In Part 5, How do I forgive when I’m still hurt and angry, we ended with:
FORGIVENESS IS FOR YOU, THE FORGIVER, NOT FOR THE PERPETRATOR.
If that is true, then why is forgiveness so difficult?
Consider: When you don’t forgive, who is the one hurt?
It is sadly shocking to realize that when you are harboring bitterness and negative thoughts, you are hurting yourself and probably not affecting the perpetrator at all. All of that hatred, indignation, negativity, unfriendly thoughts and even revenge and vindictiveness are roiling inside of you—forms of unforgiveness taking up valuable space and energy for the positives in your life, like love. When you imprison all of that negative energy inside of you, you are the one negatively affected.
“Forgiveness reminds you that nothing outside of you or happens to you is your truth. They are experiences only, not who you are.” ~ Jesus. Divine Messages from Jesus for a magnificent life. p. 339. Cathey, Carolyne 2015
Consider: When you don’t forgive the situation or other person or persons, who else shares the byproduct-results of your hurt and anger?
Might there be innocent ones who suffer the results of your refusal to let go and forgive, such as children, siblings, family, co-workers and friends? All are connected, which means that your hurt and anger cause less than desirable choices which, in turn, affects others who share no blame and yet suffer the consequences.
Think carefully about your unforgiveness. Who else is negatively impacted who is an innocent in the situation?
* Don’t approach this consideration with guilt, but with reality and assessment. Make a list of who else is suffering because you are suffering, and include their connection with you and their ages.
Consider: If what you feel you cannot forgive is due to the actions of another, how does your unforgiveness affect them? Are they contrite? Shamed? Or unaffected and couldn’t care less?
In my personal experience of when I was attacked at fifteen years old by someone I trusted (no blood relation), the attacker felt no compassion or any need for forgiveness from me or for himself. He went on with his millionaire’s life of luxury and world jet-setting as if I didn’t matter.
I’m sad to say I allowed his act of violence to affect me to the point of a shaking fear, even to questioning myself if somehow I had unwittingly invited it. I didn’t tell anyone because I felt ashamed and didn’t want to upset the ones I loved, or have to live with the stigma of violation. I assumed that since he was a powerful person then most likely everyone would believe his version rather than the truth. As a result, I withdrew from dealing with the aftermath of reporting it and kept silent, which meant that because of my lack of courage, I allowed him to continue his violent behavior with other unsuspecting innocents. I felt weak, powerless, unprotected, and ashamed.
Much later I realized that by not letting the incident go, I shackled myself to the very violation I hated.
I don’t mean that I finally condoned his actions, because what he did was wrong. Condoning and forgiving are two separate issues. However, my refusal to forgive bound me to the incident, allowing the attack and the attacker to control me through the repeated memories affecting my life. My reliving it and worrying it like a loose tooth was only impacting me, not him. He could have cared less. My unforgiveness didn’t affect him at all. I was only hurting myself.
I decided “That’s stupid!” I knew in my heart I didn’t unwittingly invite the violation, but I realized I did unwittingly chain myself like a prisoner to what happened. My unforgiveness made it worse for me.
Jesus says to us::
“That person never hurt the real you, the eternal you, but only the temporary physical shell. I assure you that there is nothing outside of you that can harm the actual you. The eternal you is forever within the love of God. You are forever strong from within the Source.
“There is nothing anyone can do to you, any circumstance that happens to you, that changes who you are—a God-creation. Any thought otherwise is a lie, an illusion you’ve allowed to cloud your truth.”
Jesus. Divine Messages from Jesus for a magnificent life. p. 341. Cathey, Carolyne 2015
Consider: If you are the one you feel you can’t forgive because you believe you were the one at fault, how are you affected?
You hurt, for certain. Letting go of guilt over something you feel you did in error is sometimes more challenging than forgiving someone else.
Either way, you often feel guilt. Even if you were the one attacked or betrayed, the ‘what ifs’ still haunt. What if I had yelled louder, hadn’t gone down that street, told my parents/ his wife/the police, what if, what if, what if ?
How has the event affected you and your life? Your joy? Your choices and decisions? Has that incident affected the choices you made that resulted in where you are right now? These self-analysis questions might take some time to think through but are worth the time and effort. Journal them. In writing them down you’ll open more and more to the truth that is buried inside you, that no longer serves you and longs for release.
If your unforgiveness negatively affected your past choices, and maybe even your current choices, ask yourself if you are tired of the shackles and are ready to move toward freedom and power.
Jesus says to us:
“Forgiveness expands you, deepens you, allows the inner light to shine more brightly from within you because you’ve removed limitations hindering you from expressing and living the fullness of your being. Forgiveness opens you more fully into who you are—Oneness within Spirit. One within God.”
Jesus. Divine Messages from Jesus for a magnificent life. p. 342. Cathey, Carolyne 2015
Consider: Whether the unforgiveness is against someone else, or you, how long have you been holding on to it? Hours? Days? Months? Years?
Probably years. How many more years do you want to allow the incident to affect you and your life? At what point do you decide you’ve had enough and want to break the enslaving connection? That you want out. That you choose freedom. Maybe, now?
Jesus says to us:
“Forgiveness reveals you are stronger than anything that happens to you from an outside source. You are of God within God. That is what is of import and nothing else. You are of God, in God, one with God. You are magnificent!”
Jesus. Divine Messages from Jesus for a magnificent life. p. 343. Cathey, Carolyne 2015
The statements sounds easier than it is to actually believe them and act on them. Especially, when the one abusing you is a charming sociopath. If so, and even if not, be sure to read…
Next: Healing Guilt, Shame and Regret, Part 7: Consider: When you don’t forgive, who or what controls you?
Excerpts from Divine Messages from Jesus for a magnificent life, p, 339-343. Cathey, Carolyne. 2015
(To be continued)