Three Steps to Forgiveness

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?”

Step 1- You’re Never Upset For The Reason You Think

Our current upsets are simply our old thoughts and memories that are stored deep in the ‘basement’ of our psyche. And if we can learn to release them we can choose a life of peace, happiness and joy instead of suffering.

When “Something Happens” it triggers those old memories and feelings. 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. The reason we struggle is because those old beliefs, memories and feelings come flooding back and take over our psyche.

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.

While this step does not resolve the problem, it at least leads us closer to its resolution.

Step 2- The Power of Choice

The second step entails our understanding that what we made up about ourselves, 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 and peace becomes impossible. There is no way we can hold to this view of ourselves and at the same time feel loving and connected. Love must then wait behind the veils of guilt and hate, just as peace cannot be experienced where there is fear and conflict.

The power to choose determines the world we see, what glasses we choose to wear, and the relationships we have and the success we experience. Your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and behaviours are all the result of the choices you make. In other words, you determine the experience through the choices you make.

 

Step 3

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, but rather of ourselves, and that we now can look at this differently.

In the first step we let go of our past, 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

Being Who We are Meant to be Takes Practice

If we look at our life, very simply, in a straightforward way, we see that it is marked with frustration and pain. This is because we are attempting to secure our relationship with the “world out there”.

For the most part we are just trying to be “Cool” and be someone or something we’re not, in order to get approval or to “Keep up with the Jones” all as an attempt to fit in.

As children, we learned from a young age to seek approval from our parents for the things we said or did in order to feel loved. This is because our need for love and connection is fundamental to our development. However, things happen and there is no way our parents or caregivers can attend to our every need, which ultimately will lead to some sort of upset and wounding. We become conditioned over time to continue to try and get now what we didn’t get then and we seek approval from others or through anxiety binding behaviours as a way to fill these wounds. Whenever we don’t receive approval from someone, we then feel that original wounding (not fun) and there is an automatic trigger or desire to fill it and fix it.

So, when we get met with ridicule or rejection, it can undermine our view of ourselves and we internalize this kind of negative feedback. We then begin to doubt our own personal worth because it’s touching on that original upset.

Still, there are ways out of these patterns.

For instance, learning to just stop and feel what is actually going on in our bodies so we can learn to hear what it’s actually needing to heal. Also when you act or speak in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, stop and acknowledge it. When you work hard on a project or goal, find a way to reward yourself. It is not egotistical to give yourself acknowledgment. Share what you are doing well with others you trust. The greatest healing will always happen in relationship with others, because that is where our original pain stem from.

The reality is, we are affected by our external environment, so as hard as we try not to embody rejection as a reflection of who we are, it does happen. That is why it is so important to practice self-love and compassion, regardless of what occurs outside of ourselves.

And this takes practice.