Say you’ve been hurt, and on a scale of 1-10, it’s a solid 11. Some time has passed, and now, due to its magnitude, this hurt has turned into a wound – possibly even a debilitating one replete with anxiety, depression; the works. Maybe at one point you didn’t even know how you would survive the pain; just the thought of it could take you down. But then eventually you moved on, you had to. Life kept going and was about to pass you by, so next thing you know that wound is a story, far enough away that you can live your life but still pulsing inside of you, and if you press into it the scar tissue sends waves of emotion that take you right back.
What now? Live with the story, or hope you never see the person ever again – or that Karma will even the score? Pray that someday you can forget or chalk it up to “a lesson learned,” “had a run of bad luck,” “God wasn’t looking” or “It’s just the way some people are,” or…if they would just say they were sorry you might be able to let it all go? Maybe. Or maybe you are the person who has done someone wrong, inflicted harm that changed the course of another’s life without serious consideration or regard for the consequences of your actions. Carelessly or selfishly caused someone to feel pain unnecessarily, and while in the beginning you tried to rationalize and justify your actions and behavior you know there is no denying you were out of integrity, that you had no right to treat another human being the way you did, and now that some time has gone by the remorse is growing inside you though you still try and cover it up by minimizing it or telling yourself they had a part too. Everyone makes mistakes, you were young or stupid or “That’s just what men or women do sometimes,” right? Yet now, after all this time has passed, whenever you think of this person or situation you know you are not clean, you feel that emotional film or stuck place in your gut, signifying you are out of integrity with yourself. So what can you do? How could an apology make any difference now? Anyway, they are just words, right? Maybe.
Let’s find out. Sit with this declaration from Guys Who Care (www.guyswhocare.com) :
There exists one such powerful healing force that in the face of blatant abuses, horror and even death, offers the possibility of freedom. It turns out that the freedom we seek does not exist outside ourselves, but in direct proportion to our capacity for compassion towards the human condition. Hence our paradoxical maxim: Freedom through forgiveness. We believe by making a living amends—a declaration of We, aligning together in reverence, respect and love towards the divine within each of us and on behalf of all sentient beings—we can invoke universal harmony and balance.
Try it on for size; is there anyone you can find it in your heart to forgive now? I am studying the potential of freedom through forgiveness, and would love to hear your story. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.