When we have been deeply hurt by someone, especially someone we love, reaching a point where we can truly forgive can be a challenge. It is easy enough to say we forgive the person, and we often say that because we know that is what good people do. But to truly feel that forgiveness on an ongoing daily basis, to be unattached to the painful feelings we experienced as a result of another person’s words or actions, we must go much deeper.
Awakening to Detachment as Forgiveness
What often blocks our desire for true forgiveness is the feeling that in order to forgive we must accept the fact that the other person is not to blame for their unkindness. By saying we forgive them, we feel we are saying that they weren’t responsible for their actions when we know what they chose to do was a free choice.
Oneness describes those feelings this way: We give “lip service to releasing the blame for a past action.” It could be ours or someone else’s. “While in theory this effort appears to be well-directed…it rarely produces the desired result. The key to completing these patterns is not to forgive the other party their transgression, which keeps the energy polarized, but rather, to release in total detachment, any care one may still be carrying, whatsoever, about the outcome of any drama revolving around that issue. The gesture then becomes…one of total transcendence of one’s attachment to the outcome.” (Page 62)
So how do we come to this place of harmony and detachment? I have often found that if I can understand why a person has done what she or he has done and see the situation from his or her point of view, I find it easier to let go of my resentment. Sometimes that is all I need to know, and I can feel enough compassion to release my anger or hurt. This may apply when I need to forgive myself as well. But when the negative energy around an issue is more powerful, releasing my attachment is not so easy.
One of the things we need to remember is that some people come into our lives in order to act as adversaries or “triggers.” The most infuriating interactions may be the very dramas from which we learn the most significant lessons. The more powerful these experiences are, the more likely they are to be karmic. They may be part of the agreements we made prior to coming into this life. (Oneness, p. 59-61) These situations are the most challenging to detach.
Being in the Moment Beyond Past and Future Fears
Beyond finding empathy for our adversary’s motivation, we must learn to release the fear that attaches us to the past and the future. We are often caught up in the fear that what has happened is a repetition of old patterns and we wonder how many more times must we go through this pain. Or we fear that what has happened is a pattern we cannot break. As Eckhart Tolle suggests, we are concentrating on the content of the situation. What will liberate us from our past and future fears and pain is to be in the moment.
When we are truly in the moment, meditating or walking by the shore or through the forest, we are able to experience that beautiful, peaceful energy at our core. In this place we are beyond the drama and content. We do not need to label an experience “good” or “bad.” At this moment, we do not need to understand. We understand that what is, just is. When we have practiced this enough, we are able to move back into the situations of our lives without resistance and attachment. And maybe when the next challenge appears, we will be able to stop, observe what is happening and choose not to lose ourselves in the drama. As I learned when I studied Science of Mind, forgiveness is not about the person who hurt you, it is about you learning to let go.
What are your greatest challenges with forgiveness?
© 2011 Georganne Spruce