Restoring a State of Empowerment
A Formula to Forgiveness
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love”. I was 26 years old and in my first year of recovery from addiction and I thought, “there is no way in hell those who have harmed me deserve forgiveness”.
For many years I outright refused to exonerate the people I trusted in my life to love me. “How dare anyone even suggest that I should!” I thought. In reality, I had every right to harbor such resentments. I’m a human who suffered betrayal and pain from the people that took on the responsibility to protect and nurture me.
Betrayal from people who claimed they loved me. To read this quote angered me for many reasons, the first being that the late Dr. King and I share a birthday and I have always resonated deeply with his stance on life and society. In the years that followed as I continued walking through the trials and tribulations of this human experience, I began to understand this quote more and more. I began to develop an understanding that forgiveness has little to do with the betrayer and has everything to do with the development of the heart and the nurturing of the state of our own spirit.
Victim Vs. Victimhood
If we bring the word “forgive” back to its origin, the bare definition is “foreword” but as is the fate of most words in the English language, the meaning has been spun out into complex sense developments. When words evolve in this way it is quite easy for our minds to attach emotional frameworks to them rather than using them in their original linguistic expression. So, to forgive is to give forward motion to something. To let go of a hold. When we break it down in this manner, we begin to see that forgiveness is a result of the process of self-development.
The other person may never know or even care if we have reconciled our harbored resentments and therefore it keeps us attached to our own emotions of betrayal. We often feel as though, if we forgive someone then we forfeit power, but like most things in the human condition of an inverted psyche, this is exactly opposite to what is true. To harbor resentments is to forfeit our power.
To harbor resentments is to lock inside our vessel emotions of pain and suffering. To harbor the moment someone caused us pain. To replay that pain over and over anytime we think of them with the goal of making them suffer. What we actually are doing is causing ourselves eternal pain from something that is no longer happening.
We are subjecting ourselves to the illusion of power and domination via our own suffering, which in part is further anchoring the belief that we must continue to remain in the position of victimhood. I must add here that I never use the word victim in its negative reputation that it has received. The state of victimhood, like all the mental program structures, is universal due to the universal structure of our collective society.
Victim is a word that DESCRIBES an individual who was inflicted with the actions of another. Victimhood is a belief construct of the victim’s that perpetuates the idea that they are constantly being perpetrated. To believe we ARE victims is to believe we are incapable of awareness over our emotional states inflicted on us by the interactions with others.
The truth is, we are powerful beyond measure and this truth is found on the other side of what we would call the act of forgiveness. So, you see, forgiveness is the development of our belief that we are the creators of our realities rather than victims of our experiences.
The formula of forgiveness
So how do we forgive? How do we come from a state of resentment, pain, fear, hatred and powerlessness? How do we take our suffering and revert it to its proper flow of expansion, love, freedom, awareness and love? I will offer this formula to you now.
We acknowledge the pain and suffering we feel. Acknowledge that it is us who feels it and not the other person. We can never give that pain back because it originates inside of us. It is our own emotions of neglect and betrayal. Once we acknowledge these emotions as our own, we will have a much easier time tending to them and caring for them.
Allow the emotions to be present. Understand that these emotions are not representatives of the perpetrator. They are subconscious beliefs that we deserved the treatment that originally provoked the emotions. We subconsciously choose to become the emotion that was negatively provoked. Once this mind state is rearranged, we return power to ourselves.
The same power that we forfeit when we believe these emotions are traces of another person or situation. These emotions must be welcomed and allowed to exist as fragments of ourselves for them to stop persisting to be seen.
The very reason these painful emotions persist is because we are denying them as our own decision to cling to the pain that has been inflicted in hopes to resolve the pain. If we deny that we are the chooser and generators of the emotions, then we become the emotions. We can say to the emotions one by one “it’s ok that you are here, I understand why, and you are entirely valid to me, but I am going to choose to focus on a different reality of expansion and peace”.
Develop our space of presence. Presence does not have to be the guru word so liberally thrown around within the new age movement. When we develop a state of presence, all it means is to actively and consciously bring ourselves back to the fact that we are here in this neutral state of creatorship. We have the ability, power and right to create any mind state we choose to in this moment. This is something we actively participate in any time it arises.
If we hear the name of a person that harmed us and that anger kicks up, we follow step two, acknowledge and allow the emotion to be present as the memory of an emotion that exists, tell it that it is allowed to continue to live but you are now choosing a different reality of expansion and peace.
We design our space of presence by declaring what we choose to feel in that moment instead of the pain and resentment. When we declare and choose what we experience while still acknowledging and allowing the pain to exist, we transform ourselves from a state of BEING the pain and become the OBSERVER of the pain. We become the point of power to create our reality thus removing the attachment of resentment.
That is it. The formula for forgiveness. We are now free to choose the reality we wish to partake in with freedom and an open heart to create. We give ourselves the green light rather than expecting that green light to come from a perpetrator’s apology. We return all our power back to ourselves as the creators of our reality.
We take part in the development of our hearts and the sculpting and refinement of our human imprint, and this creates a ripple felt far and wide. To be in this energy of our own choosing and interactive in this presence throughout the day, our peers and fellow humans will also feel the urge to take active participation in their own transformations of their reality.
So, you see, forgiveness is a word used to describe a development of consciousness. That is its bare form before it was dragged into the complexity of social meanings. It is not an exoneration of blame but rather a shift of our own attachment to blame itself. A forward motion in our human evolution. Thank you for being here with me in this earth school of self-development.
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