Who Do You Need to Forgive?

It is time to accept that the events that have occurred are the foundation or preparation for the life to come. Your Higher Self is asking you to acknowledge that whatever experience has caused you pain, your heart is ready to heal.

Who do you want to forgive (or not)? Make a list of the people and events that you have yet to forgive. Those we don’t forgive are with us all the time. The unforgiven people and events will travel with you throughout your life; they will hang in the distance like dark clouds over all of your great journeys. No matter what new and great experiences come into your life, the unforgiven areas will continue to cast a shadow on your heart. Unresolved they puncture and your heart still bleeds in its loss.

What are the transgressions that your inner self has not resolved; careless words spoken, a lack of consideration for your boundaries, childishness, pet-tiness, friends and family that let you down? Is the unforgiven transgression an act of judgement, humiliation, betrayal at your expense causing a loss of dignity or respect? Do you still carry your anger towards the belittling or humiliation you experienced from caregivers, schoolmates or colleagues? Or is the open wound in your heart rooted in loss whereby something or somebody that you love has been taken away?

In your struggle to forgive you may be grappling with the feelings of self-judgement. If so, your inner voice is loud in its self-condemnation over actions you have taken or for missed opportunities. You hear the voice of judgement berating yourself for making a poor choice and doing the wrong thing, saying, ‘if only I had paid attention, if only I had listened to myself ’. In these moments you find it difficult to understand the process of why you made certain choices. In your confusion there is no compassion. In these moments of blame the person you most need to forgive is you.

When we are faced with the act of forgiveness we are confronting and reconciling a loss of love. It is hard to forgive when what you love and value – the loss of your dignity, respect, security or someone that you love – has been taken away. Forgiveness is a choice. In choosing this card you are signalling that you are ready to forgive. There are various stages that we negotiate in this process of forgiveness in our journey to heal from the loss of love. In the first stage – however momentary it may be – the fundamental experience is a loss of connection between yourself and the person who has hurt you or between yourself and what and who you love. Central to your loss is a disconnection from your inner core.

When your world is in turmoil and you are overwhelmed by powerful feelings, your link to your core self is disrupted and your world is disoriented by the change you experience. At this stage your emotional foundation- what you think and feel that creates your world, how others relate to your world and how you relate to them – is shaken. In your loss you have been unlinked from what you know. The unlinking you feel is real. It is the start of a new path that you may not want to travel or may not be ready for. As you continue to negotiate the experience of your loss you may consciously distance yourself from the cause of your pain by withdrawing emotionally. People often take this action in order to protect themselves and give themselves the time and space to make sense of what has happened.

In moving through the loss you then actively transition by asking the question ‘Why?’ Yet hidden behind this ‘Why?’ is the desire for accountability and acknowledgement for your pain. This stage of reordering and revisioning is where you can get stuck because you cannot answer the questions and do not receive the acknowledgement you seek. You hold on to the feeling that the other person is getting away with something, that they should be punished for what they did or at the least they should be accountable in some way. And so your anger or resentment remains fixed. And flow stops.

With no ability to release and heal from a loss, your system continues to produce emotions (anger, blame, resentment), which have now risen to an intensity such that your system is sending you a red alert warning that you haven’t acted on any of the emotional signals thus far and that it is now time to act. You have been and continue to be in an emotionally unsafe situation. However, the purpose of this built-up emotion is to give information and help you integrate and pull the experience together. If you are not able to release the emotional signal then you are still processing your pain of loss.

Look towards your emotions for the guidance you seek. When you lack forgiveness it is a call to understand and act on the message lodged behind your pain. The message may be calling you to learn how to protect yourself by vocalising your needs and speaking up for yourself. Until you do, you will walk away from the situation and from the people that you associated with your pain still holding your resentment intact. Without forgiveness you are forever emotionally tied to what has hurt you. Once you understand what your inner self wants you to know – the emotional signal can be released. Forgiveness occurs when you are able to either perceive the situation differ-ently or you develop the emotional skills to resolve the situation and restore your emotional balance and safety.

Another reason you may find it difficult to forgive is you have not yet understood the purpose behind the emotion from this experience. You may have not fully completed the process of grief at your loss. In your grief you are still experiencing the emotions of anger, denial and resistance that will lead you finally to acceptance. When you have transitioned through all the stages of grief you will then be able to release your emotional attachment to the reason of your loss and perceive the loss in a different way.

There are some who choose not to forgive. The nature and effect of the loss is so deep they choose to hold onto their anger indefinitely as a badge to honour their experience. In others the choice not to forgive is made so that they can find a form of power source – an emotional fuel – whereby their anger allows them to set a boundary with another – possibly as a way to punish and achieve the accountability they’re looking for. Another person may choose not to forgive because the experience of loss has uncovered a fragile identity causing them to question their whole existence. They are disconnected from their core, their emotional foundation is disturbed and they have no sense of self. In the experience they are looking to other people to validate them. Because they lack the ability to establish boundaries of their identity they do not forgive as a way to establish the boundary line; the anger forms the line they wish to set. In this case the anger actually reinforces their sense of self, their identity; it defends them and retains their sense of self saying, ‘I’m not responsible, I’m not that person who is judged’. With a fragile sense of self the person feels the very act of forgiveness will mean that they are giving in, that it may detract from them, will somehow diminish them; forgiveness will make them appear to be in the wrong. Essentially their anger – or other emotions – forms the boundary of their personal identity that they otherwise struggle to set. If you identify with any of these scenarios you are being called to choose differently. You are ready to release your anger and connect to the deeper vulnerabilities that you have been protecting through your anger.

Hidden behind your lack of forgiveness and the anger that has deflected your hurt, or protected, you are the limiting beliefs by which you live your life, such as ‘I am powerless, worthless, unlovable’, etc. These vulnerabilities you find difficult to grasp and release. These deeper emotions point you towards the guidance your inner self wants you to know. These are the rules you live by and the rules you are now ready to release. The purpose of forgiveness is to release the emotional attachment you have to your pain from loss. The loss from what has happened is real, yet it is of the past. The unforgiven aspect within you keeps the pain of the loss very much alive in the present in order to help you change the rules.

Through forgiveness there comes a new sense of self. You reorder and make sense of your world from a new light. In this revision of what you un-derstand you unlink from the pain and release it. From your vulnerability you gather all of the information that has been part of this experience and use it to rebuild your core identity. By reconnecting to your core self you reconnect to Source. This reconnection enables you to unlink from the emotions of the experience. The pain and hurt dissolve. You will understand new aspects of yourself and will develop new emotional capabilities.

In this new vision of the world it does not make the wrong action right, nor does it take the onus from the other person to be responsible for what they have done. That is their personal journey of accountability. A new relationship with yourself and your world does not make the unthinkable acceptable. What it does is connects you to an inner life that sustains you. You are no longer the victim; your forgiveness is no longer focused on the person who hurt you but on the process of growth that you have experienced. On the other side of loss, through forgiveness, you come to see that loss has brought you to a new and substantial inner strength. In this forgiveness is your emotional and spiritual growth.

Forgiveness for many will be that we simply ‘let go’ of people and the events that were the catalyst for our growth – because we have grown beyond them. Others will feel completion when they say the words ‘I forgive you’. With those words they take back what they have lost – themselves.

As with all experiences we lose our self to find self. Forgiveness is the light, it is the sunshine that will clear away the clouds, which cast a dark shadow over your heart. At the core of forgiveness is love. Forgiveness is the path to your freedom. Welcome that behind all that is unforgiven within you is your sun – your Source – that is you.