Many people throughout the ages have spoken of the virtues of forgiveness. Today, let’s look at this most personal, yet universal, of subjects and perhaps add a special twist.
Against whom are you carrying a grudge? Is there someone who has done you a wrong, in some way, and who you just can’t forgive? Have you, yourself, done things that you can’t forgive? When we cannot forgive, we have the tremendous potential of doing incredible damage to ourselves if we don’t let go of these hurts. In order to be fully human, we must learn to forgive and forget.
He was absolutely right, and here’s why. Every time you remember something bad that happens to you, some wrong that was done to you, you feel those bad feelings all over again. You record the event in the neuron structure of your brain and it plants itself in your subconscious.
Now the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between a vividly imagined or remembered event and the real thing. It is all “real” to the subconscious. When we subject ourselves, over and over again, to painful, angry memories, eventually our inner system begins to break down. The poison of the not forgiven hurt and anger attacks from the inside out.
12-step programs often emphasize the importance of forgiveness, because they recognize that forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. When apartheid ended, South Africa went through a sometimes wrenching forgiveness and reconciliation process, because they knew they could not have a successful future if they were still trapped in the past.
When we forgive, we let go of past hurts and open up to wonderful new possibilities. What wonderful possibility awaits you? What do you need to let go of, in order to meet that possibility?
The Pacific Institute
To forget so we may allow the hurt to pass. To forgive and forget what is the value? Some say they can forgive but they will never forget. Oh such trouble, for if we forgive the person who caused us pain but we never forget then we go on hurting ourselves and not the other person.
Why is this so? Simply it is “how the mind works”, so said Lou Tice, “in the neuron of the brain.” Lou is not the scientist that made the discoveries but a teacher who studied the work and made the effort to talk and learn from those men of science. More importantly he taught people how to over come the disabilities of the self so that they can achieve the greatness that is within them.
So how does not forgetting continue to hurt us, well simply the subconscious mind does not know the difference between a remembered event and the actual event. Every time we remember a particular happening it is, to the sub-concussions mind happening again, and again, and again. With each remembrance we feel the same feelings even to the extent of having the same physical responses, breathing, sweats, etc. Remembering the event effectively causes the memory to imprint on our mind and memory thus making it harder to forget and making the hurt grow.
Forgiveness is more an act of love to ourselves than it is to those that have wronged us. By forgiving and thus forgetting we allow ourselves the ability to move past the event into a future without those painful feelings and thoughts.
In no way do I want to tell those who have suffered great trauma how to deal with their feelings, for I am neither a sage nor a counselor. I wonder of those who have suffered through concentration camps, false imprisonments in foreign countries, those wrongfully convicted at home, and all those who have suffered abused by friends, family or strangers, if keeping the memories alive have helped or hindered them in their own attempts to live a contented life?
More to come.
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile?