Do You Forgive?
This month has been a powerful one for me. It began with an interview with Eric Altman and continued with our support group calls and another interview with Jean Adrienne. The topic was around ‘forgiveness’! I know that for most people ‘forgiveness’ is just a mental exercise, similar to prayers and affirmations. We just go through the exercise of saying I forgive you, I forgive myself … or do the Ho’oponopono (I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I love you, Thank you). Many people realize that mentally, as in just saying the words, isn’t enough and so they try to bring it into their hearts. This is where true ‘forgiveness’ lies. However, there is one more layer of ‘forgiveness’ – beyond the mind and beyond the heart – and that is bringing ‘forgiveness’ into our guts. This is how we can truly ‘forgive’ someone.
The role of our ‘gut brain’ is to ‘protect’ us. It is all about survival. And our ‘gut brain’ informs us, if we are willing to listen, as to what is safe, and our ‘heart brain’ tells us what is to be trusted. When we can’t forgive, we aren’t trusting! And when we aren’t trusting we don’t feel ‘safe’. Our lack of trust, which is accompanied by the feeling of being unsafe, is a deep issue with most of us and it runs to the root of our survival. It runs so deep that we tend to expect that this is our natural state. And this is not a feeling just for us as individuals. Our collective unconscious promotes that this – wherever we are – isn’t a ‘safe’ place. The major religions suggest that we were thrown out of the ‘Garden’. Our trust issues run as deep as not being able to forgive or trust God as a result! And THAT being the case, we will obviously have trust issues and will not feel safe.
Since ‘forgiveness’ is directly related to trust and trust is directly related to the feeling of safety, which is directly related to the role of our gut brain, we aren’t forgiving anyone because we don’t trust anyone – including ourselves. And how could we? We don’t even trust God. Therefore, one of our first goals is to address all areas where we don’t trust and can begin to feel safe. Then we can forgive ourselves, others, and even the Divine/Source.
Personally, the need to forgive myself is a big issue and it seems to be based on the unconscious beliefs that: I don’t trust the Divine Guidance within my life; I am alone; I have to have some control over my life; I don’t trust ‘Source’ to do what is needed for me; and I know better than ‘Source/God’! Can you see this as arrogance? (I will be writing a follow up article to this and it won’t be sent as a newsletter: it will be available by 15/06 on my blog labeled ‘Arrogance and Forgiveness’)
Do you see how unconsciously I’m judging the Divine? Do you see that I’m unconsciously suggesting that I could know better than the Divine? I need to forgive myself because these unconscious beliefs are just based on my lack of trust. After all I want to ‘know’ that the Divine is guiding my life and that I can trust this guidance!
If we realized just how much harm we do to ourselves by not forgiving and not letting go of our feelings about the situation and/or person – including the Divine; if we saw the harm caused by the amount of anger, frustration, and energy that builds up in us and gets stuck within us when we can’t let go – we would never want to withhold forgiveness. But our arrogance in thinking that we are ‘right’ and others are ‘wrong’ – as well as our innate distrust in the world and the role of the Divine/Source – makes it so difficult to forgive! All the pain and discomfort we feel stems from our failure to forgive and let go!
This last piece was just as big for me: I knew how to ‘let go’… but explaining it to others was often difficult for me. Letting go is forgiving! When we can trust and feel safe, when we can realize that it is just our perceptions that have made us hold onto something, then we can truly forgive and ‘let go’!
I believe the place we first must start is trust; to trust in the Divine Wisdom within our lives. Would you like to join me in gaining back the trust and restoring faith? I believe that the best way to do this is to remember all the times when we felt wronged – even by the Divine – and for us to realize that whatever we think was done was not what we perceived it to be and that we will perhaps never see the ‘bigger’ picture of our lives to understand what really happened. Yet in looking in on these past events where we think there was ‘wrong’ done to us we can acknowledge that our perceptions were not likely in alignment with the ‘bigger’ picture and as a result we have misperceived and judged and failed to communicate properly and allowed the misunderstanding to get ‘bigger’ inside us somehow. And we justified our thinking to ourselves and refused to forgive, refused to let go, refused to feel the relief of forgiveness – the feeling of safety and trust.
I invite you to determine what areas in your life still require forgiveness – and don’t forget yourself! And remember that we don’t ‘forgive’ just to be nice or to follow some religious principles to be ‘good’ … we forgive in order to make our world experience ‘safe’ through building our trust with the Source of all things – including ourselves as part of All That Is. And we do this by incorporating not only the mind and heart but also the gut: our very survival depends on it! Take some time to truly examine all of the situations and people – and the Divine – where you still hold this blocked energy of ‘non-forgiveness’ – you’ll feel it in your ‘heart’ – and see where you just didn’t know any better but did the best you could. Now, just forgive: have faith and trust in your own Divine Guidance and Let GO!