Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Powers of Forgiveness... and the benefits of forgetting

I'm sure you've heard it said many times that it's best to forgive and forget, but so many wonder why? I'm going to do my best here to clear up some of the confusion that people face when it comes to forgiving...  Sometimes there are people that hurt us so badly we find ourselves feeling hatred towards them and maybe even wishing bad things would happen to them; or worse, we may actually hurt them in return in some way. I've heard of abusive fathers that somehow manipulate the system and take their children away from their loving mothers with no visitation rights allowed; leaving the mother worried, angry and traumatized over the loss of her children and feeling helpless and alone. I've heard stories and personally experienced some people that just seem 'out to get us' and basically try to ruin our lives in every way even though we may not have done anything to hurt or harm that person we ask ourselves "what did I ever do to them to make them hate me so much that they'd do 'such and such' to me?" There are many horror stories in the world of people hurting others and sometimes we play the part of the abuser, hurting others and living to regret the pain we caused (if 'we' have a conscious that is!) I once had a 'woman' I'd never met in my life, do so many horrible things towards me that I couldn't help but wonder, "does she know something about a past life that I had that I don't recall hurting her? Why else would she try and hurt me soooo bad?" I found myself constantly being tormented by her, in more ways than one can imagine (I won't go into detail about it here however.)

The point is, there are things that happen in our lives that may have caused us great pain and suffering and sometimes we may not even know where the source of their reason is coming from or what we did to bring this on ourselves. Many have led almost 'different' lives, as they say, we all have a past and sometimes our payback seems to catch up with us...
  
Whatever the reasons we experience pain and suffering brought on by another person, whether it's Karma or we just feel flat out victimized because we don't recall ever doing anything that would warrant such misery in return, the important thing is that we forgive and let go, forget about it. I used to say that I forgive everyone for everything they did, but I will never forget. In some ways this is a good thing, but in many others it's not so good... forgiveness is the first crucial step but to forget is something entirely different and sometimes even harder to do.   
First off, the most important reasons to forgive others (and ourselves) is because that holding onto hate, anger, resentment, grudges or whatever you want to call it, can actually cause major issues not only to our health but our 'healing' as well. Let's take cheating as an example. I have a friend that had a mom who was a great, loving person. She actually shined she seemed so bright and lovely. She married a man that was a travelling salesman (yes they still exist!) and he was a compulsive cheater. Whatever his reasons for cheating were, I don't know. He was such a compulsive cheater that there were brothel's he frequented and sometimes would lie and take trips out of state just so that he could go to the brothel. My friends' mom found herself increasingly miserable as she found out he was cheating, got an STD, and he began mentally abusing her and basically turned her world upside down. Now the smart thing would have obviously been to leave his sorry you know what, but she stayed for over 20 years. She had become 'comfortable' in her home, didn't work and therefore depended on him to take care of her.
He finally left her for another woman, a younger woman but not before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Later, after she had one breast removed, then the other, during surgery a small 'piece' of cancer got into her blood stream and landed itself in her reproductive organs... they too had to be removed and by the age of about 50 she died in a hospice facility, still angry and miserable, leaving her daughter with no parents (her dad already passed on) and no one to help guide her and give her the kind of comfort having a loving parent provides.

You see one thing that's a proven fact is that cancer is a man made disease that is brought on by stress and anxiety. The way I see it is that forgiveness or lack there of is a huge reason for this. My friends' mom held so much anger and resentment for her husband that she thought of almost nothing else except for her disgust with him and how horrible of a man he 'turned' out to be. Her anger became a part of her and turned into cancer which if you ask me, she may have also been harboring anger towards herself as well, for staying in such an abusive relationship and allowing it to go on instead of making a clean break. She not only didn't forgive him, but she didn't forgive herself either, for making poor choices in her choosing him and choosing to stay with him.

Forgiving ourselves plays a huge part in our lives, not just shrugging it off and sweeping it under the carpet; no it's not as simple as that if you ask me. I believe that it's similar to confessing our sins, in order to obtain true forgiveness for ourselves whether we're confessing to God or trying to let go of something we ourselves did, we must first take a good, long, hard look at what it is we did. If we hurt someone and are truly sorry, we may find ourselves breaking down in tears, sobbing and feeling the pain as if we did it to ourselves. We may even feel the pain more than the person we did something to. There have been times that others 'shrugged' off something that I did and I found myself beating myself up over it, crying and feeling just awful. That's actually a good thing, because hopefully we learn not to do something like that again and realize that by hurting others we truly are hurting ourselves (in more ways than one.)

When we find ourselves making mistakes, or choices that changed our lives and had a major effect or consequence, we must learn to forgive ourselves and not beat ourselves up over it. I'm not saying to shrug it off and pretend we didn't do it, because deep down we'll continue to feel the pains of the 'wrong' choice we made. When I was younger I made a lot of money and thought I always would, I took it for granted and spent money as if I had millions in the bank and always would. Later, I found myself nearly homeless and broke and realized years later that I was beating myself up for it for so long that it was having an effect on my finances for over 10 years! If you disappoint yourself to the point that you're angry and bitter towards your choices, it does have a ripple effect and changes how you attract things into your life... forgive yourself, you're only human and we all make mistakes, especially when we're young.

What we put out, comes back to us... Karma or the butterfly effect, whatever you want to call it or believe in, everything we do comes back to us in one way or another. I've met people that say they don't believe in Karma and that nothing comes back to them and they continue to do mean things, thinking they'll never have to pay the piper. Well good news is that the Universe has a law of balance and all things come full circle. So whether you do great and marvelous things or horrible and mean things, whether in this life or the next, it will all come back. And it won't just come back, it'll come back TEN FOLD!!! 

