreen lays our connection to our higher self, which is always with us. While this step does not resolve the problem, it at least leads us closer to its resolution.
The second step entails our understanding that what we made up about ourselves, too, represents a decision, and one that can now be changed. It comes from a mistaken belief about who we are, and correction is the key to our healing. This shift is not something we can do by ourselves, but it must be something we want. Choice is our most powerful tool.
As long as we continue to believe that there is something inherently wrong with us, experiencing love becomes impossible. There is no way we can hold to this ego view of ourselves and at the same time feel loving and connected to our higher self. Love must then wait behind the veils of guilt and hate, just as peace cannot be experienced where there is fear and conflict.
If we’ve actually accomplished both steps 1 and 2 then the door to step 3 naturally opens. Letting Love in is quite possibly one of the most terrifying steps for most. It means we must release all control and surrender completely to it.
The fact remains that if we could undo all the negative beliefs we held about ourselves we wouldn’t need to forgive. We would know that we are whole and complete no matter what. So we learn to forgive rather than condemn, and to see that nothing has been done to us because we, in fact, have done this to ourselves. We realize that we are not the victims of the world we, but rather of ourselves, and that we now can look at this differently.
In the fist step we forgive the other, the second we forgive ourselves, which then opens the way for our anger and guilt to be replaced by Love, the final step in forgiveness.
Craig Wanless, RPC