Why The Power of Forgiveness Will Set You Free

No Accidents In A Purposeful Universe

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” — Lewis B. Smedes

Forgiveness does not erase the past, but looks upon it with renewed compassion. To withhold forgiveness keeps alive emotions of hurt, anger and blame which discolour our perception of life. To forgive, we must avoid ruminating on thoughts of being wronged. Rather, we trust the power of forgiveness to heal the hurt and pain. By holding on to pain and resentment, we suffer because the sorrow is intensified to keep it alive. Despite people’s perceptions that forgiveness means to forget, its motive is self-forgiveness and the role we play to co-create the circumstances. This does not mean you consented to what transpired. Given your involvement, even as a victim, you choose to forgive yourself regardless of the role you played.

For example, what is your relationship with forgiveness? Have you been wronged against and found it in your heart to forgive the other person? Forgiveness means to let go of hatred, instead of allowing it to eat at you. Remarkably, there’s a close link between negative emotions and illness, documented over the past decade by notable doctors. Toxic and destructive emotions have the potential to activate certain diseases if we don’t attend to our emotional wellbeing. I acknowledge it is difficult to forgive a perpetrator for wrongdoing and goes against our moral code. Yet, if we consider it from a greater perspective, we associate forgiveness with our emotional welfare, not granting the other person pardon.

Consider the words of author Colin C. Tipping who highlights the power of forgiveness in his book Radical Forgiveness: “In the human context, morphic fields link individual members through extrasensory and energetic resonance (consciousness), a process that is independent of time and space. Therefore, when someone forgives, the effect is felt immediately by the person being forgiven no matter how far away he or she may be.” I grew up with a strained relationship with my father and carried resentment towards my emotional mishandling for a long time. My father passed away many years ago yet, I experienced a profound shift when I forgave him and myself. I saw the greater lesson of my experiences guiding me towards self-love and a change in awareness. It highlighted my limiting belief: “What if my relationship with my father was perfectly orchestrated to teach me self-love?” From that day, I realised there are no accidents in a purposeful universe, only our perceptions that distort the truth.

Forgive The Part Of You That Holds On To Resentment

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” — Paul Boese

Anger and resentment keep us stuck in the past, replaying disempowering emotions instead of the present moment. People want to be happy, yet they’re reluctant to let go of toxic emotions and believe that by forgiving their perpetrator it erases the past. This is the furthest from the truth. From a spiritual perspective, the ego feeds off fear and convinces us we were wronged. It holds on to anger and resentment to keep the pain alive. “People who resonate with our feelings vibrate at that same rate and are likely to have a similar emotion pattern to our own—either the same or the opposite—which they then mirror back to us,” writes Colin C. Tipping. Equally, love asserts the view of forgiveness, peace and joy. We must let go of negative emotions to discover peace and happiness because the two cannot coexist. Have you noticed how much energy is required to hold on to anger? In contrast, forgiveness lightens the load and frees us to enjoy life unbound by the weight of resentment.

Irrespective of the circumstances, we should respond to the past with compassion, not replay what took place. Confucius said: “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” Therefore, we should empower our emotions if we wish to live a fulfilling life. Therefore, anger and resentment are a call for self-love, since what we crave is to be loved and appreciated. Given our motive, we must let go of that which stands in our way of attaining love, and forgiveness is the bridge that leads us there. We must look within our heart and forgive ourselves for being co-conspirators in the experience. A co-conspirator is identified as someone involved in the experience instead of consenting to it. “Rather than forgiving the perpetrator or minimising the intensity of the misdeed, you recover the empowerment and self-worthiness you thought had been taken from you,” writes neuropsychologist Mario Martinez in The MindBody Code. We forgive the part of us that holds on to resentment in order to transform destructive emotions and rise above fear.

The late psychiatrist and consciousness researcher Dr David Hawkins showed Fear has a lower consciousness level, in contrast to Love. Fear registers as 100 on a logarithmic scale, while Love registers as 500. The energy of Love is calibrated higher and capable of disentangling lower emotional states. When faced with holding on to anger and resentment, choose to forgive yourself and others. Each time you experience fear, choose forgiveness over hatred. Knowing this, how can you learn to forgive someone who wronged against you? Could you forgive yourself for holding on to the negative emotions associated with the experience? I love the following affirmation because it reminds me that forgiveness is a practice that takes time. I encourage you to practice reciting the affirmation until you feel a shift within you: “To the extent of what my heart and mind is willing to bear, I forgive you.” It is through the power of forgiveness that we heal ourselves, which leads to inner freedom. By exposing our wounds to the Light, we heal our suffering and invite Love to transform our anguish. In that act of clemency, we are reunited with the wholeness of who we are.

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