The Power of ForgivenessAug 04, 2022
It has only been through tough conversations and facing my past have I discovered true forgiveness and unconditional love.
Forgiveness is a tricky subject. Most people avoid discussing, it let alone undertaking the acts to forgive in life, but it is an important aspect of wellbeing. The emotional pain the body stores when it needs to forgive manifests into many physical issues and dis-ease. I cannot attest to the science of this, but there is growing discussion around the act of forgiveness curing cancer*.
Why is my shoulder connecting me to forgiveness?
For me, my dodgy (three dislocations) left shoulder flared up one morning for no apparent reason. I did a great deal of energy healing and physical rehab training, but it continued to bother me for two more months. As I enjoy my change of life and this new opportunity to reset, remove and release old patterns I am discovering I need to forgive…a lot.
Forgiveness can be a challenge for many as our Western society values the rational mind and thought set of limiting beliefs based on an objective judgemental attitude. An attitude of judgment always seeks out the negative through apparent improvement, perfection and conditions.
The result is that we live in a society that considers punishment and limited resources as the answer. We place self-imposed, hard-to-meet standards of expected behaviours, making us feel like constant failures.
I loved being a lawyer because it gave my perfectionism and problem-solving abilities permission to shine. It also perpetuated the self-righteous and resentful aspects of my character as I balanced my hard-nosed work with people-pleasing.
The heart and throat chakras are deeply connected to the expression of love. The shoulder spans these two chakras, and where in your body the pain resides is telling you the aspects of your self-work. I knew instantly that my pain was about forgiveness and receiving love.
I have made many decisions from previous conditions, such as fear of future lack, and lessons have appeared quickly to remind me of my self-work yet to be accomplished. How do I move forward and clear this past? Law of Attraction is a positive thinking method that has transformed my life over the last 3 years.
Become Unlimited with Forgiveness
A key step to the Law of Attraction is letting go of limitations to allow the ‘impossible’ to arise. I cannot welcome the abundant and limitless opportunities of my life if I haven’t completely forgiven myself for my old way of life. I see how easily I slip into those old thought patterns and I must forgive, forgive and forgive.
Many systems of recovery and rehabilitation use forgiveness as a key step – forgive others for harm that they have done to you, forgive yourself for the harm you have done to others, and forgive yourself for the harm that you have done to yourself.
With this in mind, I decided to speak to various key people throughout my life about forgiveness in their relationship with me. I recognise that, especially when I was depressed, I could be cold and judgmental, so I asked them what was the most harmful thing I had done to them, had they forgiven me, and why they had decided to forgive me. The responses were varied and interesting.
What struck me most was the need to allocate blame or open something painful that should be buried away. That “something had robbed” me of my responsibility not to harm another person when depressed. In all the responses, the moments of harm were perspectives I had not foreseen. The unfolding of events from a perspective that missed elements of my pain led me to behave in a hurtful way. Some responses made me cry, others laugh and a few triggered deep hurt inside me for why I had acted that way to harm another.
I don’t believe that I’m ever excused for my behaviour. I’m always responsible for my thoughts, actions, emotions and behaviour. Excuses disempower me and make me the victim of self-sabotage. Depression is a horrible illness, but the behaviour that arises from it is never excusable. Illness never gives you the right to be a harmful person, but it gives you the right to get selfish and focus on your healing journey that aligns with your values, gifts and serving the world to your best.
Why forgive then?
Because our society is highly judgmental. It’s ingrained in us to judge ourselves and others, and wonder what everyone else is judging about us. It’s hard to be free and uniquely individual when trying to comply with others’ expectations.
- Forgiveness is needed because we place expectations on others to meet our inner criteria. What we want from them. But maybe it’s not best for them to meet that expectation?
- Forgiveness is required because we judge ourselves against others’ expectations of us and ourselves. To meet the approval of others. But maybe that is not best for me?
- Forgiveness is necessary when we do not have full unconditional love and acceptance of someone for who they are.
How to forgive?
There are various methods to approach forgiveness, but I like these tools that empower me and remove the ‘victim’ feeling:
- Remember that you have a choice about how you react.
- Be aware of the negative emotions and feelings that arise in the body when reliving the situation, you are the only one reliving the situation.
- How long you choose to hold onto the grief only affects you, so it is your choice.
- Do not take offence in the first place – my self-interest is not someone else’s self-interest. So we may not meet in the middle and this is nothing to be upset about.
This brings to a wonderful response I received - so perfect and heartfelt she used the approach of Eckhart Tolle’s ‘Pain Body’. By simply moving through these steps and consciously facing the pain you were feeling at a particular moment:
- At the time my pain was ….
- Your action/ words ….[explain] had this impact on me…[explain]
- I could not ....[do/say/other]
- I think you were trying this ….[offer alternatives for actions that are not excuses]
- But it felt to me like this…
- I know that you were doing your best but it was not what I needed at that time. We were both doing our best at that time.
Often contact with others is an important part of the process because it brings up more that needs to be forgiven than what we can do alone. It can reconnect important relationships or allow peaceful endings.
Forgiveness really is the acceptance of someone through the eyes of love. It is why unconditional love is the most powerful tool for forgiveness. Because it removes blame, excuses or judgments. There are no conditions or limits placed on our connection so it can be profound and deep. It acknowledges that we are perfect as we are in the very moment.
Many of us struggle with finding unconditional love, so forgiveness is a great step on the path. It really helps to have someone not connected to the life stories to be beside you as you process the forgiveness and welcome unconditional love, mostly of yourself. Law of Attraction is one of the many tools to make powerful shifts that we can support you with.
How is my shoulder? Slowly easing. Not everyone I contacted responded and I understand that their pain cannot face this exchange at this time. I send them a love for what I did and what they did to me too. Each day my work is to forgive myself of my old ways and embrace unconditional love for myself.
If you’re ready to dive deep and unpeel the layers to discover true forgiveness and unconditional love, have a look at the Luminous Life course which will explore The Law of Attraction and more to create these powerful shifts!
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