Is forgiving difficult? It depends on the beliefs one holds about forgiveness. Some beliefs make it difficult to approach forgiveness. For example: ‘if I forgive, that person will do the same thing again’ or, ‘if I forgive, it means what they did was right and I am wrong, ‘or, ‘I wouldn’t be able to keep a distance from my offender if I forgive.’ Or, ‘so long as I don’t forgive, I am under control and I am safe.’ The beliefs may be more than one.
Some beliefs include, ‘I am the one affected here so why should I forgive?’ Or, ‘only if I receive an apology, I can think about forgiving’, ‘if I forgive, I am overlooking bad behaviour and this behaviour is certainly not forgive-able’, etc.
Such beliefs may be operating at a conscious or sub-consciousness level, making it difficult to approach the forgiveness practice.
Why forgiveness may be difficult
If there is hidden or repressed anger and hatred, forgiveness becomes difficult. It becomes difficult because of the hurt and disappointment of unfulfilled expectations. It is because of judgements one holds of others and the self, that forgiving seems an onerous idea.
If the intensity of anger is deep, forgiving may not come easy; sometimes it takes time to come to the point of readiness, meaning, coming around the idea that ‘forgiveness is possible’, or ‘I am ready to forgive’ .
At times, it is easy to forgive by the simple act of apologising and/or receiving apology, having dialogue and clearing out misunderstandings by communicating. At times, one feels they are ready to forgive or have forgiven, but if the situation plays out again, all old non-serving feelings come back gushing.
To forgive, condemnation and judgement of others and self needs to be dropped. One has to reach the space of higher spiritual understanding and practice compassion.
Your beliefs and thoughts determine how you experience your life. You have the choice to think differently, believe differently and shape your experiences differently. For example, in moving from the stiff thought, ‘ I am what I am’ to believing, ‘there is value in releasing judgements’, one shifts their consciousness to a greater, higher positive aspect to ‘feel’ better. In ‘feeling better’, one then starts to rearrange their life experiences. The internal state shapes the external realities. The power then really is in one’s own hands.
Are you ready?
Are you ready to release anger, hate, disappointment? Ask yourself. Are you ready to come out of the victim state to breathe better, feel at peace ? Are you ready to live a healthy physical and emotional life? Are you ready for freedom? Are you ready to take charge of your own life? Are you ready to feel empowered? Are you ready to take the responsibility of your own reactions and actions? Are you ready to write a different, better life for yourself? Are you ready? How ready are you? If you are not ready at one go, that is okay, your internal state will guide you how much to traverse the path day-by-day, bit-by-bit. The question is, are you ready to take matters in your own hands or be at the call of others’ whims?
Forgiveness, simply put, is release, it is to give up. It is to give up that which is not serving you, keeping you caged. Emotions of anger, hate, guilt can keep you a prisoner . Actually, emotions don’t keep you imprisoned. ‘You’ stick to it and the moment you decide to release it, it is released. It then holds no power over you. So, you see how you are responsible for creating your own experiences?
Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own, and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her website is: www.karmicwellness.in Email: firstname.lastname@example.org