Having trouble with Forgiveness?
Yes, we all know that lugging around anger, resentment, loathing, hurt and the whole suitcase labelled, “Hate You” (please read this with a tinge of teenage angst in your voice for fun) is just swallowing our own poison over and over again. Whether these sentiments are directed outward, at yourself or both is immaterial.
At some point, you are going to get sick and tired of it all and instead of throwing the suitcase into quicksand, you might just end up (metaphorically speaking) jumping right in after it. When this happens you lose touch with what being conscious is all about and life gets cloudy.
So what are the tell-tale signs that you are flailing in the bog, bag and all?
1. Stockholm Mindset
The situation where you have forged an emotional bond with your pain.
Are you always pre-occupied with your thoughts?
Do you go about your day struggling to focus for any length of time because you are “day-dreaming” about a person, people, situations?
Are you mentally playing mind movies that revolve around “coulda, shoulda,woulda” scenarios?
Do you indulge in far too many revenge themes or mental confrontations where you “tell them what you really think of them”?
Do you regularly probe the edges of that bitter event as a child would worry a loose tooth with his tongue?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you are in the state of the Stockholm Brain.
2. Lightning Trigger
Despite the fact that you view yourself as a more or less well-balanced, well-rounded person, are you quick to snap or snarl?
Now, this may not come out like an outright “bark” or mean words. For example, sarcasm in extreme is another super way to disguise all that pent up anger that your refuse to acknowledge. Another sneaky way to hide your inner raging fire is passive aggressiveness where you gas-light a confrontation so that you can “lose-it” by being in the “right.”
Or silence — the disdainful silence that elicits what I call the “prune-face” of critical judgment. It’s when you don’t react verbally but visually and physically illustrate your dis-satisfaction.
3. Clumsy Central
Did you know that when you are out of sorts emotionally and mentally you tend to walk into things, stub your toes, literally cause yourself a wounding?
In a funny way, this is your body and soul working in tandem, against your unwieldy mind, by bringing you into the present to say “hey, pay attention here and NOW.” Interestingly, this brings a flare of rage or “I’m going to kill Joe for not seeing the spilled water on the floor.” Again, your clumsiness is forcing your hidden issues to the surface. Unless you have a condition that causes clumsiness, if this is a constant in your life, it’s a huge flag to investigate further.
4. Complaints Police
Do you whine, moan, repeat yourself like a broken record? Are your friends and family so familiar with your stories they could repeat them word for word?
Are you even aware that you harp on far too much about a situation that happened years and years ago? Or maybe you don’t say it out loud but you mourn, grieve, lament compromises or things that you felt “forced” to do that you have not reconciled?
I had an aunt who was forever telling me information (aka gossip) about her neighbours — the bad parenting, the useless pet owner, the plumber who was rude and didn’t stay for a cup of tea not to mention the new owner of the newsagent who was too busy to chat when she went in to buy her newspaper. Gossip and constant collecting of other people’s failures constitute as complaining too.
5. Ice Queen or King
Are you a little too frigid with the world around you? If so you may, unless your are a sociopath, have “The Numb.”
This is when you haven’t dealt with, processed or even want to recognize parts of your life that need healing. You may mask this to some degree, but you know deep down that you struggle to connect with people around you. It’s like having an invisible barrier around you that keeps people at a certain distance and even keeps you from yourself. C
Can you discern how you really feel? Or does everything seem a little too intangible? Are you a surface skater or someone who shies away from situations that require some “real-you” effort?
In the symbolic language of archetypes, the aspect of yourself you need to seek counsel with is your Inner Child.
In particular, the shadow aspects of your wounded child. This would be the very antithesis of being a wide open, inquisitive and hungry participant in this exciting world around you. This would be the part of you that holds a very old scar or a few, that dictate the kind of lens you use to see the world when it comes to painful or difficult situations.
It is your wounded child that needs your help and attention.
Because when you have understood their relevance to all the pain you hold, you will be able to heal them and also shed light on your unwillingness to heal, let go and forgive.
Let me give you an example. Imagine that as a child you were taught to “be seen and not heard.” You grow up feeling the lack of being important enough to have a voice and also, perhaps when you did speak, your opinion didn’t matter.
