When we are hurt, disappointed or experience aversion, it is my experience that we either say “oh forget about it” , “it´s all right” or we just withdraw, we blame, we start criticizing, gossipping etc.
But what I experience is that all of this is just different ways of avoiding to forgive.
Forgiveness is a way of not hurting your own and others heart. It is a way of embracing and holdning each other where it is difficult to embrace and hold our selves, and our shadow sides that tend to make us act towards others in ways we can not yet see is hurting them and ourselves.
What I see and experience is that it is often those to whom we have the highest expectations and love the most, that we find it difficult to forgive. I have learned most about forgivness from my own life with my nearest family. Over a longer period with anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress my shadow-sides truly showed their face.
Most of the time I could not recognize myself and my reactions towards my family. I was so disappointed in myself, my ability to be a mother, lover, a supporting partner. I was not at all matching my expectations and wishes about myself. I was sometimes mean, so weak and using my state to manipulate with, playing the victim, then the martyr, then the hurt child etc.
I sometimes yelled, cried, said very hurting and inapropriate things. But my husband and my son kept loving me – kept forgiving me, kept holding and embracing me, including all the shadow sides that I could not see – yet.
What I could feel was that I started to dislike myself more and more, becoming more depressed.
Today I know that especially my loving partners ability to see and connect to the essence of me verbally telling me that he could still see the real me, the essence of me behind all this, was deeply healing for me and helped me to accept, see and be honest about my tendencies and default that came from my shadows. He kept his heart open for me, embracing all that I was, right there when I could not do it myself, and that held the relationship together.
What I know now, and often remind my self of, is that we are all – already forgiven because we are human beings and all human beings have shadow-sides, and all human beings hurt others without any intension of doing so. And that we tend to be hardest on those we love and have high expectations to, like our partners, our children, parents, teachers, near friends etc. Byt they too have shadow sides that we need to embrace and forgive. This isn´t the same as saying “anything goes”, not at all, we can disagree, and keep loving, by relating to their innermost being, and forgive.
When we do not forgive, it is my experience that we harden our own hearts. We do not integrate and accept that human default. We bring guilt, shame, blame and seperation.
What I believe is thatwe can only forgive others to the degree to which we can forgive ourselves.
This is mostly about knowing from deep inside that we are already forgiven and loved.