“A-HA” Moment One — Gaining Insight into the Process of Forgiveness

I “got”… I mean, I really “got“… two incredible understandings during the past week that I want to share with you! I have read these teachings before, but it was this week that their truth resonated within my being and I was able to embrace them beyond my prior surface understanding of the words used to express them.

I will share the first “A-ha” moment with you in this post and the second one in the post to follow. The first one happened when I pulled my copy of Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life from my bookshelf. I often refer to Louise’s list of “dis-eases” and probable causes, but this time, I felt compelled to begin reading her book again from the beginning.

As you know, I have been working on forgiveness and being able to completely release pain and grievances from my past experiences. When hurt and anger have resurfaced, I have felt that my forgiveness work hasn’t gone deep enough and that perhaps, I have only been practising token forgiveness. I know that holding this emotional pain within me will only hurt me, and for my own freedom and growth, I want to be able to forgive completely, deeply, and truly.

It was on page 8 of You Can Heal Your Life that I received my first profound insight of the week with the following words: “I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive you and set you free.” I have read these words several times before. I have listened to Louise Hay say these words on the audio recording of her book, but it was like this was the first time I actually “got” the meaning of her message.

I have been looking at my past and forgiveness in the following way: I have experienced emotional pain from my past experiences, and I am called to forgive the people who “caused” my pain. People did bad things that caused me hurt, and I need to forgive them so that I can be free. When I perceive my past hurts in this way, there is a stubborn part of me that isn’t quite so willing to say, “That’s okay. I forgive you.” This stubborn part of me holds grudges and resists magnanimously forgiving it all. Try as I might to quiet this part of me, it holds fast to the belief that these people did bad things and don’t deserve my forgiveness. As much as I strive to embrace total forgiveness and unconditional love, I have to be honest and admit that I haven’t achieved that with certain people from my past. If I haven’t achieved that with certain people, my love and forgiveness are definitely not total or unconditional.

But… Louise’s words leaped from the page and clarified the process of forgiveness for me in a way that I didn’t truly get before: “I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be.” I realized that I have wanted and expected people in my life to be and act in a certain way. I have placed my expectations over my lens of perception and so they have fallen short and disappointed me. I have had incredibly high standards of myself throughout my life, and I have had to learn to accept that I make mistakes and fall short of my own expectations, but that I am still worthy of my own love and always of God’s Love. I realized that I have placed those same high standards on everyone in my life.

There’s nothing wrong with high standards, but it is me who expected people to be and act a certain way, and when their choices and actions didn’t meet my expectations, I experienced disappointment and hurt. They didn’t do anything to me. There were no premeditated actions to get me and take me down, even if it felt like those were the results. They were perceiving life through their own lenses and making choices based on their understandings. Did their choices fall short within my frame of reference? Yes, and my perceptions and disappointed expectations resulted in emotional pain unlike anything I had experienced before. But… and this is the but that I realized… it was ME who expected these people to be and act in a certain way. With great clarity, I saw that I had wanted them to fit all that I wanted, and to be the people that I wanted them to be. I projected my wants and desires onto them. I set expectations — they didn’t live up to my expectations — I experienced hurt — I created it all.

And so, I can say the words with ease, “{Name}, I forgive you for not being who I wanted you to be. I forgive you and set you free.” I release you of my expectations and set you free to be the person you are, not the person I expected you to be. I release you to experience your journey free of my projections and judgments.

It is my hope and prayer to grow ever closer to embracing my true Source — the unconditional Love and complete acceptance of God. I can’t say definitively that this “A-ha” has resulted in real growth, but it sure feels that way. I also pray that the clarity that I have gained will resonate within you and help you on your journey. Namaste.

Hello :) Please share your comments and related experiences. I look forward to learning and growing with you!

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