No doubt about it, forgiveness is a tough one to wrangle our mind around. Our ego or conscious mind wants us to be “right” and to be justified in not forgiving. Forgiving can, on the surface, seem like being a doormat. Forgiving can seem like condoning the person’s actions. The hurt we took in when the offense occurred is real. It may seem that nothing should let them escape our condemnation, our loathing, our internal upset or our angst when even seeing that face, hearing that voice or being in their presence.
Our unconscious mind holds the key. If we delve into the unconscious mind’s part in our upset, it is easy to see why it is hard to forgive. From birth, and some say before, we humans take in all sorts of impressions, messages and experiences and we store those memories and their associated feelings. This mental and emotional soup becomes our own personal brand, our way of seeing the world AND the way it SHOULD work.
Every person on the planet has had different ingredients for their recipe making up that internal mental soup. Even twins or siblings do not have the same soup sloshing through their mind. Our subconscious stores all experiences, messages and cultural norms in a soup pot file cabinet along with the emotion that bubbled up with the experience. If the experience did not feel good, it causes a discordant imprint on our mind and the next time a similar experience, person, voice or message comes along, our subconscious takes us on a ride down the path of a REACTION. Reaction is “RE”-peating an old feeling associated with the past response.
Perhaps we were four years old when a dog pushed us down and we became frightened. That fright can become attached to all dogs. Your friend has a dog that barks and tries to jump on you every time you visit. You become frustrated and upset that they do not control their dog and that they believe everyone loves their precious animal that jumps up on everyone.
You become upset with your friend’s lack of dog behavior management. You avoid going to visit. You resent that she doesn’t “get it” about her dog’s behavior. This now becomes a negative energy spot in you. Your friend is feeling no pain. She may wonder why you don’t come to her house anymore, but she is fine.
Forgiving your friend’s behavior can seem like excusing her lack of dog control or management, or even her insensitivity to the fact that not all people love her dog as much as she does. Future return visits may require your honest boundary-setting. But forgiving is the only way to take the negative out of your subconscious and allow you to have a heartfelt conversation about the boundary. Holding onto the upset will only make the boundary conversation come out with an accusatory tone.
Expecting the other person to understand what happened when you got your feelings hurt is not a part of forgiveness. Expecting the other person to say that they are sorry or apologize is not a part of forgiveness. The one-way street is your ability to forgive the other person, thoroughly and completely, within your own heart and soul without the other person participating. Which means you can even forgive those who have passed on. Learn the lesson from the experience. Take responsibility for your own hurt or feelings. People do what they do, say what they say and act the way they do from their own internal soup recipe.
The one-way street includes letting it go from your conversation with others and most of all with yourself. Re-hashing the situation and your upset keeps the negativity alive and well in your subconscious. You may want to write your feeling out in a journal (for your eyes only) to release the upset feelings and to let go. Forgiveness is a spiritual process. If you feel unable to let go and forgive, turn it over to God, the Divine, Jesus, Buddha, the angels or whoever you use as a spiritual guide or source.
Withholding forgiveness only keeps the poison alive in you. Read or watch a You Tube™ video on the Hawaiian process called Ho’pono pono. This special chant’s words may seem strange to say when you are forgiving another. The process lets you return to love which is the way to live in peace.
Keeping your mental closets and your heart space clean with the one-way street called forgiveness, especially forgiving yourself, helps you sleep better and gives you a new sense of peace in your world.