Thoughts on Forgiveness and your 3rd Chakra
posted by Jackie Gaston
I must have had forgiveness in mind after several friends posted about it via social media and blogs. Whatever the reason, I dreampt a few nights ago that someone ( a real person) who was once the catalyst of great pain in my life was asking me to forgive him. Even in my dream I was confused about what forgiveness means so I asked him what it would mean to him if I did.
Him: You know, I'd be forgiven.
Me: No, I don't know. That's why I'm asking. What would it do for you? Would it let you off the hook? Would it make you feel better? Make you feel more guilty because I was being nice to you and you don't think you deserve it?
He didn't know an I didn't either.
I woke up still wondering about what forgiveness truly is and why we feel the need to forgive and be forgiven. One thing I'm sure about is that forgiveness is not what I was taught in Sunday School. I believe that it is impossible to forgive and forget that something ever happened. We may get over being treated badly but forgetting something that made a big impression on you is something we just aren't wired to do.
So if forgetting is impossible, just what is forgiveness and why do we feel the need for giving or receiving it?
A Google search of the word forgiveness shows 44,400,002 results. Try sifting through all of that for a definition of just what it is and just how to go about it. Most definitions cite letting go of resentment, anger and grudges as key elements of forgiveness. That all sounds well and good but why are we full of resentment, anger, and grudges in the first place? Because we feel that we've been wronged. That's why and when we feel that we've been wronged, we are playing the victim in a big way. Therefore, forgiveness may be the other side of the coin anytime we feel wronged or betrayed.
Another question in my mind regarding forgiveness is how do we know when we've done it? What does it feel like? This is where it gets down to the nitty gritty for me. What does forgiveness feel like? I'm not sure it feels the same for everyone or even in every circumstance. I know that it hasn't for me. In one instance, it was seeing the girl for whom the father of my children left our family as an angel in my life. It took twenty-five years for me to get there but I now realize that my experience of life has been much broader, deeper, and richer than it would have been had that marriage continued. Does that mean I'd trust her or want to be around her now? I seriously doubt it. I don't want to be around my ex any more than I have to either. I just know that he was who he was, is who he is, and the same goes for her. I am who I am partly because of the rolls they played in my life long ago. I've let us all off the hook.
In another instance, a woman I worked for owes me a paycheck that she'll never pay me. She was terribly ugly to me in many ways. Forgiving her means that I have to take responsibility for continuing to work for her when I saw how she was treating others. In reality, I put myself in that position so it's really myself I have to let off the hook for that one.
The common theme in these two stories is that I have reached the point of forgiveness in both incidents because I no longer see myself as a victim. I have taken responsibility for my parts in these situations.
I was staying in a miserable relationship because I didn't see a way out and I certainly wasn't making things any better for myself or for my kids. I worked for someone I saw was treating people badly but kept doing it because I thought I needed the money. When I finally stood up to her, she stopped paying me but a great new job was already on it's way to me.
Since forgiveness seems like the flip side of victimhood, I see it as relating to the 3rd chakra. When we allow ourselves to become victims, we are giving up our power. Forgiveness is one way to reclaim it. Claim your power. Let yourself off the hook. Forgive.