As many of my long-standing readers know, I have been on a soulful journey for many months now – focused on personal growth - and I spend time each morning focusing on letting go of what may be holding me back. A few weekends ago I spent a lot of time focused on forgiveness – of those who have hurt me, largely unintentionally, and of myself for mistakes I’ve made along the way.
In this process I read the soulful and deeply insightful words of my wise friend that she wrote specifically about forgiveness:
Think of a hurt that you have experienced that you are still carrying around. The one that shows up in conversation, or in your moods. The one that creeps into your memory, and pinches your heart. The one that you carry, many times in deep hidden places of your body. The one that makes you eat, cry, or angry. Or simply the one you don’t even remember.
That one! That creates wonder and questioning of its presence. The one that is still attached to you. It is time to clear it out.
Just reading these few words left me riveted and I asked myself if I had any “hurts” deep within me that I needed to let go of. The answer that quickly revealed itself to me came from a place deep within – a “hurt” from many years ago that nearly buckled my knees when I remembered it. I was overwhelmed by the realization that not only had I never forgiven this person, I had actually never allowed myself to face the pain I had felt – it had been entirely suppressed within me.
I went on to read these words…
How many times have you heard about forgive but DON’T forget? To forgive involves the release of energy-draining emotions of hurt, disappointment, anger and many times resentment. These are emotions that hinder our livelihood, our well-being and peace. Never to forget, allows the attachment and energy of those emotions to continue living with us.
So today I want to introduce you to a higher form of forgiveness, One that clears your slate to empowerment and renewal. To Forgive & To Forget.
Releasing & Purifying your attachment to the emotions, that no longer serve you. Empowering yourself with self awareness, so that you don’t Allow it to happen again. Notice how I have said ‘Allow,’ placing you in control of yourself and not a victim to circumstance.
When we truly practice forgiveness, we simply let go. Now we all know that it is easier said than done, right? However, when we do finally let go of the other person, or the emotions that are causing uneasiness, there is this divine feeling of release, a healing, an inner peace and connection to self that is present.
In taking this action, we now contribute to helping others to keep our lives free of the dirt and litter that block our consciousness, our minds and hearts of the stream and peace of happiness that can flow through us all…
Forgiveness is the surest route to your inner self. It creates that special place in your heart for your Soul to shine.
Having read this passage I set about writing words of forgiveness. Words that would release the attachment that I’ve had to these emotions, an attachment that was buried deep within me for so long. To say that my soul felt lighter after this experience would be an understatement!
Forgiveness in Leadership
Later that evening as I found myself in a sea of Christmas presents, wrapping paper and bows, I turned on the TV to catch up on politics (a personal love of mine) by watching the Republican Presidential Debate while I wrapped gifts.
I was struck by the response Newt Gingrich gave to a question about whether infidelity should be considered by voters when electing a President. His response included the words, “I’ve had to go to God for forgiveness.”
Now, please don’t read this with any political lens because there is absolutely none…I was simply struck by the fact that forgiveness was being discussed in the context of leadership on a national scale. Given my own personal experience that day, it felt incredibly poignant.
Following the debate, ABC News analysts discussed whether voters would find it in their hearts to forgive Gingrich, and it left me wondering how often followers look within themselves to forgive their leaders. We don’t talk about it much, do we?
Given the powerful words I’d read earlier in the day, “Forgiveness is the surest route to your inner self. It creates that special place in your heart for your Soul to shine,” I wondered what the world would look like if we as leaders asked for forgiveness, and forgave, more readily. I wondered if we could genuinely do this from a place of empowerment that prevents us from being victims of circumstance, but enables us all to travel our True Paths more powerfully.
What do you think?
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Photo is Asking for Forgiveness by hang_in_there.