Learn to forgive through a deeper understanding of forgiveness and its’ relationship to freedom and love.
Forgiveness does not mean we agree with what we are forgiving. It means that we’re no longer going to allow our past to hold power over us via our thoughts. The biggest misconception and roadblock to freedom that I notice people tend to have when it comes to forgiveness is this: That to forgive is to let off the hook, to say that what you, or I did is OK. I used to believe this myself as well. This was until I understood that forgiveness has nothing to do with what I am forgiving and it has everything to do with expressing love for myself. Allowing my past to control me was severely blunting my potential as a human being. It was blocking my ability to express compassion and love fully. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be putting myself out there in front of thousand of eyeballs on Instagram right now if it wasn’t for forgiveness. I wouldn’t have felt that my words are worthy. Now that my past doesn’t control my sense of self-worth, I am being vulnerable and putting my mind out there. I freed myself up to seek a higher potential and new levels of consciousness. Practice forgiveness to not allow your past to hold power over your present and control your future. You are worthy of living your highest potential… You are worthy of freedom from your past… You are worthy of feeling love and expressing love… ALWAYS
Forgiveness isn’t about what or who we are forgiving.It’s all about us, we allow it for ourselves. It’sabout replacing our resentment and tensionfor another, or ourselves, with freedom,understanding, compassion, peaceand love within ourselves.
Forgiveness is an act of love toward ourselves and freedom from the unforgiven.
Forgiveness is a gift that allows us to live freely in an otherwise unfair and unjust world. If we hold resentments toward any action that we deem as unfair or unjust, we will continue to remain prisoners of our own minds. Our resentments hold us hostage and influence our every action the same way we would if we were held hostage at gunpoint by some lunatic criminal. This is not freedom my friends. Freedom is being able to make choices that aren’t influenced by resentments, but instead influenced by love.
Forgiveness allows us to see what our resentments were blinding us from. There’s five things our resentments blind us from: understanding, compassion, freedom, peace and love. The stronger our resentments are, the more difficulty we will have in understanding others or ourselves, and in expressing compassion and love toward others or ourselves. I liken holding resentments to a horse wearing blinders. When wearing them, their perception is limited to only what is right in front of them. They aren’t capable of seeing the vast world around them. They are missing out on the big picture and incapable of understanding what is beyond their blinders. To them, what they see is all there is but all there is isn’t what they see.
How do you know you have forgiven someone? You are no longer triggered by the mere thought of them. Instead, you feel a new found sense of understanding and underlying peace. I never understood this until I forgave my dad. I have a new understanding of how his history (childhood) influenced his self-concept, his morals, and his insecurities. I can now see how my history had influenced me up until my point of forgiveness as well, we are both human, we are one in the same. To take it one step further, I released my judgment toward him being wrong in the past because I now understand he was doing the best he could with the understanding he had, leaving me with nothing left to forgive. I am no longer triggered by the thought of him. In fact, I feel compassion and love when I think of him, which I never felt before my point of forgiveness.
Develop your listening skills and become a deeper, more impactful listener with these short insights.
Many times, people just want your ear, not your voice. We are often so quick to want to give people our advice that we seldom truly listen. I used to think that my advice is what people always wanted, so I made sure I gave it to them. Upon deeper reflection and inquiry, I started to realize that this just wasn’t true. The roadblock with thinking that this is true is two fold; we get caught up with formulating our advice that we actually stop listening, and, feeling heard is what people want most of the time, wise advice is just a bonus. Deep listening, on its’ own has the ability to create a transformational experience within another, words aren’t a necessity for this to happen. Unfortunately, deep listening seems to be a rarity these days, let’s change that.
The next time someone confides in you, play a game with yourself. See if you can get through the conversation without giving advice. If this is something you typically don’t do, be prepared for some shocking results.
Want to wow someone? Listen, don’t judge, be understanding, be compassionate, and instead of giving advice; ask questions that point them back to their innate wisdom.
