- Self-Aware Saturday Mornings
- SAS #004: What Forgiveness Really Means
SAS #004: What Forgiveness Really Means
Read time: 3 minutes
If you learn the art of forgiving, you can heal relationships, get over heartache, clear your mind, and feel incredibly free.
Unfortunately, most people have false assumptions about forgiveness. It stops them from experiencing what they want: fun, love, and good time on Earth!
Are you going to spend your limited time here experiencing un-forgiveness?! Come on! What a waste!
So here’s the secret: Forgiveness does not mean giving up a part of yourself or condoning bad actions. It simply means to give back.
You give back the emotion. The emotion that stuck to you. From another person or situation.
When something ouch happens, you hold onto the memory. This includes the emotional charge of the experience.
Your feelings and memory of the experience come from how you reacted.
That could mean reacting to the loud emotions from another person, like getting tense from an angry teacher yelling, or from a very uncomfortable situation.
Regardless of how you remember it, the emotional memory sticks with you. And it leaves you feeling sad, angry, anxious, or a combination.
Once you forgive/give back the emotional charge, you will feel freedom from it.
Recognize the feeling of un-forgiveness and realize where it came from.
The hard part is being truthful and brave enough to see the answer and experience what comes after.
More intense situations require more practice and sometimes completely different techniques. But for many experiences, getting good at giving back the energy that was projected onto you is a great way to stay clean and clear.
Here are the other things people get wrong about forgiveness.
It means giving your power to someone else
Not forgiving someone will force them to change
Forgiving means you allow others to treat you badly
#1: Giving your power to someone else
The mistake is thinking forgiveness means giving a part of yourself away that is deeply you…rather than recognizing you are only giving away the part that is not you.
Don’t regard forgiveness as giving up anything important. You’re only giving up things that are not truly you.
#2: Holding onto un-forgiveness to teach someone a lesson
Not forgiving is a sort of grieving. You want to be at peace but are so hurt and don’t know how to resolve it. Holding onto un-forgiveness hurts. It clouds your judgement and it’s a bad way to get what you want.
Who holds onto pain to change someone? A person who wants to feel in control, but actually isn’t. If you want to feel in control of yourself give back the feeling that was sent your way.
#3: Allowing others to treat you badly
“If I forgive them, they will keep acting the same way.”
Forgiveness isn’t condoning. It’s learning from and diffusing negative emotions.
When you send the energy back where it came from you see things clearly. You note how people acted and use that information to make better decisions in the future.
The right type of forgiveness gives you freedom. It doesn’t take anything from you. It gives you peace of mind and clarity. Practice sending the energy of un-forgiving back to where it came.
Here’s the practice in more detail:
Notice the feeling of not forgiving someone/something. See if you can find where it's coming from in your body. It could be a tight chest, hot anger in your face, confusion in your head, or any other feeling.
Try to remember where it came from (a person, an experience, or even a thought).
Sense the exact place it came from in that experience.
Stay open to the experience and see if anything else comes up (often its seeing that person in a better light, or understanding a situation more clearly). If you got this far and can stay open, the feeling will often find its home and you will find resolution.
Notice if you feel lighter. You can keep repeating this practice to get better and better.
Don’t let bad experiences ruin your good time.
Practice the right kind of forgiveness.
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