Gary Wojciechowski MDI Contributor
Forgiveness = Freedom
The best solution to many quandaries and problems is the act of forgiveness, which frees up space in the mind so that one can be open to greater opportunities and growth. This is the opposite of hanging onto some thought of anger or resentment. We can learn to let go of what is just a bad program you created in your head. Karma will deal with the wrongdoers. You can be free. And remember to act from a place of love, since from love it is easier to forgive.
If You Act from Love it is Easier to Forgive
Think of a child who breaks something precious. You still love the child, and you know they didn’t mean to, or didn’t know the value of the item. So you want to teach them that that was a negative action or a mistake, but you don’t hate them for it. You still love your child. You teach them from love.
What is more precious than your child? Nothing. So it is easy to forgive and let go of the anger. But that’s not to say you don’t teach them consequences and to handle things with care.
I think we could learn a lot from this analogy and apply it to all of society. Consider even dealing with your spouse, or with co-workers, employees, and even in the justice system. If we act from love, we will have a positive impact. As opposed to acting from anger or revenge, hate begets hate. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, as Gandhi said.
The hardest to forgive? Perhaps that is found in the justice system. Here we might have to deal with a hardened criminal, maybe the worst of the worst, a murderer, a child abuser. Obviously we need to protect society from him or her. There was a cause and now is time for the effect: the consequences. Yet if we can pass judgment from a place of love it will be easier to forgive this person. Not to release them, but to take an action for our own sanity. Our lives must go on. To carry resentment and anger around would also punish ourselves.
There is a special community – First Nations – where the members have a circle to deal with wrongdoers in their community.
Their site explains it this way: “As with the restorative processes of mediation and conferencing, circles provide a space for encounter between the victim and the offender, but it moves beyond that to involve the community in the decision making process.”
I believe circles like this – using the likes of a “Holistic Healing Circle” – is a way to voice the harm, so all are heard, and the wrongdoer accepts the consequence yet remains seen and embraced by society.
For more, read about the concept HERE.
Who has been the hardest to forgive?
I have felt wronged and put energy into this, which really was placing walls around myself. There are healthy boundaries, and then there is creating one’s own prison.
When I was a little kid I vowed never to show my father any emotions. It was a vow I created with every cell of my body, out of spite. In so doing, I cursed myself really and cut off my ability to connect with him. He never did anything really that bad. He got angry at me once because I told him that he was a bad parent. This was because I was a kid and I didn’t like how poor we were, and how hard life was.
I expected things to be better and everything looked like a needless struggle. Dad never hurt me, not sure if he would have. He couldn’t catch me; I was too quick. But I resented him for getting angry at me.
The consequence I created for myself was to block my emotions toward him. I set a boundary around my emotions, which to this day still carry the effects. That vow became a part of my way of being. It shows up in my relationships. In my way of withdrawing. I don’t feel anger even … I just shut down.
The harm I caused myself was in fact my own creation. Even knowing this, I choose it. It cost me a lot of happiness that I never felt. The cost to me was great. I imprisoned my ability to feel or express emotion at least to some degree, and I know it has affected every area of my life since.
Likewise, holding onto anger or resentment also comes at a great cost. Can it be released?
I’ve had to deal with frivolous lawsuits, and while I did get angry at the nonsense of it, I was not angry at people involved. They simply had bad legal advice. And I refused to play that game. They didn’t have a leg to stand on, and I made it clear that if they took any further action the consequences would be huge. I set a boundary and I was clear. Hence those lawsuits went away in time, on their own accord.
I have friends who I still consider friends though I rarely ever talk to them. This is born from the need of a healthy boundary to not step into the shit they shovel. Somewhere along the line, I realized I didn’t need to be connected with everyone in my life; boundaries are OK.
The lesson about boundaries: make sure that you set them to allow yourself to be free and not imprison yourself.
In this state of mind, I may see clearer, and offer love rather than judgment – a conducive state to allow for even more forgiveness.