The pause in a conversation is not a time to jump in, it is a space created for conscious reflection and an opportunity for new thought to come through into expression. Are you allowing time for them to pause and reflect before jumping in? Guilty as charged. I used to be terrible at this, waiting for that momentary pause so I can jump in to express my opinion or give my advice. After learning the significance of the pause, and consciously using it as a space for reflection instead of an opportunity to jump in, I noticed the other person would generally relax into that space and speak on thoughts that I generally would have robbed them from by jumping in.
Understanding what someone is saying is incomplete if you don’t hear the meaning behind their words. Words in and of themselves have no meaning without context. If we attach our own meaning to their words instead of listening for their meaning, we haven’t heard them. Many of us hang on to words, I notice I tend to do this more often than I’d like. But words can mean so many different things. Listen for the words within the context they are being spoken and the emotional background they are given birth from. We are guaranteed to hear something different if we do.
A deep listener will explore beyond the obvious, and beyond understanding, to find meaning.
Fun Fact: We can listen at 400 words per minute yet only speak at 125-175 words per minute. Because of the gap between the rate at which we can listen and speak, it is inevitable that your mind will wander at times while listening to another. The difference maker is, how quickly you can catch your mind wandering and bring it back to the present moment.
When people are speaking, let them speak. If they appear to be struggling to find a word or put together their next thought, give them space. Don’t attempt to finish what you didn’t give them the chance to.
You look for energy to pull you in one direction because you feel a thought-created pull in the opposite direction. Therefore, you resist that opposing pull and call this energy willpower. I consider willpower and the supposed need for it a societal fallacy, few ever question it. Here’s an example to give a better understanding of this InSight: Imagine this – You’re on a nutrition plan to lose weight and you start thinking about the cookies in the cupboard that your spouse bought. You now resist the urge that your thought created, which is to go into that cupboard and have a cookie (or 2). So what do you do? You muster up all your willpower to resist doing what you don’t want to do. Now, most people would think they’re resisting the cookies, but in actuality, they’re resisting the thought of eating the cookies. Keep in mind, we only resist a thought because we have labelled it as bad or undesirable. You then attempt to will the thought away with all of your willpower and live in a state of resistance. As the old saying goes, what you resist will persist. The urge/craving will never truly go away. It may feel that way because you’ve suppressed it via resistance, but it will always come back, usually more often than you’d like. Instead of trying to push that thought and subsequent craving away, sit with the thought and feeling without judgment. Accept it as it enters your consciousness, give it permission to be there and don’t fear it or judge it. See it as just a thought, no more and no less, because that is all it is, it cannot hurt you. This will allow you to let the thought go resistance-free and the urge/craving then slowly dissolves on its’ own. And the need for willpower diminishes once we dissolve the source of the resistance.
Is will power necessary? Yes, but only when you don’t go deep enough within yourself to dissolve your resistance. Get still and ask yourself: Where is this resistance coming from? What are the thoughts I’m believing that are creating this resistance within me? Who am I to be in order to dissolve this resistance?
Willpower is like driving with one foot on the brake and pressing the gas pedal harder while the fuel tank runs out faster, all in an attempt to generate momentum. Wouldn’t it be easier to just let go of the brake (thought) to eliminate friction and conserve fuel? Just a thought. Release attachment to the security of holding on to the brake or gas (thought) and set yourself free to move forward more gracefully instead of forcefully.
All emotional resistance within yourself is thought-created. This is helpful to know because when you can see the resistance for what it is, a thought believed, it begins to hold less and less power. Thus, absolving the need to generate power from your will to resist this thought and expend unnecessary additional energy.
Willpower doesn’t really seem to be power at all, it more resembles force. We are forcing momentum in a specific direction against a high friction resistance (a resisted thought). Force is needed due to the friction we have created within ourselves via our thoughts.
Fighting power with force is exhausting and inefficient, it requires a massive amount of energy. Think of a time when you had to exert a large amount of will power (force) toward something, how did you feel after? Drained? Exhausted? Most likely. Imagine you were able to conserve this energy and direct it toward your creativity instead? How would that feel?
