Do you remember your first heartbreak? I still remember mine in shocking detail. I remember the pain, tears and anger. I remember being so disoriented by the scene that I had to be led away by a friend. It took me two weeks of tears to find some form of normalcy. And then I moved away. As far as possible and cut off all connections.
When we met almost more than a decade later, I was automatically transformed into that distraught sixteen year old girl. I wanted to show him what he had given up and hopefully make him feel the pain he had caused me. This lasted for about sixteen seconds until my new spiritual teachings set in and I remembered the Lord’s Prayer; forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. There and then my heart decided that holding onto that grudge was simply useless, I released the clutches of the past and experienced this beautiful, powerful feeling.
Forgiveness is a choice, it takes courage, clarity and compassion, it does not come easily nor does it happen quickly. Some people say forgive and forget, but it is not so superficial. It is a process that goes through many stages. Start with the small staff and if we are able to feel the freedom that forgiving brings to ourselves, perhaps we might venture into looking at the bigger issues, the ones that cause us the most pain.
It is especially difficult to forgive those things we told ourselves we will never forgive because they have become deeply rooted in our hardened mistrust. We tell ourselves that we did not do anything wrong, so why should we forgive? There will come a time when replaying the stories, the holding on to the losses, and the hurt feelings, will begin to feel tiresome. The heart will know when it is time to stop resisting, lightening up the unkindness of the mind, and open up to let love in again. Although we may be opening our hearts to another, it is we who are being healed. It is this tending to “unfinished business” that will lead to freedom and wholeness for us.
Forgiveness is a two way street; forgiving others and forgiving ourselves. We forgive ourselves for our own failures, helplessness and of course forgive those who wronged us. It’s one of the ways that we break the cycles of pain. Because if we do not forgive, we sink even more deeply into pain, and then we react to the world from a place of pain and fear and hatred, which spreads the dis-ease even more.
Someone could have caused your business losses, you could have been wrongfully fired from your job or your best friend could have messed up your relationship. You may be overwhelmed. Perhaps you are ashamed. I know you feel like this is something that should never have happened. But it has, and for your own sake, those in your life, and all those around the world, your forgiveness can be a game-changer and the opening of a greater doorway to a better life for us all.
Whatever the issue is, you have to let it go. That’s the only way to open your heart wider. And the only way to experience perfect freedom and peace.