Zukav describes unforgiveness as a choice to wear dark, gruesome glasses that distort everything. We are thus forced to look through these contaminated glasses on a daily basis. Holding onto grievances only causes us pain, suffering and conflict. Forgiveness is a gift for us. Forgiveness frees us, offering us peace of mind.
Forgiveness has nothing to do with condoning an action of another. We act in error because we forget our divinity. Our God-light becomes diffused causing us to be disconnected from our power. Most of our adult issues are a reflection of our childhood experiences. So many negative, fearful emotions are installed as youngsters that we become powerless. We know about family cycles. Adults running bad programs will carry out the negative programming. Something is happening inside of a person to cause any kind of hurt in another. Happy, healthy people, feeling their God-connection, don’t have negative programming to consistently hurt others.
So many times in any psychotherapy process, a client’s ability to move forward hinges on their ability to let go of a painful experience of the past. This painful experience, which may have happened many years ago, is still causing problems. It may be contributing to substance abuse, weight gain, physical issues or other kinds of difficulties. If the hurt is still within us, it causes tension that blocks our energy flow. These blockages cause disease. We feel powerless, trapped in victimhood.
The path to forgiveness may be challenging. Often our anger and resentment seem justified, and we become attached to it. However, forgiveness is taking positive action reconnecting us with our own power. We are no longer victims. Before we can experience love, we must be able to forgive, and we all deserve to love and be loved.
We all have forgiveness work to do if we are still on this planet. In hypnosis and meditation we can access our higher wisdom. This allows us to have a different perspective of an experience. I would encourage you to put yourself into this deep, prayerful state, allowing yourself to be in touch with your wise mind. Calvin Banyan, a renowned hypnotherapist, offers us some keys to forgiveness in this focused state:
- Uncover any known causes of the hurtful behavior, leading to understanding. Consider probable causes. (An abuser usually has been abused.) I remember one of my clients looking into her mother’s eyes during hypnosis, seeing and feeling the anger and pain of her mother. She was absolutely astounded by that fact. As a child, she was totally unaware of her mother’s deep-seated pain, though she knew that her mom had lost a young child. This awareness brought a new level of understanding and compassion for her mother. Forgiveness was inevitable.
- The offender also experienced pain because of the thing he or she did. This is not always true of course. The victim may be suffering while the offender has long forgotten the situation. Freedom is letting go, not allowing the offender to control our lives by having power over us.
- We uncover the regret that the offender may have over the wrong or painful thing. By moving into the “wise-self,” the part of us that knows, we can speak to the “wise-part” of the offender. This is often difficult for the client to experience if they are not yet ready to let go of an issue. They often don’t want to hear that the offender regrets the actions and wants forgiveness.
- If it is true, we discuss how the intent was not to hurt you, but rather the offender was trying to fulfill some need, want or desire. I believe that there is a positive intention driving any behavior. That’s why it is so important to separate the behavior from the intention. The negative behaviors with hidden, unconscious positive intention are the ones that cause the chronic problems.
- If there was a positive intent, acknowledge it. For instance, I always felt my dad was very critical, but I know the intent was not to hurt me. He just had high ideals for me.
- If you sense there is regret in the offender, allow him to express it to you. Have the offender directly ask for forgiveness.
- Understand that the forgiveness is not for the offender. It is a gift that we give ourselves, freeing us from the past.
- You don’t have to forget the experience. That is not required.
One of the greatest gifts that we can give ourselves is self-forgiveness. Forgiveness sets us free from our own prison. We can’t give or receive love if we can’t give it to ourselves. Forgiveness means loving us enough to free us. As we learn through our past experiences, we have the opportunity to walk the path of greatness.