Before Enlightenment, Chop Wood, Carry Water. After Enlightenment – Chop Wood, Carry Water.
It's good to come back to this ancient wisdom at times of a transformational experience.
Today's blog is about Forgiveness.
I write and talk about it often because in our world today, Forgiveness is still surrounded by so much controversy.
I won't go into this now, I have the 6-Part Video on Forgiveness "Time Doesn't Heal All Wounds. Forgiveness Will," on YouTube, where I cover it in depth. It is also in The Power of The Possible, throughout the book and specifically in the two Chapters:
The Son Who Forgave His Father, and To Stay Or To Leave. Forgiving the Unforgivable. If you haven't read them, please do. The understanding you will gain is life-changing.
Forgiving yourself or forgiving another for something you didn't believe you could ever forgive often changes us at the very core. Years of self-recrimination, decades of hate, resentment and rage are suddenly wiped out, leaving you empty. Good empty, but empty nonetheless.
Something new is on its way to fill the space. Peace of mind you haven't had in as long as you could remember, renewed hope, a feeling of optimism and excitement. Perhaps a newly found motivation to succeed.
Whatever it is, you must wait for it patiently, trusting yourself and trusting the process of forgiveness.
You could have had an AHA moment where the veils to the truth had been suddenly, irrevocably removed, followed by a spontaneous, miraculous forgiveness that just was there.
It could have happened to you during one of the Forgiveness Meditations you did that you had downloaded from my website.
You clicked the button, downloaded the meditation, closed your eyes and followed the guidance.
And when you opened your eyes 40 minutes later, you knew what you had experienced had been real, and that you are not carrying the pain of the unforgivable in your heart anymore.
To experience forgiveness is to be healed. Whichever way it happened, expect things to be different now. Perhaps, dramatically different, or, more likely, subtly so. And with it, be patient with yourself.
The change you experienced was real, but if you expect the results to “knock you over the head” you stand the risk of disappointment.
Let the change show itself in the way that is natural and organic. You will begin to notice how differently you react to things. How in the situations that used to drive you crazy, you now remain calm and neutral, unaffected by what in the past would have set you off.
Pay attention and congratulate yourself when this happens. Own your power, own your success! And also - be kind to yourself and don't expect to have done the forgiveness “perfectly.” This is the ego’s favorite trap. Don’t fall for it. Recognize it for what it is and – don’t go there. Consciously refuse to listen to that voice in your head. What voice? The one that always lies. The one that leads you down the wrong path every time. The one that has destroyed so many of your successes and made sure you don’t get what you want, and if you do, that never really enjoy it. That voice. And if you don't know what I am talking about, here is an example. “You have just forgiven your father, didn’t you? How come you are seething with anger again, after only 10 minutes of talking to him on the phone?”
“That forgiveness meditation obviously didn’t work. You shouldn't have bothered... It may work for other people but clearly not for you. Your situations is different, special.”
Or: “you simply can’t do anything right, and that goes for the forgiveness as well. If you did forgive him, you wouldn’t have gotten angry again. You would not have reacted. Something is very wrong with you, and you know it...” Sounds familiar? We all have our favorite ways of putting ourselves down and undoing our achievements. And it is the voice of our negative ego that we listen to against our better knowledge, when we choose to go down that path one more time. Do something different this time. Turn it off! If you find yourself reacting when someone is provoking you again, catch yourself, take a deep breath, feel the anger and – let it go!. The fact that you have forgiven the past doesn't mean you are now made of stone and have no emotional body. You are human, my dear friend, not a sculpture. Cut yourself some slack.
Sometimes we forgive completely, other times forgiveness happens in stages. It is a process, and it takes guts, will and making yourself matter. The time will come when you will be strong enough to remove yourself from the environment and people that are toxic and cause you pain. Understanding where they come from, and what made them who they are today will make forgiving them completely more real and more attainable.
As it happens, they will let go of trying to test you. They may leave your reality, for their role will be done and your lessons learned. Or they will begin to act differently when they interact with you. They will be different because YOU are different.
Because NOTHING CHANGES UNTIL WE DO.
Because no change is possible without forgiveness.
This is the Law of the Universe. A non-negotiable law. Whether you know it or don't doesn't matter. It functions anyway.
Don't doubt the forgiveness. Stop wondering if you did or did not do it right. Take yourself off the hook! If you can’t let go , return to the meditations and do them again.
Forgiving deeper this time. You will feel if there is anything still left to forgive. This is not something you do once. You cannot overdo it.
I will leave you with the quote by Eva Corr, a holocaust survivor, who forgave Hitler and the entire nazi mentality.
When asked how she could do it, her answer was simple:
"Because I deserve it! I didn't do anything wrong. I don't have to carry it all my life."
“Forgiveness is the best medicine. It is free. It has no side effects, and it works!”