The Unseen Freedom in Learning to Forgive
Key Lesson: There are those who will tell you why it is wise to never forget the pain of the past . . . but if you look closely at the anger, sorrow, and bitterness that has hardened their faces, then you will also see why learning to forgive is the better of the two paths.
Three New Choices That Dismiss Dark Conditions
The only thing most of us know to do when life takes an unwanted turn, bringing us what we don't want, is to take a turn for the negative ourselves. And when the circumstance in question really makes a wreck of things, not only do we summarily reject the event seen "at cause," but for good measure we often will turn our wrath upon our own lives, pronouncing them "not worth living"!
Such flashes of frustration born from our growing sense of futility make sense on the surface of things, and even seem curative to the self that feels so impossibly stuck. But a closer look proves otherwise.
What many have yet to understand is that dark, negative reactions to unwanted events do nothing to cure them. In fact, these painful impulses have just the opposite effect. They actually "cement" things -- fixing both themselves and the false sense of self through which they then are empowered to run their unhappy course. Here is some help to see the truth of this.
Each negative response that passes unconsciously through us actually confirms its own dark perception that life has "done me wrong"! But this is only half of its occult operation. This same conclusion -- of having been somehow victimized by an uncaring world -- virtually locks the door on the possibility of ever discovering the real lessons and the truth behind these times of trial. Whenever life runs counter to your wishes, try to see that it really isn't life that has denied you your happiness, but that the real culprit responsible for darkening the moment is some idea you have about what you need to be happy.
Admittedly, this new and higher perception takes courage, because instead of struggling to change the "dark" condition called into question (or just silently stewing over it), you must turn and face the false self responsible for this outlook. But the truth is there is really no alternative, not if you can see that as long as this demanding self stands unchallenged within you, so will the painful pattern of fighting with unwanted events continue to occur. The next time that life comes knocking with what you "don't want," instead of allowing yourself to be dragged through the old round-around, make these three new choices, and watch how they dismiss the darkness knocking at your door:
Your first choice (always!) is to come wide-awake to yourself. Remember: Your new aim is to not allow old, mechanical reactions to rule the day. Then, in this awareness of yourself, see that the unpleasantness of the offending moment is not actually in the event itself but is an effect of resisting your own perception that something has taken away your happiness. Key here to escaping this circle of self-perpetuating punishment is in coming awake to its existence, and how not wanting to feel a certain way is giving you the very feeling you don't want!
For your second new choice, stop complaining to yourself (and others) about what life has "done" to you. All you are really doing is recreating the very dismal state-of-self you are condemning. Consciously choose to go the other way, which brings us to the third and most important choice in this exercise:
Say "yes" to life. Instead of blindly refusing moments that seem contradictory to your contentment, and then arbitrarily pushing them away, learn how to embrace these unwanted moments. Bring them into your real life, into the light of self-awareness, instead of trying to get rid of them. Your conscious embrace invites these times to tell you about the self they help to reveal. Freedom follows.