Forgiveness. We often hear the word but kind of brush it aside. Yeah, yeah. We think: yes, of course. Forgiveness is a good thing to do, I do that.
But do we really?
We don't really like unpleasant feelings. And exploring the need to forgive often brings up some not-so-fun feelings that we often try to avoid. We don't want to think that we need to ask for forgiveness, forgive someone else, or, the most difficult task of all, forgive ourselves.
Why is this so important? Well, even though forgiving someone or asking forgiveness is just a good thing to do, it actually can have a large impact on our energetic selves.
There is much to be angry about these days. And even afraid of. But is that getting us to the place where we really yearn to be? Is it building toward a future we long for, or is it merely fighting against a future we fear?
When we hold onto emotions like anger, fear, guilt or resentment, we create stuck energy in our bodies. This might be on an individual level or on a collective level. How many of us are scared, and angry, about climate change? Or shocked and fearful about the current political climate in the U.S.? In our own lives, we may have lingering emotions from a person we interacted with, in a negative way, in our lives. Maybe we hurt them, even unintentionally, or maybe they hurt us.
In our own lives and on a global scale, we tend to want to avoid feelings we don't like. Instead of exploring them and working through them (which can take time.. and not many of us seem to have a lot of that!), we tend to file them away, hoping they will eventually disappear. But they don't. And over time, with enough of these interactions, we build up a store of gunky stuff in our bodies.
So we can make a choice. A simple choice that we are ready to move on. I recently offered a live guided meditation around the theme of Forgiveness which you can listen to at your leisure. Channeling our subconscious is an incredibly effective way to release the past (and you're invited to a Winter Solstice Meditation next week to let go of what you're carrying by candlelight). We can start by forgiving ourselves, first, since our external experience comes naturally as an extension of our internal experience. Then move on to forgiving another, releasing a long-held grudge or any false story that is no longer serving us (or the other person). Next, we may choose to reach out to the soul of another and ask for their forgiveness for a disservice we have done (directly or indirectly) to them. Sometimes asking for forgiveness means reaching out in reality to another, but sometimes it doesn't. Ask your inner self for guidance around what to do.
If you'd like to see what asking another forgiveness looks like on a larger scale, this video of veterans, led by Wes Clark, Jr., asking Elders at Standing Rock for forgiveness for the history of atrocities committed by the U.S. government against Native Americans will stir your soul. We may witness and hear about more moments like this in the coming months and years.
Forgiving ourselves and others is only one piece of the larger and ever-evolving puzzle in our quest to find what fulfills us. You might like this free virtual class I've just created, Becoming Who You're Meant to Be, coming up soon to explore how to move past stuck areas in our lives. Or something else I'm very excited about... an eight-week class (live and in person at Sage Wellness!) coming up next month for a deep dive into transforming your daily reality. (And if eating and drinking is up your alley, join me for a special Henna Chai event!)
"There is no love without forgiveness, and there is no forgiveness without love." - Bryant H. McGill