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How To Get Your Head Around Forgiveness When Your Heart Can’t

I wonder how many can relate to not really ‘getting’ forgiveness. I don’t mean that I am not getting it from another, I mean I don’t ‘get it’ at the moment.  I have no problem understanding it as a definition, concept and spiritual principle – which I have practiced many times.  I logically know that forgiveness is something that we are supposed to do, supposed to feel, supposed to perform. But what if after all is said and done you are still one of those people that has yet to experience the true liberation that forgiveness supposedly brings. What if you have forgiven time and again, but when you think of the experience or person there is still a niggle or even a physical response. There is still something inside of you that has withdrawn your trust, your willingness to be as vulnerable or open with life now.

I think some of us have to work a little harder at forgiving. And a big clue is the word itself – I mean we have to give it – it is not something given to us by another. Maybe that is the starting point. I am also not addressing those senseless, violent, heinous despicable crimes and actions that run rife through our society on a daily basis. For again, I think it is a very personal journey and for some it may take weeks, for others a lifetime. I am also not really speaking to people who seem to be born with a forgiving nature. There really are different personality types that do tend to forgive quicker than others, but that for another time.

So here I come back to being confronted with the question of have I truly forgiven those that have betrayed, hurt and harmed me or my loved ones and what does that look or feel like? Is it a lightness and ease when you think about the situation or person? Is it a detachment, or could it be a numbness, an avoidant brushing over with not making a big deal out of it, or pretending it didn’t hurt so much? There really is a lot to unpack when it comes to forgiving someone.

Firstly, we need some perspective about the gravity of the behaviour or incident. Did they swipe your favourite pen, or did they swipe your husband for example? Secondly, once you have some perspective, we need to be able to exercise some discernment and look at their intentions. Did they purposefully and consciously go out to hurt us. Was it truly an oversight, mistake or unintentional slight? All these questions are important to sort through in order to come to an understanding of what went wrong and why did it land up impacting us. Only once we have some information and understanding then can we start making the decision to forgive… or not. Ultimately, if we follow any spiritual, or for that matter religious, path then I believe eventually will choose to forgive and let go. If we truly have the right intentions then Divine Grace will assist us when we get stuck and can’t see a way forward.

Looking at the etymological roots of the word forgiveness, the root comes from the Latin ‘perdonare’ meaning to give completely, without reservation. If we look at the Greek translation we come to the meaning as being, let go, release, send away or liberate completely. If we keep going it becomes clear that however or whatever forgiveness means it does bring a thorough and complete release that seems to imply there is no need to ever relook at the situation again. We send it away with a one-way ticket, no return ever, adios, bye bye.

But we also know the complexities of being human and all too often we may indeed have forgiven, on one level, until we are tested again to see if we can achieve the experience on all levels where we no longer will have any niggles, responses or doubts. We also would have no reservations if they found a return ticket into our lives again or not.

The point is that forgiveness for most is not a straightforward ride. We may be able to look past and rationalise many things. We also have to look at our part in the situation and claim responsibility for any part we may have had in the incident – again I am not speaking of violent based crimes etc.…

We are also told that forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves to set ourselves free from a past that can’t be changed. A crucial point to remember is we always need to forgive ourselves first when we do the work of forgiving, something we often completely by-pass in the process. We have to forgive ourselves for either not knowing better, or knowing and still allowing. We often need to forgive ourselves for our own ignorance or arrogance. For our trusting natures or our own ill-informed contributions.

Either way we are part of the process, part of the work and perhaps, yes, the only person it will really matter to in the end. This is also a bitter pill to swallow, when the other person doesn’t realise the damage they have done, or won’t accept responsibility for it. As with any other spiritual or self-development work, we do it for ourselves first and foremost – always.

What I’d like to encourage you with is that even if you are still fuming, hurting and at the point of never forgetting, then accept where you are now. If you are still waiting for an apology or acknowledgement then wait away, but realise that the waiting is stunting your own growth and just brings more powerlessness and frustration into your life.

Perhaps the power of forgiving lies in realising that it is a solitary journey with a singular conclusion, and that in itself brings liberation. It is in our own hands to set ourselves free and that is the biggest blessing of all. We get to decide how forgiveness, pardon, absolution, releasing and letting go feels like for us. And when that alchemy happens, we will know it and feel it in our whole beings, and we won’t have to explain it to anyone else. Now that I ‘get’!

For isn’t a peaceful and understanding heart a much better companion for your life than a poison filled and painful heart.

Forgiveness is a full-time job and a process we need to heed in order for our hearts and lives to function, grow and move forwards. When I think of it in this way then I completely get it, and I hope this helps your heart get it and finally forgive too.

Nadine Rosin

Global Gypsey Musings


Spirit Connection
Author: Spirit Connection

Spirit Connection is an online platform to facilitate connecting light workers with people seeking their help.

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