What truly changes … what are we open for?
Frequently, our language doesn’t correspond to our emotions. How does the heart and mind integrate forgiveness into a way of being? Forgiveness requires effort after the words are spoken. The work of forgiveness is like flexing a muscle. We must move through it fully, accept, and then (ONLY THEN) release it to allow a new (pure) beginning. The true test of pure forgiveness occurs when we operate with forgiveness as an action.
In the “letting go,” we create an untainted space for (pure) connection.
To forgive is to give as it was before—without withholding or tracking behavior. True forgiveness cannot be experienced with one foot in the past. When we harbor hurt or disappointment, there is not a pure opening for forgiveness. In the space of recall, we in fact begin to keep an account of the circumstances of “the incident,” watch for indicators, or—worse—keep a scorecard. When we hold tight to the memory of what occurred, the new opening becomes clouded.
As human beings, we often hold each other to a high degree of perfection. We throw around words such as “deal breakers,” “red flags,” and “patterns” in efforts to stave off an undesirable outcome. We can even begin to view our partner as a threat or a liability when they act differently from what we expect. Here, there is no opening for love or compassion, and pure forgiveness has not occurred.
People are wired with the fight-or-flight mechanism for survival. This is a primal state. An evolved state of Being allows others (partners) to make mistakes (yes—even big ones). The key to forgiveness is to accept the situation and person as they were; then it becomes truly left in past. If we are holding onto the past, we are not giving as before.
Stop trying to figure it out. In fact, be aware that figuring it out or trying to make sense of the mistake is a form of reactionary behavior. Creation is the opportunity to grow into the space of something new. Only in connection can we then enter into co-creation. One cannot (purely) create through manipulation or reaction. Reaction and creation cannot co-exist. Reaction destroys living or loving fully.
The fight-or-flight reaction is human. Consider it a primal tendency—no longer a necessity or a primary function. Accept your humanity with the cadence of levity and begin to accept the behavior you don’t like, aware that a single behavior doesn’t define your Being. This allows you not to take yourself too seriously. When we can do this, we then can extend the same to others. Failure to forgive self remains harnessed to a fixed position or perspective. To fail to accept your human imperfection, which is designed to make mistakes, is to do a disservice to yourself.
When we fail to allow others the same latitude, it is a disservice to them as well.
Allow, forgive, and move on!!