As an adult, you find yourself in a relationship, a job, in a circle of friends and you over compensate to be noticed. You may give too much of yourself and stretch yourself thin, but feel so angry because you feel taken for granted. You may find it hard to communicate, keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself until you feel forced into a corner and then you explode or over react. You feel pushed around or allow louder more “aggressive” types to take the credit or decide how you must exist in the hierarchy of things.
You could even end up being a silent watcher in your own life because you have given away your power and allowed everyone else to dictate the rules and choices for you. Inside you may be coping with depression, lack of self-esteem and constantly layering more scars over the original one without a flicker of recognition.
Your inability to forgive and let go are actually highlighted clues as to why you may be plagued with feeling disconnected, depression, anxiety, low-self esteem, healing blocks, low immune system, lack of purpose or drive in life, living stuck in the past, living with “if-only” and saying things like “this always happens to me.”
The truth is, not being comfortable with the F-word will bring you to your knees.
If you don’t get a handle on this Forgiveness business, you are wasting your precious contribution to this world. Don’t scoff, trust me, you have so much to give.
Now not everyone is going to resonate with the wounded child archetype. However, how you deal with this thing called life very much comes from what you learned or didn’t learn to do when you were knee high to a grasshopper.
So in the larger scope, your “Inner Child” archetype is where your power sits and where the ability to use the F-word lies.
And if even one of the above tell-tale signs resonates with you, or causes you to feel a “twinge”, then you need to take a good look at how you navigated the world of independence and dependence in your childhood.
Working with your inner child you can spot the “lack” and trace a whole history of bread crumbs into your adult life, right here and now, to see things more clearly.
From there, it’s a process of doing two very important things:
1. Nurturing Your Inner Child
Sometimes we find we need to be the parent and give the permission, praise, love, support or voice that we were never allowed. Other times we need to give faith, belief and a resounding trust that we are capable, can contribute to life, have influence over what we allow in life and the very true fact that we are important.
At this point literally evict anyone you have in your life right now that treats you otherwise. We can’t choose our family but we can choose everybody else in our life.
2. The Forgiveness Act
There are so many ways we can do this. And no, you do not have to stand in front of the person who hurt you or let you down and say “I’m Sorry.” Nor does forgiveness have anything to do with asking for them to forgive you or about who’s Right or Wrong. It doesn’t excuse or neutralize bad behaviour or grief caused.
What it is all about is a resolution. A closure. A final goodbye. A release.
What the F-word means is simply this:
You are taking your power back. You are not tied, held down, stifled, suffocated or handicapped by anyone or anything that happened.
You are Free.
Of course this doesn’t magically allow hurt to disappear immediately, nor does it mean reconciling with that cheating spouse or giving in to that bully at school. But it does sever your emotional connection to them. It does de-personalize things enough that you can see a separation between you, the circumstance and the other party.
Find your Lense of Pain that you see the world through and understand why it’s there. What it has helped you with and what it has held you to ransom over.
Then ask your Higher Self to step in and help you “F-it” for your higher good, so you can finally cut loose.
One of the healthiest ways to start down this road is to write a letter.
Words are energetic symbols, and when formed with a goal or purpose, can be a very powerful medium for catharsis and healing.
You need to write this by hand, the old-fashioned way, onto paper. Address it to yourself if you need your own forgiveness or to someone else. Write that brutally honest letter telling them everything you need to. Write how holding onto this has hurt you even more. Put your words of peace, truce and release at the end of it. Make sure your last period is a very prominent Full-Stop. THE END.
Then burn it.
Burn it and watch it burn. Imagine the rising smoke a dissolving of all the feelings you have purged, your energetic prayer being carried away. Feel the flame incinerate the ropes that have kept you bound in pain or anger. Let the heat fill you with a desire for resolution for yourself, no one else.
And if you need one last reason to take the time to do this cleansing for yourself, think about this:
Forgiveness is the difference between surviving and thriving.
Corny as it sounds, it’s the truth.
– Asha Gill
Asha Gill is an international television presenter and the host of Soulvana. Having worked in the industry for 20 years, Asha has interviewed the likes of The Rolling Stones, Lenny Kravitz and Beyonce. Now she is bringing her personal wisdom to her tribe in Soulvana, and her bi-weekly column on the MVA Blog.