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To Forgive or Not To Forgive? (and why you may want to)

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A reader asks, “How do we forgive forever?”

I always assumed that once you forgave it was forever.

As I thought about this I recalled all the forgiveness work I had to do regarding a previous relationship.

It took a long, long time of repeatedly focusing on forgiving to “forgive forever.”

But after I had forgiven I could easily think of this person and wish them well whereas before, I couldn’t. Until I finally forgave every thought I had of the person brought up the anger and pain again. I worked on this continually though for nearly two years until I was free.

And that perhaps is the answer…

Unless the act we are forgiving only superficially wounded us, it’s going to take time to clear your heart of the negative emotions you’re hanging onto to get to being able to “forgive forever.”

Forgiveness has to be a daily effort.

One of the ways to clear your heart and forgive is to use a mantra such as the one from Ho’oponopono which is “an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.” (Wikipedia).

The mantra is:

I’m sorry. Forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Another powerful mantra that I have used is from Sahaja Yoga:

I forgive. I forgive everyone including myself.

You also have to want to forgive forever.

Some people say they do but really, deep down they enjoy being the victim and telling their story over and over. They’ve become emotionally addicted to the attention and sympathy they get when they tell their stories. If you hang onto to your story you’ll never forgive forever.

Acceptance

Another part of the forgiveness puzzle lies in actually “accepting” what has happened.

When you can’t accept what has happened what you’re really saying is that you cannot accept that your life has been changed forever. You are forcibly holding onto the past and what has been and deep down you’re probably not able to forgive yourself.

When someone does this it’s usually their way of not acknowledging fear and other toxic emotions such as guilt, humiliation, shame and embarrassment about how their lives have changed. The answer is to forgive yourself and then work on self-love and love for all of life in general.

Living with abuse

If the situation is ongoing – that’s entirely different. We all have free will and choice in our lives.  Forgiving someone doesn’t mean putting up with abuse of any kind. Leave and end the relationship then begin working on forgiving.

It’s not going to be possible to forgive if you have a new fresh wound to heal each day. You’re not meant to be a martyr.

If you can’t leave – use the mantras and release the toxic emotions daily until you can leave.

The Scale of Consciousness

Holding onto anger and not forgiving someone ultimately hurts you not the person you’re angry with.

I had the privilege of seeing Dr. David R Hawkins demonstrate his “scale of consciousness” using muscle testing in 2007 while at an I Can Do It conference. The muscle testing clearly showed how what we feel and think affects the body. His work and many others since show that toxic emotions weaken the body and will eventually lead to illness.

Lower level emotions emit the lowest vibrations and hanging onto them does equate to “drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Hawkins created a scale of consciousness based on these emotions. (Check it out here.)

True forgiveness is being at peace. You’ll know when you have forgiven forever when you’re able to think about what happened and no longer have your emotions provoked.

You can forgive forever in fact, I recommend it. Let go, forgive, forget and move on.

Are you still holding onto anger? What is it costing you to not forgive?

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6 Comments

  1. My new motto is “Forgiveness is Freedom” :)

    I have been working on forgiving my father for the way he treated me when I was a child. He died in 2007, and I have to say that it felt like a HUGE weight lifted from my shoulders. But I was still angry at him for a very long time. I has taken YEARS but I finally feel that I’m getting close. I used to think awful thoughts, and feel awful whenever I thought about him. But now, I realize that he also grew up from a place of total powerlessness – or at least he had been conditioned to believe so – and I mostly just pity him now. I think I still have some work to do on this. I’m not sure “pity” is where I want to stay. But I know if I can get to this point, I know I can get to the point of fully forgiving him. I really like the Sahaja Yoga mantra. I forgive. I forgive everyone including myself.

    I’ll be using that one. Thank you! :)

    Reply
    • Summer,
      I love that! So true. It is freeing.
      It’s so hard with parents. I totally understand where you’re coming from. Having empathy for your father’s powerlessness is probably the way to get past pity. He to was a product of his environment.
      Sahaja Yoga is a beautiful practice. Much to learn there.
      Thanks so much for commenting!
      You’re so welcome.
      Best,
      Angela
      Angela Artemis recently posted…To Forgive or Not To Forgive? (and why you may want to)My Profile

      Reply
  2. How true that toxic emotions weaken the body and cause illness or debilitating distress. This I know. I also remember another point you made in a previous post about forgiveness…that forgiving doesn’t mean you are condoning anything. It just means you are letting go. That’s so powerful.

    Found the link, love the new site. coming along nicely.

    xo

    Reply
    • Hi Roe,
      Yes, it is powerful. I think the key is to get out of the egoic stance, “How dare so and so do this to me,” etc.

      Once we realize forgiveness has little to do with the other person and everything to do with relinquishing our own freedom and peace of mind we can wake up without that ball of toxicity in the pit of our stomachs.

      Glad you like the new site!
      Thank you,
      xxoo
      Angela Artemis recently posted…To Forgive or Not To Forgive? (and why you may want to)My Profile

      Reply
  3. Excellent! After leaving a 35 year marriage under painful conditions, I thought I had forgiven but find there are many layers of the pain that keep popping up, causing the anger to resurface. This article allows me to understand that better and will be a great tool moving forward. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy,
      That’s a great way to describe it: many layers of pain
      Healing and forgiving at every stage is a lot like “peeling an onion.”
      As we heal we can forgive from a deeper place each time until we are finally free.
      I’m glad you found this article so beneficial.
      Thanks so much for telling me and for commenting.
      Best,
      Angela

      Reply

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