"Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?"
~ Marcus Aurelius
What is Forgiveness?
One of the best descriptions that I read is that forgiveness is when you can pull your energy out of the situation. What does that mean exactly? It means that you are willing to drop the story you've created that allows you to remain justified in your pain.
We often talk about forgiveness like it is an act done for the other person, but forgiveness is really about our desire to move forward. And it isn't until we choose to let go of the story that legitimizes our pain that we are able to move on. That is why Caroline Myss describes forgiveness as a self-initiated act of transformation. Because it requires a deliberate and conscious choice to calm our ego's incessant talk that continually informs us on why we are entitled to our hurt and anger.
How Do We Forgive?
According to Positive Psychology, forgiveness is a process that asks us to cultivate acceptance, see things from multiple perspectives, and re-write the story from those higher perspectives. The first step is accepting what is. Eckart Tolle wrote, "It seems that most people need to experience a great deal of suffering before they will relinquish resistance and accept — before they will forgive. As soon as they do, one of the greatest miracles happens….the transmutation of suffering into inner peace."
(Here's another animal guide meditation you might enjoy)
This is not about spiritual by-passing and suppressing our pain or hurt. It may take some time until we are ready to move forward. However, once we decide that we no longer want to identify with that story, we begin the path toward peace.
A Soul-Level Perspective
Taking a bird's eye view of the situation is one way to shift into acceptance. Can you witness the divinity in yourself and the other person? Do you trust in divine timing? As Myss writes, "From a cosmic perspective, your life is far more complex than you can measure by the influence of one or two relationships. There is a higher law that rules the spirit, a mystical law…"
Humans are messy and complicated. Forgiveness doesn't mean that you condone another's behavior or will forget that they have wronged you in some way. It just means that you aren't willing to let it bind your energy any further. Are you ready to invite peace into your life? To be fully present in the here and now?
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