A lot is written on the subject of forgiveness and I don’t always agree with it. The main problem I have with some approaches is that they put you and leave you in the role of victim… which I believe is a role we can choose or refuse.
I don’t want to offend anyone with this viewpoint because for sure there are many real situations where people are real victims, but we always, always get to choose our response to whatever shows up in our lives.
So my process is always to simply ask myself ‘how do I WANT to feel about this?’ for whatever is going on. It reminds me that I am CHOOSING and that feels empowering.
This happened to me recently and I found my process so powerful that I wanted to share it – especially since I just read something regarding forgiveness that I didn’t agree with, so I want people to know that there is a better way – and you get to choose that way.
As you probably already realize, it’s not so easy to simply identify how we want to feel and then choose that and it sticks.
Nopety-nope. If only it was that straight forward, lol. Our mind is too strong when we are strongly triggered about something.
It takes work to adapt the feeling we want and that work is for another blog – or to discover if you work with me, but the purpose of this sharing is to let you know what works for me best when it comes to forgiveness.
Let me quote Byron Katie to start: “forgiveness happens when you realize that there is nothing to forgive”.
I know that might sound insane, but I buy into that theory.
It gets a bit more complex when it’s abuse so for the purpose of this blog, let’s keep it to situations where there is no physical abuse involved.
I will only find people guilty of something if I have a belief that they need to show up in my world in a certain way. If they don’t match my need, then they are guilty of something that I need to forgive them of and I give my power to that story.
How ridiculous is that if you think about it?
Instead let people be people and take responsibility yourself for managing your emotions and reactions.
ACCEPT that when people show you who they are, they mean it. Trust them .. not from their words but from their behavior.
If you choose to ignore that because you WISHED and HOPED they would be different, then there is a good chance that there were red flags that you didn’t want to see.
Don’t deny what you see and experience from the beginning and then play the victim and recruit all of your friends into why and how they upset you and they are the baddie. That will feed your story and keep you in victim mode.
I know that people will sometimes say “I never saw it, it came as a big shock to me” and it’s true that there are some extremely skilled manipulators out there that can hook people in. In that case, TRUST that this situation has come into your life FOR YOUR GROWTH.
You’re still not a victim. You get to put your big girl/boy pants on and lean into the pain of what’s showing up and CHOOSE to grow from it, to develop wisdom and strength of character.
What? You believe that you are supposed to escape that? That you got some special exemption?
Nope. Entitlement alley is not an empowering path.
Life can suck sometimes. The human experience is not a fair one .. but what is VERY fair is that you get to choose your response to it… every time.
So do things that will help you, like meditation.
I meditate every morning for between 30 and 75 minutes depending on how much time I have.
That is where I find my wisdom. Some people would call that crazy to do that each day, but I’m wise enough to realize that my stress comes from my thoughts and I am not available for high levels of stress. People (victims) who say their lives are so stressful are choosing not to do that work.
When I go behind my thoughts, to ‘no thinking land’, I notice that there are no stories, so nothing can upset me.
Things only upset you when you are thinking. It’s fascinating when you slow that process down and realize that the only real proof of your existence and your stories is your thoughts. They give life to everything. (And you have power over them, that’s the awesome part!!)
If you are feeling extremely challenged and in pain from someone’s actions, welcome the pain, trust that you can deal with it and that the other person has nothing to do with your experience. Take full responsibility for what you are experiencing. Allow yourself to be disappointed in them if you want, but remember that you have no right to expect them to behave a certain way.
You don’t get to control how others behave, you do get to control how you respond.
So if you trust that every person and every invent in your life is coming for your greater good.. and if you want to stretch that, you can also choose to believe that your soul called it in for you to experience something in this lifetime that is beyond your current comprehension, it will help you to no longer hold the other person responsible for what you are feeling. The truth is that they have nothing to do with how you are feeling if you really get still and enquire. A clear mind knows this. They did a thing. It happened to impact your life. You don’t get to choose what does and doesn’t show up in your life, that’s entitlement and you’re not God to decide. So take the good – remember I said we will always find evidence of what we are looking for? So shine a light on the good and trust that you have the strength and the power to get through the dark stuff. Know that there will be dark stuff. You don’t get to escape that. Life is quite magical that way. Often you will look back and understand the darkness had to show up in your life for you to learn something and grow from it, so you know how strong you are.
Trusting it all is an empowering way to live. So personally I don’t really buy into the forgiveness theme and it serves me well.
I hope this gives you some food for thought.
If you would like to work with me privately to get on the other side of something that is eating you up, then please reach out to me. I’m offering a 3-month 1:1 coaching program that will help you go deep into the pain, the lesson, the release and the rise from whatever is pulling you down. Anger, resentment and bitterness impacts our health and puts a cloud over our life experience. It pays to do the work to create a new story about what happened and eventually to find gratitude for that person or situation for making you who you are once you do the work. Not only do you get your power back, but you get to experience gratitude and wisdom on a new level… and that is priceless.
This is how it works:
- A weekly hour long call for 12 weeks
- A guided visualization to help you lock in that version of you that you want to become (to be identified in our sessions)
- Lots of space holding for you to process it all and gain a new understanding of why it happened and how it happened FOR you, not to you (this is of course a choice of narrative that you can choose or refuse, no obligation, just whatever feels empowering and beneficial and most of all, real, to you)
- Week-daily voice-memo support to help you stay in the new upgraded empowering energy
- Plan of action on how you will use what happened to you for the greater good
Reach out if you are interested and we can chat to see if this program is right for you.