Let me present you an old friend of all of ours. It’s called Resentment and many times it wears the mask of anger, fear and sadness. Resentment comes from many catalysts brought to you by others. Things that have caused you pain most likely have brought Resentment into your life. Energetically it feels like a strong rejection that comes from the heart center and emanates on to the skin. It’s basically a shield.
This shield is made so that every time someone agrees with us about our friend Resentment, it grows thicker. In this way we justify its existence and therefore we create a short feeling of satisfaction. We feel proud of wearing it and sometimes we even brag about it.
Resentment is a hard one to let go. Our hurt ego believes that carrying that rejection towards others will maybe help the Universe take vengeance on the person (or people) who hurt us. We also may think that carrying that resentment will stop others from hurting us again. The funny thing is that none of this is true and no, karma doesn’t work like that. The Universe won’t make sure that the anger that came from your sense of injustice about a certain situation gets “evened”. The Universe doesn’t give out of pain, it gives out of love.
So what is the next step after letting Resentment into our life? Allowing it to come out of our lives by using the art of Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a very wide term yet it is very simple. It requires receiving a true sense of relief that can only come when we let go of our shield and we let ourselves be vulnerable again. Being vulnerable means that we are open to receive and it also means we accept we might get hurt again. It also means that we recognize that the truth within cannot be diminished or vanished by any external appearance. Finally it means we recognize we are always safe, we have our back and the Creator has it too.
And this all may sound like a lot of abstract concepts not applicable to the reality we live in, but believe me, they do. Let’s take for example a time where an authoritarian figure made us feel diminished for who we are, what we said or what we thought. This figure may be your boss at work, your teacher at school or one of your parents for example. Your reaction to him/her may have been being silent, feeling incapable of handling the situation and feeling bad about yourself. You may have also reacted with anger, telling him/her he/she should stop and back off. In a sense in this second scenario you also felt like you weren’t capable of handling the situation (if it wasn’t by showing anger). After some time thinking over and over again about the unfairness of the situation, about how much you hate that authoritarian figure for what he/she did and so on, you finally arrive to a point where you need to forgive (only you can determine how long will it take for you to reach this point).
What has my experience taught me about the forgiving part?
- We all have distortions that may lead us to treating people not as we would like to be treated. We have all gone through life and collected a set of predispositions based mainly on memories of getting hurt. If we understand that this other person who hurt us has gone through a tough process that has lead him/her to act this way, we may get a step closer to forgiveness. We become more compassionate.
- Many times forgiveness isn’t asked for and this doesn’t mean we don’t need to forgive. Forgiving heals both sides consciously or unconsciously.
- Forgiving requires recognizing that you’ve played a part in the situation that hurt you. You also need to accept that the part you played could have also been better and you could’ve improved the situation in general.
- Because you played a part in all of this, you also need to forgive yourself and know that you can make any situation better. Your response is already a whole half of the interaction. You can turn things around always because you’re never a victim of your circumstances.
- Do your best, be open hearted and always do what is most aligned to what it’s needed for everyone involved including yourself. Once you learn to do this you will learn to truly give and therefore receive.
On my previous example of the authoritarian figure we may apply all of the steps described above. Steps 1, 2 & 3 allow us to see the authoritarian figure as someone just like us and so we may let go of our shield. We may even be able to see our reflection in them and see how we are reflecting back their behavior. Step 4 tells us that we can only respond in the most appropriate way if we let ourselves be vulnerable and if we let our hearts be opened. Finally, step 5 assures us that we can trust ourselves and our capability of managing a situation in the best way possible. This is how we know that the truth within cannot be diminished or vanished by any external appearance. Through step 5 we also learn that we can trust our greater guidance, if we listen. Every moment is a chance to learn and teach, a chance to look for the always existing love (as cheesy as it sounds).
I talk about this issue because it’s something we are always working on. It’s not a coincidence that I thought of this topic today and that also today starts Chiron retrograding (until December 5th). Chiron is a comet that represents the healer and it’s retrograding motion invites us to look inside of ourselves and go to the bottom of our underlaying issues. Healing doesn’t happen without pain and a great deal of healing comes from forgiveness. I invite us today and always to strive for an expansive and light hearted feeling. I invite us all to forgive.