Forgiveness and Freedom
There is a certain feeling of freedom in being able to forgive someone for something that I have been holding against them for years. I used to think that forgiveness was only for the other person’s benefit. I did not get that it all had to do with me. I can still get caught in the illusion when I am in the heat of an argument and need to be right. However, any time I think about it long enough – and feel how it affects my own system – I can sense the way holding a grudge causes me to be off center energetically. It’s as though I am leaning into or against the person I cannot forgive, which means they have the power to pull me even further off my center by any movement they make.
For instance, when I was young my father was not very emotionally available. I desperately wanted him to love me, but I could not feel it. Across the years I felt abandoned and then angry, and constantly working harder to have his approval and love. I thought there was something wrong with me that he did not love me.
As an adult, my first inner healing work was around my relationship with him. It involved learning to acknowledge and feel my inner pain. Then learning that I was worthy of love, even if he could not give it to me. When I was finally able to realize how I had been misperceiving him, it enabled me to forgive him for “withholding his love from me.” I was able to see him clearly for the wounded child that he had inside, and meet him in a more realistic way. I was able to accept him, just as he was. What a relief and sense of freedom that gave me. It also released him as well.
In the last decade of his life he did some deep inner healing that had previously eluded him. It freed up his heart and allowed it to come out of hiding and shine. Because I had forgiven him, and could see him more clearly, I was able to actually witness the healing as it occurred and feel his heart opening. Wow. It was an amazing experience.
Forgiveness and freedom to be who you are…at first glance they don’t seem to go together, but in fact that are inextricably connected. Where are you holding grudges in your own life? Are you ready to feel a sense of freedom? Can you let go and forgive?