Give yourself the gift of forgiveness
(excerpts of this Happy Healthy yOU column are taken from Kelly M. Spencer’s new book Destiny, life & Self-leadership.)
I have learned to love the synchronicities in life. You know, when you see a repeated pattern or theme show up over and over until you simply can’t ignore it any longer.
Recently, the theme of forgiveness has been presented in varied forms in life coaching clients, personal acquaintances and even in my own life. I have seen folks trying to move forward through the emotions and resentment caused by loss or hurtful action towards them. Whether the loss was a job, or partner, a friendship or just a situation that they feel is unfair.
I am sure in our lives, we have all had to forgive a situation, a person or an event that we felt perceived pain from. Sometimes these exact situations might be the best thing that happened to us. I remember when I was still nursing at a job that had a toxic environment with co-workers that complained about everything and pitted staff against each other. I ended up having to leave the job and I was hurt by the way these people acted. The truth was that I was getting ready to open my business, Indigo Lounge Wellness Centre, and I would not have been able to do it as effectively if I had kept this part-time job.
We often identify this more easily when viewing as an outsider, as we observe someone else’s dilemma. I am sure we can identify this in perhaps a friend in a romantic partnership that is dysfunctional or job role that is despised. Then suddenly the partner or the job are gone. We often hurt because it wasn’t a departure on our terms. Our ego takes the hit as we travel the path of hurt, rejection, inadequacy, betrayal and so on.
We have a choice to feel the feels and work through them by validating and / or sifting through the irrational thoughts of mind trickery. Or we can take all the hurt, rejection and betrayal and pack it tight into a giant ball of resentment and store it in ourselves.
The power of attraction delivers us whatever we focus on. What we give our attention to expands, whether “good” or “bad.” We store the energy in our bodies. If we are hanging on to unforgiving emotions and all the energies that go with it, we also store that energy in our cellular memory as lower vibrational energy which can show up in disease.
Forgiveness can be a very difficult place to get to when there has been extreme pain caused. We feel somehow that our forgiveness to the situation or person will offer this adversity a power and acceptance of the perceived wrong doing. But if we can identify that forgiveness empowers us by not holding us hostage to past memories and their associated lower, unhealthy vibrations, we can step into forgiveness with more ease because it is good for our health and happiness. We forgive, for our own well-being.
Giving ourselves permission to not only forgive the situation or person that we feel has created pain or difficulty, but also giving ourselves permission to forgive ourselves is imperative. If we are to be powerful self-leaders of our own reality, then forgiveness in all directions can clear energy out that is not serving us.
When we carry resentments and old emotions, we allow them to snowball and mutate. They take space within our being which shows up in physical disease. By making someone or something out to be the bad guy, we villainize them. Where there is a villain, there is a victim. So, we ultimately victimize ourselves, making ourselves weaker and disempowered.
We forgive to clear the energy within us.
We forgive ourselves.
My friend taught me the four directions of forgiveness that I implement when I am struggling to release the energy of a situation, especially involving a specific person.
I give myself permission to forgive you.
I give myself permission to forgive myself.
I give you permission to forgive me.
I give you permission to forgive you.
Sometimes, we are not even aware of the energy of the unforgiveness within ourselves. Several years ago, a person in my life that I had mentored and supported by offering opportunity, guidance and assistance did something I perceived as unethical and as betrayal. I verbally let them know my upset with them and then I let them go. I worked through forgiving them from a distance (remember forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to go be best buds with someone) and I moved forward. I really felt as thought I had resolved the situation.
Recently, this person reached out to me. The olive branch was extended, and more resolve concluded.
to empower I didn’t have any idea that I had still been carry any resentment towards the situation until I had the opportunity to clear the air even further. It felt fantastic to let go any remnant of resentment and to offer forgiveness to this person for the way they dealt with the situation, as well as forgiveness to myself for the way I had dealt with it.
In yoga we learn about the energy of the heart chakra symbol which is of love, harmony and balance. A heavy heart is one that carries resentment and anger from denied feeling and emotions, as well as guilt. To have a healthy heart, you must allow these suppressed emotions to surface and heal in an act of self-love, or we can suffer from bitterness and lack of forgiveness.
The 365th day of our calendar year has been called the Day out of Time. It is the last day in our annual cycle and is a day to celebrate peace through culture and practice universal forgiveness, so that everyone can start the next year fresh. So perhaps make a list of anyone or anything that you would like to release. If it doesn’t create more harm than good, perhaps even reach out to the person. Or write out some of the details on a piece of paper, then toss it in a fire as you release the energy of the situation further and give yourself the gift, of forgiveness.
Jim Donaldson from the Tillsonburg Rotary Club presented the Grade 3 students at Annandale Public School with dictionaries. From left are Donaldson, and three of the students - Michael Brown, Marshall Morris and Kaydan Weaver. The Rotary Club provides the dictionaries to help promote literacy.