Find your stillpower instead of your willpower. Once you experience the power of stillness, your perception of willpower will change forever. Your stillpower is that quiet place within you that is the source for all of your inspiration and wisdom. It’s not forceful like willpower, as force is not needed, it’s resistance-free inspiration, it breathes life into you.
Look beyond the thought created resistance that’s taunting you to fire up all of your inner resources and put them toward your willpower, leaving you with little energy left for anything else. When you look beyond these thoughts, there is a quiet space awaiting you, your stillpower. Look toward that and a whole new landscape will arise.
Manipulate your environment to eliminate resistance, and therefore the need for willpower. For example, a couple of years ago when I first started implementing a morning ritual, my plan was to start waking up 1 hour earlier than normal. What I did to make this much easier on myself was I manipulated my environment by placing my cell phone across the room. When my alarm went off in the morning, I had to get out of bed in order to shut it off, and if I didn’t shut it off my wife would have killed me, so it left me no choice but to jump out of bed.
What do we do when we want to get to know someone? We spend time with them. If we want to get to know ourselves we must do the same. In a world of deadlines and so-called busyness, most people I know don’t even give themselves 10 minutes of their own time on a daily basis to connect, reflect, and express love for themselves. Make yourself a priority, create a loving foundational relationship with yourself. This lays the groundwork for all other relationships you currently have and create in the future. This is what is needed for any relationship to maintain itself and flourish, whether it be with another or with ourselves.
I used to tell myself I wasn’t worth it, until I kissed that self goodbye. I came to the realization that any concept of myself that I deemed unworthy was just a conceptual lie. I made it up. This is also how I rid myself of the perfectionism that plagued me for so long. I no longer see the truth in it that I once used to.
Be gentle and compassionate with yourself, this sets the stage for growth and new opportunity.
You will stumble, you will fall, get back up and give it your all.
I’ve learned more from looking into my own reflection than I did from 14 years of schooling, and it was free.
One thing school won’t teach you is the abstract art of looking into your own reflection and discovering the innate wisdom that can only be found through contemplative introspection.
If you don’t make time for yourself, don’t come down on others when they don’t make time for you either.
Ask yourself: Why does this persons’ action bother me so much? There’s a good chance that you have performed, or still do perform that same action and continue to judge yourself for it. We place a bulls-eye on actions that we judge ourselves for, and we seek these actions everywhere we go. Have you ever noticed that you tend to notice the same actions that bother you, repetitively? Be honest with yourself, and when you discover the truth, be compassionate with yourself and let go of your judgments. You will then begin to notice less and less the action of another that used to bother you. This is all because you recognized it within yourself, that it was you who was bothering you the entire time.
You must learn to stand alone without feeling alone before you can stand with solitude amongst the multitude.
I’ve been through some shit and I’ve been through some shit, let’s not judge each other. No, that second “I’ve” is not a typo. Until we transcend our self constructs, we associate ourselves with multiple identities. We become chameleons, transforming our identity according to past experiences, who we are surrounded by, who others have judged us to be, who we’ve judged ourselves to be, and our emotional state. We judge all the different identities we have given ourselves as parts of ourselves we like or dislike, yet none of the identities are truth.
The depth of our relationship with another can only be as deep as the one we have with ourselves. For example, if you are too afraid to face the source of your guilty feeling, you will feel very uncomfortable in the presence of another who is feeling guilty. This discomfort will create a roadblock to new depths for that relationship. We will be comfortable to face with another only that which we have faced within ourselves.
Try this: Instead of trying to create a new version of yourself, aim to reveal your true self by taking off the mask of the version that disguised you.
We wear many masks over our lifetime, few of us take them off to experience who we really are.
We are one truth wearing the mask of many lies.
Truth is what remains when we can see that we’re not the chameleon, we’re the creator of the chameleon.
