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Archive

For • Give • Ness

Feb 24, 2012

 

by Angela Strank

Forgiveness is an act of kindness that we may extend to ourselves or another. Yet it may be one of the hardest lessons we have to learn, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. It requires great strength, understanding, compassion and patience. It is a state of complete acceptance of ‘what is’ and transmutation of any previous judgments or fears.

But what does this mean? How do we truly forgive and let go? I believe the answer is in our judgments and in the act of forgiving ourselves.

In the dictionary, forgiveness is defined as “compassionate feelings that support a willingness to forgive, or excuse a mistake or offense. It means to cease to feel resentment towards or grant pardon for a particular act or person.” The two key emotions involved are compassion or resentment. Resentment is a natural byproduct of our judgments and when present there is no room for forgiveness. It is energy consuming, toxic and blocks us from moving forward. It suffocates any forgiveness and locks people in the past.

Compassion is the opposite emotion to resentment. It is a higher energy emotion which is kind, gentle and always patient. Compassion understands that we are all one and knows that we are all here to learn and grow the best way we know how . . . through experience. It honors mistakes as a natural part of our lives and sees them as needed for any real growth.

Compassion remembers that there are always two sides to every story and what we perceive to be true may not be true in the eyes of another. It understands that everything that we attract into our lives serves a purpose. What it also knows is that we are not intended to be punished or wronged in any way, just that we’re here to learn and grow each and everyday.

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But how does one bridge the gap between resentments and true forgiveness? I believe the answer is in our judgments. We need to learn to let go of our judgments by forgiving ourselves. Many would disagree with this statement and argue that by suggesting we need to forgive ourselves’ is somehow implying we are fundamentally flawed. This is not the case. In truth, an experience is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ and as such does not require a judgment. It’s our mind that seeks to place judgments upon experiences so that it may be able to understand, measure, and assimilate the information it is taking in. However, without the mind’s judgments, forgiveness is never required.

Try and visualize it like this: It’s kind of like we are all silk nets flowing in the wind and life is meant to flow through us. Every time we hold a judgment towards something, we catch that experience within our net. Over time, if we continue to do this, our net becomes clogged and heavy. The material no longer flows freely and it becomes more difficult to see through its mesh. The net becomes toxic, heavy and depleted just like us humans can become. In order to free these trapped elements, we only have to forgive ourselves for holding a judgment towards the experience to begin with. Then, that which has been stuck is freed to flow through us as it was naturally intended.

Staying in the present moment also helps to transform resentments into forgiveness. It’s a 'state of allowing' which simply means allowing life to move through us. This is our natural and intended way of being. It is a state of total aliveness and acceptance of our selves and our lives. As soon as we move out of the present we move into judgment; judgment about the past or the future. The past is meant to be a place of reflection of lessons learned and the future is our untapped possibilities of what’s to come. But the mind gets in the way! Through judgments we hold onto experiences instead of allowing them to move through us and this takes us out of the present moment. We hold the judgment within our hearts, our minds and our bodies. This makes us tired, depleted and toxic just like our silk nets. The end result is harbored resentments.

So what have I learned forgiveness really means? I believe it is transcendence of any judgment through forgiveness for oneself. We are all here to learn forgiveness. To do so, there has to be something within our lives to forgive and this is not always easy. To truly forgive another, we have to forgive ourselves. But forgiveness is not about freeing us from being judged, it’s about freeing the judgment from us so that we can be free! 

Angela Strank, Founder of the 'Living Your Best Life Series!'

Life & Abundance Coach, Intuitive Consultant, Practitioner

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Please add a comment

Posted by Kelsey Ablett on
Such a great article, I can see the beauty of your personality coming through. Everyone in your life is truly blessed Angela!
Posted by admin on
A while ago I met a person whom I felt that I had wronged years ago. From this distance of time, I could see that I had held on to the grief of regret and shame far longer than they had. I had been stuck for years and they had moved on in freedom. I realized that one must forgive oneself to move along our own personal path. And I saw clearly that one can choose the path of freedom by forgiving those who have trespassed against us. WE need to forgive. Others need to forgive us our trespasses, not for us but for themselves.
May we all find freedom
Namaste.
kim
Posted by Angela Strank on
Well said! Often it is much easier to forgive others than it is to forgive ourselves. Sad but true! But when we really get that forgiveness IS our ticket to freedom, suddenly getting out of our emotional jails becomes not only possible but exciting! Warmly, Angela
Posted by Eduardo on
Two people inntastly come to mind when I think forgiveness My husband and my step-dad. All through high school, my step-dad (who has now admitted to this, since finding Christ) did everything in his power to make my life harder. I was already struggling with depression and self-esteem issues because I had just started to really make friends when they decided to get married. We had to move to the other side of the country. I had an even harder time making friends in California. I didn't agree with a lot of things my peers were doing, I was extremely shy and just packed on another shell to hide my true self when we moved, and on top of that, my step-dad refused to ever let me leave the house without the rest of the family. He has changed a lot, but in some ways he hasn't. I still have some problems with him, although I've learned better, more mature ways to deal with these problems. I've forgiven him for a lot but I am definitely still a long way from the end of that journey. As for my husband, we have just had a LOT f ups and extreme downs. With both people I listed, there was a lot of emotional/psychological abuse as well as small amounts of physical abuse. That is something that I have always been afraid of and felt I would never be able to forgive someone for. I CAN'T forgive someone for it. However, I have given it to God and he can cleanse that from our lives and our minds. Things are not fully resolved, but we are working to eliminate these things and to forgive and leave the past in the past.
Posted by Lisa on
I had a supervisor years ago who jioend our team two years after I did. Almost imediately she began spreading lies and rumors about myself and a co worker. These were very hurtful times and some days it was hard to even go into work. My sweet husband would remind me that my character had been shown by my actions in the two previous years and that her character was being shown right away. I had a choice to make, I could leave and my reptuation might always be in question, or I could lift my head up, go to work and continue doing my job. I chose to keep the job. It was awfully hard at times, her mean spiritedness was palpable, but I did it. About a year later she was released from her job for performance issues. I chose to move on a few months later, but I am ever grateful for the lesson in perseverance. I relate this story regularly to young people abiout how a job isn't always fun and sometimes you have to work through rough things not just run away from them. Somewhere in that year I found forgiveness for her, but more importantly I found strength for myself.
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