Getting in touch with your inner Divinity
Let’s chat about forgiveness for a moment. This has been on my mind a lot lately with all the horrible things on the news. Well, heck most stuff on the news is unpleasant, except maybe the NBC Nightly News segments on human interest at the end of his newscast and the weather, and even that’s questionable some days.
I feel in this big bustling world, and with us moving so fast, our communication skills and understanding of certain things can come to change with time. Sort of like the telephone. It used to be you used it to make calls. It was wired to the wall in your house and it did one thing and one thing only. These days, when people refer to your phone they usually mean a cell phone and greater numbers of people don’t even have a land line anymore. How many times has someone asked you, “What time is it?” And you reply, “Let me check my phone.” Fifty years ago, people would look at you like you were nuts if someone asked the time and you said let me check the telephone. Thus is the same about forgiveness.
There are two separate components when someone has been acted on negatively or harmfully by another person. There is the person, the human, and then the action. They are not one in the same. They are very different. No matter how badly the person may feel about the act they committed, they can’t go back and change it. It’s done. However, at this point you can see that the person is remorseful and going forward has the potential to not commit such act again.
In that vein, one can both forgive the person and at the same time not condone the act. See these as two separate items to work with. The person, your friend, family member, co-worker is just a human, like you. They may have had a bad time of it, may have had a rough upbringing, etc. Now these are not excuses for poor behavior, just insights to how the behavior came to be. And as long as they are on Earth they have the propensity to change.
You can forgive while not condoning the act or behavior. If you are working through things with a person who is rational (BIG qualifier here), then I believe, if that relationship is something you value and wish to salvage, clear the issue by saying, “I felt wronged because [insert act]. I forgive you but please know that I don’t condone that kind of [behavior, language, act, etc.]”. Once it is said, that person knows. It also gives you a marker. Should this person continue in the poor behavior you let them know breaches your boundaries and you don’t condone, thenmaybe it is time to say, “I love you as a fellow human, “andmove on.
All that said, I am not advocating you be someone’s punching bag. They do a wrong and you keep just taking it. Especially, in the cases of abusive relationships or dealing with family members in the throes of addiction of any kind (drugs, alcohol, stealing, meanness, etc). No indeed! This can be very toxic to you. This is where the only kind of action you can take is to forgive the person in their humanness and let them go. They are on a very different path than you. To keep being in their path usually ends up with you getting run over…several times if you don’t learn the first time. Trying to drag them down a path which you feel they should be on will only create more drama and turmoil for you. You stick to your path and let them go their way. I know this is very very difficult when it is a child, grandchild or close family member whose good days you try to focus on. However, pretending there is no problem, again does not allow them to be on their path. And after all it is pretending and that just puts off them and you from learning lessons everyone need to learn. Again, forgive this person and remind them you love them but no, you cannot give time, money, car, place to stay, etc. because they are currently behaving in a way you don’t condone or breaches your boundaries. I forgive you for the past but I choose, for both of our best interests, to no longer pretend nothing is wrong and allow such chaos in my world.
Then there is the phrase, “I can never forgive you for what you did to me!” When one says this, I believe it truly, in the fear/anger/grief of the moment. It is meant to hurt the person who hurt me. You took from me, so I will never give you what you need now to heal. In doing so, one relives over and over and over again the pain. Every time they think of it because there truly is no closure. So when people say, “Forgiveness is really not for the person who hurt you but for yourself.” It is. Again, you are not condoning any horrible act that person may have committed. You are forgiving the humanness of them and acknowledging their propensity for good in the world. In doing so, it may seem that you are giving them a gift they don’t deserve. Especially, when they have taken something and/or broken your heart so badly. However, look closer…
When you forgive, it is for you. This is your chance to let it go. We think we are being ever so in control when we won’t forgive, I have all the power!! No, no you don’t. The person who wronged you does. When you don’t forgive and relive this over and over – who is in charge? Them! You are replaying being a victim. STOP IT!
Forgiveness is empowering. You are no longer the victim. That person has no hold over you anymore. I am not saying don’t feel it at the time, we all have feelings and are well within our rights to express them in the moment we are wronged. I am saying don’t relive it the rest of your days. There is no need to wallow in the trash of yesterday. Forgiving allows you to move on, heal your heart, live in the moment and find joy. It can heal a relationship you want to save or just allow you to move on. It truly is more for you than the other person. So I don’t say, “Forgive and forget.” I say, “Forgive the person, but do not condone behavior that is breaching your boundaries.”