When you feel wronged, it can be so darn hard to forgive. I get it. With my recent situations, I wanted the people with whom I was upset to acknowledge my pain, understand they'd done something deeply hurtful (at least in my opinion at the moment), and let me know they recognized the impact of their actions. That was my ego talking. As I've spent the past few days examining the situation as pain or anger has arisen anew, these are the conclusions I've reached:
- Neither of these people did something to hurt me; I allowed myself to feel hurt by their actions.
- In one case, the action clearly wasn't intended to hurt me; it was just an off the cuff comment that, while possibly a little thoughtless, wasn't directed at me. In the other case, the actions were intended to be hurtful (I know because I asked), and I decided to play into it by choosing to feel hurt. If I hadn't chosen to feel that hurt, then the actions would have had zero impact on my life or emotional state.
- In the first case, there truly was nothing to forgive and if I chose to continue to feel hurt by it anyway, that was entirely my issue to deal with. It had nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with my own insecurities.
- In the second case, I chose to forgive because feeling hurt by that person's actions was what was causing me pain. The behavior had stopped; I was still carrying it by thinking about it and feeling hurt. I was causing my own pain. If I hadn't played into the other person's intentions and actions and allowed it to bother me--if I had ignored it and just gone on with my life unaffected instead of allowing myself to get fished in--then I wouldn't ever have experienced a moment of pain from those actions.
This morning I woke up with the residual of both of those incidents tugging at me, and for a minute I felt myself slipping back into those moments of pain. Then I realized as I wallowed (just a bit) in the pain, I was attracting more negative thoughts about other things, and I know I can never create joy from a negative space. Since joy, freedom, love, and compassion are my current primary focuses and allowing these thoughts pulled me out of that space, I took a few moments before I got out of bed to change what I was thinking and release the negativity. That allowed me to experience joy where I could meditate on things that moved me into a loving heart space that allows me to sustain my primary focus. It is an act of self-love because focus and intent shape experience, and I wish to have positive experiences in my life.
In every situation that arises in your life, you assign its significance. When an event initially occurs, you react authentically from whatever emotion you have in the moment. I'm not suggesting you should not allow that initial authentic reaction because when an event occurs, you feel how you feel. However, after that moment has passed and the event is in your rearview mirror, you decide whether you carry that negative emotion with you or if you let it go. It is always your choice to carry it; and just as that is your choice, so it can be your choice to let it go. Holding on to hurt, anger, and other negative emotions never puts you in a positive space. It never attracts joyful things, and it often blocks you from achieving your deepest desires because you are stuck in pain or anger instead of creating from a space of joy and empowerment. Choosing to forgive is always about loving yourself enough to move back into a space of positive vibration from which you can attract more positivity to bring about the things you truly desire. Choosing to forgive is an act of self-love.