Let’s first talk about a few basics on forgiveness. Have you ever done anything inappropriate in your life? (Yes, I mean anything) Most people will come up with at least one inappropriate thing. (Actually, we’re still looking for the first, “No. I have never done anything inappropriate in my life, person.” I really want to meet her. Yes, I’m assuming it’s going to be a woman…I know us guys are pretty much out of this one) When you think about it, could you have done better? Or were you doing the best that you could with the resources and the abilities that you had at the time?
Most people’s initial response is “I could’ve done better. I could have done a lot better.”
My response to that is “Then why didn’t you?”
Their response in return is something like “I don’t know. I was young I was immature and angry. I didn’t know any better and was influenced by friends. I’m not blaming them but in retrospect it just seems like I wanted to fit in and was easily influenced.”
Or be thinking something along the lines of “But, that wasn’t really me. There were a lot of things happening at the time. I was young” … and so on.
The good thing is that when you were doing these inappropriate behaviors, you weren’t doing it from the bowl of light part of you, but rather from all the stuff, (the memories with trauma/negative emotions) above your bowl of light.
You should have already viewed the “Foundation/Bowl of Light Page” If not, then it’s a good time to do it now.
The truth is, “We are all doing the best that we can with the resources and the abilities that we had at the time”. That means ALL of us.
That’s the foundation for forgiveness. Here it is again.
We are all doing the best that we can with the resources and the abilities that we had at the time.
Of course, that doesn’t give you a free pass for inappropriate behavior. You are still accountable/responsible (kuleana) for your actions and have to pay the consequences for such behavior.
Here’s another misconception:
Forgive and forget. Right! ˋA`ole hiki. (Absolutely not!)
However, you’ve heard this before. Just forgive them and forget all about it. For most of you, you know that it doesn’t seem right, just doesn’t feel right. That’s because it’s not right. Deep within, you know that to be true. Here’s why. If you actually did forgive them and forgot all about it, then it could happen again. Why? Because then, it would be out of your awareness.
Even when we say “I’m going to forgive you and just forget all about it” a part of you is not going to or will not forget. What we really say to ourselves is “I can forgive but not forget.” And what happens is the part of us that can’t forget or remembers, remembers the memories/events with the negative emotions still attached. Thus, we never get the learning’s from the memories or events.
Try this new perspective. Forgive and remember.
I’m going to forgive you and remember the event. Just release the negative emotions around the memory/memories than the memory can make sense. I can then get the learnings, the true essence of the learnings and those learnings can become a part of me, a part of my bowl of light me.
Again, it’s Forgive and Remember. In remembering, it’s validating our learning’s and experiences of the past. Forgiveness releases the negative emotions or trauma around the event/memory so we can access the learnings, which give us the understanding that strengthens our future resolve so that we can move on in our lives.
When we forgive someone, we are not forgiving them for the inappropriate behavior that they did (remember, they are not their behaviors…and neither are you) – because if they did it today, it would still be inappropriate. We are forgiving that bowl of light part of them that is within each of us.
And when you Forgive, it releases the negative energies and emotions inside of you and completes your own healing.