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Since my Forgiveness workshop last Saturday, I’ve been looking at my mind map I put together at the very beginning of this journey and where I mind mapped what forgiveness meant to me, before I researched or did anything.  For me forgiveness helps you to let go, let go of your past, letting go from the heart, letting go from being the victim, letting go of the anger, the guilt, the hurt.  It also releases you; it helps you in so many ways; it helps you to become unstuck and regain your own power. 


For me forgiveness is not about saying ‘it’s OK’ and it’s not about doing anything for the other person.  True forgiveness is on a heart-level; forgiveness is about letting go of what you think happened to you, because when you hang on to that story and many of us do, the story changes and it changes perspective, you change perspective about it; it gets big, it gets ugly, it gets much worse than you actually think.


When you forgive, you make room in your life for something new to take place; you let go of the past and you open a future for yourself.  When I started the workshop on Saturday, I asked the group, if they were stuck and many said they were not stuck, but when I went on to explain the power of forgiveness, they realised that there were some areas in their life that they’re stuck.  It’s not saying that it was good, that you liked what happened to you; you’re not saying it’s OK; you’re not condoning it; you’re acknowledging the fact that something did happen, that you, as well as the other person played a part in.


When we tend to hold on to that story, that story we see and we keep repeating that story, we remain the victim; how many times have you heard yourself tell that story of your past?  Firstly you might get the sympathetic vote and people go ‘there, there, there’ and pat you on the shoulder and say they’re really sorry, but eventually people do get fed up with that; you remaining in the victim role. 


When you learn to forgive, you learn to live the life that you deserve.  Even when you’ve forgiven someone and more importantly yourself for the part that you played, how long you kept it alive for example, how many times did you repeat that story, how did you want revenge on that person, how many times have you said to someone ‘I really want that person to suffer, I really want revenge’,  there is so much ongoing work to happen with forgiving; many people start the journey, they start to forgive one person and it’s almost like the onion; the layers fold back, but this is good.  Forgiveness takes away what stands between yourself and your brother, forgiveness is the key to inner peace.


The ego gets in the way here as well; the ego is quite literally a fearful thought that gets in your way.  You can say 'well why should I forgive that person’?  You can hear that ego talking to you.  It’s a fearful thought, letting go; you’re afraid to let go of that past and leave yourself vulnerable and open, but you’re not actually, you’re regaining power from a situation; you’re absolutely regaining. 


It’s easy to forgive people who have never done anything to make us angry; people who do make us angry are our best teachers, they indicate the limits of our capacity for forgiveness.  Forgiveness is a choice and until you realise that there is a choice to be made here, forgiveness is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself.  We only have two choices; look at the negative and painful ways and continue the pain or more importantly remain the victim, or we can see the light in the other person.  You must see the light in both sides and for me, it was looking at the other person and managing to see and look beyond what happened.  Most of us go in to relationships, friendships and we bring stuff with us that’s been brought down from our families and we don’t know any better; our parents didn’t know any better because that came from them and so-on-and-so-on, but once you learn to forgive and love and let go with love, there are many exercises that I can help people with, to get them to that stage of forgiveness.  Release the judgement, don’t make a judgement, just release. 


I’m going to read this from ‘A Course of Miracles’ which the book that I’m studying at the moment;- ‘Forgiveness on the other hand is still and quietly does nothing.  It offends no aspect of reality nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes.  It merely looks and waits and judges not.  He who would not forgive must judge; he must justify his failure to forgive but he would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is; a course of miracles.  To help us see how our judgement reinforces our unwillingness to forgive, by judging the other person, we are keeping ourselves in the unforgiving dynamic alive’. 


So when we’re making a judgement of somebody else, what they’ve done to us or said to us, we are making that judgement so we are unable to forgive; we have to drop the judgment, you have to ask yourself a question ‘how have I been judging?’  More importantly, you have to be willing to forgive.  Do you prefer to be right or do you prefer to be happy?  Too often the response is that you want to be right and how many times have you heard that?  ‘I know I’m right’, ‘why should I forgive that person, they done me bad, they done me wrong’.  But you know what, sometimes it’s so much nicer to be nicer; I know it’s so much better to be happy rather than right.  Again if we don’t, if we think that we want to be right, again we’re reinforcing our victim role; we are enforcing that.  As soon as you become willing to stop being right and start being happy, you will be able to work on the opportunity to forgive.  Ask yourself for help, do nothing and then let forgiveness show you what to do. It is really good just to do nothing, ask for help, sit down and ask for help and then do nothing. 


I also want to talk about resentment as there’s always resentment before you let go; you resent that person and probably have stronger feelings about that person but when you let go of forgiveness, the resentment drops and how many times have your wanted revenge?  Revenge again is a negative attitude towards another.  OK you think you’ve suffered so you think that you want someone else to suffer but how does that serve you? Again, you’re keeping yourself in that story, again you are trapped. 


For myself and for many I know, you need to let go, forgive the other person, but I think the most important lesson that I have learnt for myself, is to forgive myself and that’s an ongoing course because each time you come across something you need to forgive, you need to look at your part and you need to forgive yourself for the way you may have acted, maybe the thoughts you had about that person, but forgiving yourself, letting yourself go, forgiving yourself, loving yourself, letting go of all of this forgiveness is with love, there is no other way. 


Once you’ve forgiven yourself and the other person, it gives you peace, it gives you the permission to move forward in your life, it frees you up to give you more choices to live a life of self-discovery and more importantly unconditional self-love; it gives you happiness, confidence, become your authentic person, more importantly you become unstuck from that story and gain your own power, giving you new beginnings and opportunities and choices.

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