Re-framing Forgiveness….

Naturally, Forgiveness is at the forefront of my awareness these past few weeks as we explore the energetics of forgiveness in our Monday night gatherings.  So I thought I would share.

If you stop and think about it … and more accurately feel it.. the word forgiveness is pretty darn loaded, and the act of forgiving even more so.

It is charged with “shoulds” and expectations. It is underestimated and misunderstood. It is without a doubt one of THE most powerful acts, tools, and practices one can embark on for healing from the inside out.

When we drop our expectations and “shoulds”… forgiveness is quite simply making space in our hearts.  If we could only see, feel, and experience it that way, we could slough the thickened protective armor around our heart and free us.

The biggest and most common thing I hear clients and students say is that if they dare to “forgive” they feel as if they are conceding to a wrongdoing that was done to them, by someone… a loved one, a fellow human. Just the thought of it is painful and conjures the fear of somehow saying “ what you did to me is ok”.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

The energy behind forgiving is freeing the self from the suffering of hardening our hearts. We don’t just harden to specific people.  That’s not really how it works.  We harden in general. This ultimately sacrifices our authentic loving connected nature. Understandably and justifiably, from a survival perspective…we do this to protect ourselves.  Our brain is an amazing prediction machine.  We learn quickly through trials and hurts.  We learn quickly not to touch that hot pan because if we do, it is going to hurt, burn, and possibly scar us.

The covering of the heart when it comes to blaming, judgments, anger, and resentments prevail energetically looks a lot like scar tissue.

There is a physiological cascade when we are wounded… when the skin is broken or somehow distorted. The eternally wise and reflexive bodily functions rush to the scene to begin to stabilize the wound eventually, with time and supportive conditions, the body weaves and knits together new tissue that will bind the opening of the wound and securing the perimeter, so to speak.

The only time in my career that I worked deeply in wound care was in a clinical internship while in PT school.  The motto and the most important teaching in wound care at the time was…”an open wound is a healing wound”.

No matter how deep and invasive the wound is, at some point, it critically needs air (preferably clean) and it needs oxygen.  Imagine what breeds in dark, closed, warm, covered, deep aspects of the body. Yikes! I have seen it and it is no surprise that I didn’t embrace this specialty in the field of Physical Therapy.

The energetics of wounds (physically, emotionally, & spiritually) are really very similar. Energetically there has been a violation of our spirit. At the time, we do the best we can to weave together our being, our spirit, our person. We seek security and a deep sense of safety to carry on.

A thickening of our heart, a stagnation of our energetic field and an insidious tentacle-like nature of this energetic scarring ensues with “unforgiving” energy.  Yes, all in the name of protection. Again… it is sensible, justifiable and at that moment, quite possibly, necessary.

With time the acuteness of the wound subsides and the chronic nature sets in. If not in our consciousness knowingness, our behaviors and actions can show us an energetic road map to our wounds. Once we recognize that a wound is present the softening begins.  We might notice ourselves being triggered. We become aware and get curious about this trigger. We have the opportunity to get curious and investigate. Ultimately we have the opportunity to offer ourselves some balm for the wound… healing for the wound.

Forgiveness is a journey. It is a practice. Once we drop the “shoulds” and expectations we allow ourselves to experience the world in a different way.  We allow ourselves to connect differently with people.. our loved ones, our community, and with humanity.

Above all forgiveness is not about the other person. It is NOT about whether they deserve it,  it is NOT about whether they will or will not cause additional wounds.

It is about making space in our heart.  Initially, this is for our own healing…for our own good. As is with all healing and expansion in the heart, when it benefits us…it benefits all.

Forgiveness is not condoning.  Forgiveness is making space in our heart, opening our heart to a possibility of softening, lessening the stronghold of the protective, thickened, scarring armor, with the subsequent opportunity to shine some light, love, and oxygen on wounds that lie beneath.

Let’s imagine for just a moment how a very adhesive substance sticks to everything. When we hold blame and anger in our heart towards another person (this includes ourselves) we are actually attaching ourselves more deeply to this person and to the wound, in effect blanketing it.

It is the wound that binds us to them, despite the fact that when we blame, feel resentment or anger toward another person we typically want to distance ourselves from them as far as possible.

Energetically… it works in the opposite way.

Energetically… tightening, closing and armoring our hearts binds us to them even more deeply.

The next time you feel disproportionally triggered by someone in your life… perhaps an innocent passerby, a fellow driver on the road, a cashier at the grocery store, a road worker, a bank teller, or the garbage man…consider the notion that looking inward might help to shed some light on your anger, rage, blame or judgment.

It is typically these nonchalant interactions, which creates a disproportionately large emotional reaction that can lead us to some insight of our wound.

It is not so much about analyzing and intellectually understanding the wound (though this can be helpful), it is about recognizing and becoming aware of the wound, getting curious about what is there, and offering ourselves some love towards what is needed… a hug, a sense of love, care and concern, a gentle heart that listens and senses and hears us.

An open wound is a healing wound.  Opening, softening, releasing the grip…these are all acts of forgiveness. These are all examples of the practice of forgiveness. And they are all acts of living from the inside out.

Making space for someone who has wronged us does not mean we have to invite them back into our lives.  We are not only entitled to create healthy boundaries with these folks, energetically creating healthy boundaries is an intricate part of the inside out healing.

Forgiving is not going to the person and asking forgiveness or offering it.  Forgiveness is making space in our hearts.

Without love light air, oxygen, movement… the scar tissue thickens. When we offer ourselves love light air movement and oxygen offering ourselves responding to a deep need, we, in turn, offer a healthier, more lovable, more connected version of ourselves to the world.

This can only be a very good thing…for us and for all of humanity.

Blessed BE!  And so it is!

Wishing you infinite blessings in your moments!