forgiveness Nov 04, 2016
The darkness seems to be surrounding us – mass shootings, police brutality, retaliation attacks, war. It’s everywhere and it seems to be increasing every day, but why?
Many people feel helpless as all the events of the past couple weeks have unfolded. We hold our hearts. We cry. We scream. We beat our fists. And we ask, Why? And How do we stop it? Can it be stopped? Is too late? I will not believe it is too late.
I believe that we can turn the corner on this, but we must start to dig into why we are here in the first place. Going out and fighting is not going to solve this. Blaming each other is not going to solve this. Causing more separation, hate, frustration, resentment, and fear is not going to solve this. We need to do something different because obviously what we have been doing thus far is not working.
We the people in this country must start to look at this in a new way. We must acknowledge where this is all coming from and start tending to our festering wounds. With every event, the wound just gets more and more infected. Placing a little cream and a band-aide on it is not going to help that wound heal. We need to dig deeper into its source and then talk about the F word no one wants to talk about - Forgiveness.
The wounds of war, murder, hate, separation, and difference of opinion whether based on religion, culture, or upbringing – must start to heal now – if we are ever to see the world that our heart longs to have. We are all connected and we all have a piece in this. Not one of us is saved from these wounds. Your wounds are my wounds. We must come together to allow the process of forgiveness to begin to allow our wounds to start to heal. Only then can we start to unconditionally love each other for who we really are instead of seeing our wounds reflected back to us in everything that might look somewhat like it.
Your past – this lifetime and your parents/grandparents/great grandparents and so on are all part of you – and in turn are part of your festering wounds. These wounds contain the pain of the civil war, slavery, the holocaust, World War I & II, Vietnam, the wars between colonists and Indians, the heritage and wounds that were brought to this country when your family immigrated here. Your family may have come here to escape a government of limits, poverty, civil war, and persecution for their religious beliefs. All these things add up over time and many of us now have feelings of resentment or misgivings that we cannot place because we didn’t actually live it but one of our ancestor did. So now we carry the emotional scars and the burden of it.
We cannot continue to pile on the load – if we do, more and more people may start doing more irrational things. So what do we do – acknowledging that we all have a hand in this is number 1. None of us our separate from this and we must all heal our wounds starting now – time is of the essence.
Healing our wounds means we must forgive our ancestor’s past hurts and current past hurts. For some of us that may mean forgiving those that took part in 9/11, and those that we fought against in Vietnam. The combination of history’s that need to be forgiven will be different for each of us because while we all took part in the same history – we all played different roles. This does not mean that you need to do this alone – we all need to do it – it's just your experience of it will be different, but the outcome will be the same.
Now many of us our holding on to misgivings and grudges because somehow we think that by doing so we are harming those that have hurt us and If we let our grudges go, we would let them off the hook. But how does holding on to that grudge affect you, your life, and your festering wound? Does it make your life better, or worse? Does it limit you? Does it affect your decisions? Does it keep you stuck in an unbreakable pattern? If so, it is worth it? Is it worth it to hold on to it and basically put your own life on hold?
The idea of forgiveness just seems unfair to others. Why do I have to forgive them – I did nothing wrong? They should say I am sorry to me. Forgiveness and saying sorry are not the same thing. Saying sorry admits guilt where forgiveness is about letting go of the emotional charge the situation or event has over you. The idea is to let go of the feelings of it so that when you think about it you do not have to relive it emotionally again and again. Do not wait for someone to say sorry, instead take control of it – offer forgiveness and let go of the hold it has over you. Waiting for someone to say sorry allows them to hold your emotional state in their hands – do not give them that power – forgive and kick it to the curb.
While for others they think that by forgiving that they will forget. But that is not what forgiveness is about. You will never forget. It is part of your history, the countries, or the world’s. It’s already recorded and noted. Forgiving those involved, and the situation, does not take an eraser to the history books. Instead it just allows us to learn from it and move forward – staying stuck in the past will not help us. Through all of this I want you to remember that you may have inherited many of these wounds from your parents and grandparent’s. If they had a chance to heal some of their wounds, would you have wanted them to so that you would not have to carry this burden as well? You have a choice now in this moment in time – to make a decision to prevent the same thing from being passed on your own children. Do you want them to live with these same wounds or do you want them to be able to live in a better and happier world? By you healing your wounds, you will help heal theirs.
Forgiveness is tough. It is vulnerable. It’s personnel. It means that we all need to take responsibility for it. There is no more room for scapegoats. We must start to acknowledged those that wronged us, judged us, limited us and hurt us. We must allow ourselves to feel into it and let go of the emotion of it, and then offer forgiveness to it.
We all have a choice in this – we can continue the status quo or we can work to change by healing our wounds by starting to work through the process of forgiveness. How you do this is up to you. Maybe your religion teaches forgiveness and it is time to reconnect to that. If this is your means, please do not just go through the motions of it – that is not enough. You must feel into the hurt and the pain and allow your healing process to whisk it away and replace it with either a feeling of neutrality or love for those involved. If you still do not feel this after doing the forgiveness work – you must redo it until you can honestly say from your heart that it no longer has a hold over you.
What are you going to choose to do – keep band-aiding your festering wounds or start the healing process of forgiveness?