To forgive or not to forgive
To forgive or not to forgive...
To forgive, for+give, to give forth, a gift you give your future self. If “forgiveness is a gift you give yourself” it is not about what happened to you, the facts, or circumstances. To forgive doesn’t mean that what was done to you is right or should be tolerated, it doesn’t mean you agree with the act itself.
We perceive we can forgive if (and only when) the other apologizes for the pain caused, for the wrong actions, for consequences of his actions... but this step rarely happens. For humans to admite they are wrong, they need to see beyond the pain and fear their our situation was created to protect. Because of this we continue to expect the other to see our pain and that is not possible unless the other person has some self-awareness of his own wounds and how these control his behavior. Meanwhile, the mind continues to go over and over wanting something to be changed in the past. It’s not going to happen. So, how to forgive if the perpetrator is not even acknowledging wrong-doing? Forgiveness is what you give yourself. It is not for the victim to forgive the perpetrator. If it is a legal matter, let justice deal with it. If it is a moral issue, let his conscious take care of it, or if you are a believer of some sort, let divine justice be in charge. It is not up to me to forgive another, I do not have that kind of power. I’m not a judge nor am I God.
To forgive is truly the first step to freedom. But the road to forgiveness can’t be rushed. It’s a very unique road never paved, never signalled before this moment. When I’m asked how to forgive a horrendous abuse, two things come to mind. I say, yes, set the intention to forgive, but please not until you acknowledge your pain. What is hurting, what is happening with you, within your body and your mind? See yourself first, see the wound, clean it up to the best of your ability, give it time and space to heal. This is a very unique process, no rules, no timelines can be pre-determined. Nurture yourself, take care of the pain as it needs your attention. I believe that when we don’t take care of our own wounds we’ll bleed unto those that have never hurt us. We must be responsible for our actions and be aware of what this pain is doing to us and within us. Or we might hurt others we love just because we are hurting ourselves. We actually have the power to stop the cycle of abuse by not bleeding forth.
When or if we rush forgiveness we are turning the abuse towards us. We are forcing ourselves to ignore the pain that runs deep in our hearts, in our bodies. We are continue the abuse caused. When we set the goal to forgive, it can be very liberating and once we do, we can truly live. Set the intention to forgive but first honour the pain and the time to hold it with compassion and self-care. This is the only way to see ourselves whole. We hold both, the intention of setting ourselves free, of forgiving and the wounded part and its pain together. This is where healing starts, it is the dance between accepting where we are, as we are, and the intention of who we want to be. This dance creates a first step in the healing stage. Here is where LOVE will operate its magic. Self-love grows from this emotional space, self-acceptance will arise, self-care will emerge. This first stage can take what often feels, too long.
To forgive or not to forgive, it doesn't matter which one we choose. It matters we choose to see ourselves whole, honor our circumstances, our pain, our never to happen expectations, at the same time that we listen to our hearts and know there's never nothing to forgive.