I've also heard it said by many people that before we go to Heaven, there is an area we go to reflect on our life and 'watch' what we have done, the good and the bad. That everything we did here on Earth we will feel and experience... the pain we've caused others and the good things we did. It allows us the chance to fully understand what our actions and deeds caused in another person's life as well as ours. Let's say that you stole money from someone and went out shopping, blew the money and felt no remorse nor experienced any sort of Karma or payback. But what if the person you stole from wound up heading down a downward spiral and it ruined half their life because of the financial setback and the pain and suffering they endured as a result?

What if because of one thing you did to someone hurt them so much that they were never able to heal and recover? Would you really want that on your conscious or are you going to be one of 'those' people that reverse the blame and say it's their own fault for 'not getting over it'? What if because of the pain and suffering you cause that person, you come back in your next life as a dog that gets beat up, neglected and starved to death as a way of balancing your Karma? OK, so you don't "believe" in reincarnation... well WHAT IF it's real? What kind of paybacks would you have coming your way? Think about it, do you really want to learn the hard way and suffer in your next life? Is it really a wise choice to choose not to believe and have it bite you in the hiny later?
  
I know such a man... he doesn't believe in Karma or reincarnation and who knows if he even believes in God. He cheats on his wife with numerous women to the point that he even pays for their housing so that he can come and go as he pleases and have his way with them. He did crooked deals in the mortgage and real estate industry, ripped his employees off, partied like a rock star doing hard drugs and drinking and didn't go home to his faithful, loving wife until late at night almost every night and when he did he stumbled in drunk. He eventually lost his business as a result (two businesses actually) and shortly later he lost his house worth over a million dollars. He lost all of his money and is now going to prison for the fraud he committed. So for those that don't believe, you've got another thing coming, I'm sorry to say.

Back to the subject... forgiveness of others and ourselves not only plays a major role in our health and happiness now and in the future, it also can make for a happier life. When we hold onto things such as anger, grudges, fear, or resentment, they cause turmoil in our lives and sometimes consume us to the point that we forget who we really are. My friends mom used to be so loving and caring for others but later found it hard to show her concern and love because the anger became too much for her and she just couldn't seem to move past it. Sometimes a person is so miserable because they can't forgive that they resent others for being happy which in turn causes more misery for the person holding onto the anger.

Another reason that we must learn to forgive others is because it is not up to us to judge them or not forgive. Yes, it is up to God. Yes, He is the ultimate determining factor in forgiveness and He forgives all, if it asked for with a genuine heart and feeling remorse for the misdeed done. The way I see it, is if God can forgive someone, who am I not to?

None of us are greater than God and if He can forgive us for our sins, who are we to think that we shouldn't forgive others? Regardless of what anyone does to us, no matter how horribly painful the hurt they caused us or our loved ones, we must forgive them... not only for ourselves but for our future. For if we don't forgive others, how can we ask God to forgive us?

The main reason forgetting is a crucial next step in the forgiveness process is because of the law of attraction... now regardless if you believe in it or not, it exists and it happens. As in my previous post about Abuse, the law of attraction works in many ways in our lives. If we don't forget about something no matter how horrible the deed was, we will inevitably recreate it if we don't let it go and forget about it. I once read a prayer request on a website, the girl said she had been sexually harassed and assaulted at more than one job and it kept happening. First off, by saying 'it keeps happening' your words create your reality and by saying it in that way, you are basically 'putting it out there' that it continues to happen in your life.

If you put something out there like that, it will happen and continue to happen because you believe it and have passion behind it. Because the girl feels 'victimized' she gives the law of attraction even more power to create it as a reality in her life. If you 'feel' any certain way, for a period of time and with passion, it creates it even faster. So to feel victimized you are basically requesting it to happen again. I know it's not 'cool' at all but if you flip it to something positive it is... whatever you focus on, you create. If you focus on misery and turmoil, that's exactly what you'll get. If you focus on your fears of something, you create it even faster. We have the power to choose our thoughts and our feelings, so we must choose wisely. 

I used to say that I forgave others and later in conversation I would tell a 'story' to my best friend and she'd say I didn't forgive them because if I did, then I would forget about it. My response would be that I forgive everyone but I would never forget so as not to allow it to happen again. In analyzing this further I realize that she was right. Forgetting is not such an easy thing to do but in order to not recreate the situation, we must forget about it! Now that's not saying that we should continue being friends with someone that just flat out crossed the line, hurt us far too much or took advantage of us in a cruel way or stay in an abusive relationship, that's not it at all. There is such a thing as moving on and moving forward. If someone hurts us to the point that it's almost unforgivable (everything is forgivable) it doesn't mean that we shouldn't walk away! Forgive and forget for your own health and peace of mind.
  
If someone is hurting you, as in abusing you, then yes, get away. If you know that they are going to continue hurting you, move on! Get out and get away! You don't have to tell them you forgive them, that's not necessary. The forgiveness process is mostly for us, for you... not them. Our being mad at them isn't going to change their life (especially if they have no remorse) and getting even doesn't do anything except effect your future Karma. In order for us to live a healthy, happy life, we must forgive and forget, let go and move on. If you choose to keep someone in your life, that's your choice and we shouldn't just 'walk away' from everyone, I'm not saying that either. Use your best judgment or seek professional help. The main point is that you understand that forgiving and forgetting is for you to heal, be happy, healthier and live a longer, more fulfilling life. To err is human... to forgive is divine.

God Bless!

Love & Light,

Shelle

Post a Comment