Ever wondered whether your actions are helping or enabling another?
My hope is that these insights will allow you to see with more clarity.
There is a fine line between helping and enabling. If your helping isn’t supporting their growth as a person, there’s a good chance you’re enabling a behaviour that hinders it.
Ask yourself: Am I not letting go of my behavior towards them because it makes me feel uncomfortable by doing so or because you think it might make them feel uncomfortable by doing so? If it’s because you are avoiding feeling uncomfortable, there’s a good chance you have made it about you instead of them. Be ready to do what is best for them, despite your discomfort.
Ask yourself: Am I attempting to fill up my cup or theirs? For example, one who doesn’t love them self is enabling the behaviour of another because they associate that behaviour with receiving love in return. Therefore, they feel loved at the expense of inhibiting the growth, learning, joy, health etc. of the person whose behaviour they’re enabling.
Ask yourself: Am I acting out of selfishness or selflessness? A selfless person will do what is best to nurture the other persons’ growth despite their own personal attachments. They will also see that what is best for the other person is also best for them. This is how selfless people are able to let people go that they love dearly, instead of holding on to them for personal gain.
Instead of constantly over-watering the flower out of fear that it’s not getting enough, try stepping back to watch the universe take care of it, witness the rain nurture its’ growth.
We also have a tendency to do this with humans as well, in the form of enabling or smothering. Fearing that without us they won’t grow or function optimally.
Sometimes, others truly do need our help, and at other times we need to trust that their innate wisdom will guide them to flourish and grow, safely.
*disclaimer: I am leaving my opinion on Trump and the wall out of this. The last thing I want is a political tirade. This is not an attack, just a pawn for an InSight.*
I was driving the other day while listening to the audiobook version of Conversations With God (some may wonder why I would listen to such a thing since I’m not religious, because there is a lot of wisdom embedded within religions that can be extracted from the surrounding beliefs).
Unity vs Division
Anyways, the topic of unity vs division sparked my curiosity. When I think of division within humanity, the first thing that always comes to mind is the wall that Trump was pushing to build.
So, the audiobook faded into the background and I started wondering how that same $1 billion dollars could be used toward unification of humanity.
Unification being, treating humanity as a whole, that we’re all each others people, oppose to my people or your people.
Division being, segmenting humanity into parts and hierarchies, typically our people and your people or their people.
Many will see building the wall as the unification of a nation, which in a sense can be true. It can also be seen as a strong stance toward the dividing of nations, a step closer toward dividing the whole into more defined parts.
I understand there are many examples that could be used around the world to express division vs unity. Having separate governments being one huge act of division. While unification would be to establish one world government.
I chose this example because it stands out like a sore thumb and nearly every human being on earth can relate to it.
How many mouths could be fed
What came to mind was the wonder of how many starving mouths 1 billion dollars could feed in a 3rd world country. As you have probably already seen by the image before the post, the answer is an astonishing 23 million starving school children in Africa.
What I found even more astonishing
During my research, I stumbled upon a GoFundMe campaign for the Trump wall. I’m not sure how publicized this was, so if this is old news I apologize 🙂 ( I told you I don’t follow politics).
At first, I thought it was a hoax. However, to my amazement, it is a legitimate campaign. As of writing this, American citizens have raised $20,689,603 in nearly 3 months.
That’s $20 million dollars that could have gone to charity to help those in need.
I understand the philosophy behind the wall, take care of your own first. This is primitive conditioning that can be witnessed in the many T.V series that are set centuries ago (two very popular ones being Game of Thrones and Vikings) , reinforcing how little progress we have made toward unification.
What if we didn’t separate people into “ours” or “yours”? These are statements of ownership that create separateness and possessiveness when what the world really needs is oneness and solidarity, to stand together as one instead of apart as many.
Sure, it may sound far fetched, but that’s because the larger collective does not view humanity in this manner.
A shift in consciousness is needed and is coming, where talks of walls will be replaced with talks of shared interests and mutual love.