“I give myself permission to forgive him”, he said. Sitting right next to him, I could feel the emotion well up inside of him without ever looking in his direction. Sometimes the hardest part of doing what I do is letting the people I love have their own process without my sticking my fingers in it so I was careful about how my hands were positioned, not moving at all, and not letting the rate of even my breath change. I didn’t want to throw him out of his process.
“I never in my life thought I would say that”, he finished. My friend Amy was a great guide for him.
Later that evening as we were talking about his process, “I’m not ready to say it’s all ok. I’m not ready to just love him and let it all go”.
“Good”, I said. “No one said you had to be ready right now. But you gave yourself permission to consider that you might one day be ready, and that is super powerful.”
We let it go at that. He had given himself permission to consider forgiveness as an option, but more importantly to consider not forgiving, was holding him back inside of himself.
I talk a fair amount with my client about forgiveness.
I was raised Catholic and it seemed there was a belief that forgiveness was your job, even if you didn’t want to, and by not forgiving you were a bad person. Perhaps even worse of a person then the person who had wronged you. To me as an adult, I aligned it as similar to victim blaming. A belief that creates shame in the victim.
So I’ve considerably shifted my beliefs and values about forgiveness over the years, and currently hold more of a “you can if you want to” approach to forgiveness. Alongside that, I would offer the awareness that way too often we are holding fast to a hurt that the “perpetrator” (for lack of better word) isn’t holding onto. They are off somewhere living their lives without any awareness of us at all, or even, dead. We punish ourselves day to day, moment to moment, with that inner tape running, for something we know was not our fault. We hand on with an inner dialog that tells us we are punishing them, when in actuality, we are the only ones suffering.
The gift of forgiveness is not, hear me clearly, NOT about saying someone’s hurtful actions or words were ok. Not ok. All we’re saying in forgiveness is that the weight of it is too heavy to be worth carrying it around anymore. So we agree to set it on the ground, and wall away from it without concern or focus to see if anyone else comes by to pick it up. Nope. Done. Gone.
When we hold onto the hurt, it affects our inner perception of our own worth and value. Self love becomes more challenging, and when that is challenged our ability to be in love, or truth, or faith with others, or even our Source, becomes limited as well. I often tell my clients, “we create from the level of our limitations”. You can say all the positive affirmations, listen to all the motivational podcasts, follow the most successful influencers and copy their every move and habit, and still not create the life you want because your foot is nailed to the floor by your inner pain. Like it or not, it is the way it works. I sit with lots of highly successful people whose external life looks amazing, but inside…perhaps another story.
Forgiveness my friends is your life’s liberation. It is truly your recipe for success and freedom. You will absolutely craft more of what you desire and less of what you don’t as you allow yourself permission to forgive.
Giving yourself permission, just like my husband did, starts the process. By opening up the place of possibility within our unconscious mind, things begin to change even if we’re not ready. Ready simply means we’re going to engage in the process with intention. Opening up to permission to change, means we are allowing the inner workings to begin clearing a path on its own. Maybe we’ll do some work with it later, maybe we won’t need to. That always remains to be seen.
Say the words out loud, “I give myself permission to forgive __________”. It’s powerful, and it’s time. Time to lift your Spirit, raise your vibration and free yourself from the weight.
Forever the journey,