A lot of people are probably really going to dislike this post… all I can do is remind you that this blog is an accounting of my own journey. If it sounds false to you, then it’s either A) a lesson which you did not come into Being to learn, B) a lesson you are not yet ready to learn, or C) a lesson which you have surpassed and realized a deeper truth that negates this one (which happens a LOT, by the way- what is true for you today is often falsified by a deeper understanding attained further along in your journey).
So, now that the disclaimer is out of the way…
We all have crap in our past, and perhaps in our present, for which we find we have an exceedingly difficult time finding forgiveness.
When we are unable to forgive (forgiveness does NOT mean allowing toxic people to stab you in the back repeatedly, it means acquiring emotional neutrality regarding a specific person/event), if we look within, most often we find that inability to forgive is rooted in the hard seed of resentment.
A belief which maintains, “You did this to me!”
Resentment is just a fancier word to express blame. Whether it’s an ex, God, a parent, and even yourself. Especially yourself because, you see, the source of all of our blame, of our inability to forgive, is based in our refusal to explore our own responsibility for the situation/event.
First, allow me to clarify that blame and responsibility are not synonymous with one another. Responsibility is healthy; it is an honest, objective assessment and acceptance of the part (if any) which you (or someone else) may have played in bringing about an event or situation, whereas blame is finding fault with the person you hold responsible.
Regular readers of my fledgling blog have already picked up on the fact that I use a lot of analogies and stories to clarify what I mean, since the labels we each apply to specific energies (feelings/emotions/ideas/thoughts) can vary widely… and is the source of the majority of our conflicts with one another.
Think of it this way:
If a close friend broke something of yours by accident, they are responsible, because it was they who broke the thing, but you (hopefully) wouldn’t blame them, because you are aware that there was no ill intent, it just… happened. Forgiveness comes easy because you find no fault with their behavior. You accept that accidents happen.
Blame is the feeling we experience when we attach a belief of ill will to the perpetrator of an action or event. It is a negative energy.
Responsibility is neutral. It’s cause.
Forgiveness occurs when we are able to re-write the story in our minds, to create a reality in which we can accept what is (or what happened in the past) from a place of neutrality.
The thing is, our minds, our egos, are tricky little buggers. They concoct clever stories (versions of reality) that elicit anger. What makes that so clever is that, to the un(self)examined person, anger is just that: anger. And therein lies the trick.
Anger is not a true emotion; it’s an emotional self-defense mechanism, fabricated in order to avoid feeling powerless, by creating a false sense of power. It does double-duty as a masking agent, hiding other ‘powerless’ emotions, like frustration, grief, and fear. Sometimes this ‘masking’ is easy to spot, like when a parent gets angry with their child after a time of intense fear for their safety. Other times, the masking is nearly impossible to spot, because anger is not only accepted, but expected, in reaction to certain things:
- Anger at an abusive parent/spouse
- Anger at sexual assault/rape
- Anger at the loss of a loved one
- Anger at infidelity/being lied to
Now, before you rip my head off, allow me to explain that I am not saying we should not feel anger about these (or any other) things we experience. Anger serves a very important role in relation to our emotional well-being… it protects us from traumas which we are unable/unwilling to process at that moment in time. Anger is emotional amnesia, blocking and blinding us to the depth and intensity of the underlying powerlessness we experienced.
Anger is the field medic of our emotional battlefield. It was never intended to be a permanent fix, it’s just triage, meant to hold us together until we are able to get to a safer place in which to treat our emotional wounds. The problem occurs when we make the mask permanent; when we allow the anger to seal over an emotional wound, and never clean out what’s festering underneath.
Anger has become the equivalent of an emotional ‘easy button’, misused and misunderstood.
HSPs (Highly Sensitive Persons) and empaths, I believe, are prone to becoming angry people, because we not only often feel powerless ourselves as a result of being constantly buffeted by the emotions of others, but we often feel the feelings of powerlessness belonging to others, even when that lack of power is being masked by anger. We experience a powerless-double-whammy, and our own anger becomes the shield which we use to escape the overwhelm.
So, back to the original point…
When we find ourselves unable to muster forgiveness (ie, release our anger… become neutral) about something, what’s happening is that we have not treated the underlying wound. There is ALWAYS an underlying wound, one which robs us of our power in some way, a wound which we are unwilling, or unable, to explore.
This isn’t a recrimination, I am not preaching at you from a position of superiority. I almost always write from a ‘stream of consciousness’ type place (this is why my posts are usually all over the place, I type my thoughts, and my thoughts are usually scattered)… I am explaining this stuff to myself, I’m just sharing my process of discovery with you folks, on the off-chance someone else can benefit from it as well.
Trust me, I’m an emotional train-wreck. Any truth or wisdom found in my posts are the result of me tapping into a much higher source of wisdom than I possess on my own!
Healthy anger is anger that carries us through the worst of the powerlessness, a buffer zone to allow us time to steady ourselves after an emotional blow, but when it becomes a means of avoiding certain emotions indefinitely, it becomes more and more unhealthy.
When we are children, and something bad happens to us, we are truly not responsible for what happened, but we often feel some sense of shame for it.
I want you all to understand that I am not preaching at you from an ivory tower. I was sexually assaulted by two separate people in my childhood. I was in a physically abusive relationship in which I feared for my life more than once. I had a semi-physically and definitely-emotionally abusive parent, and another who allowed it. I’ve been cheated on and lied to and all of the things which I am talking about… I have experienced these things. I have sustained these wounds, and many others, and I am telling you that any healing I have sustained has all stemmed from taking an objective look at the situation, and taking responsibility for any part I may have played in them, and forgiving myself, and then worked on finding a way to neutralize the blame I have placed on others. Sometimes that neutralization comes by way of creating a story in my mind that softens my anger (re-creating the reality), sometimes it is seeing the lesson in the experience, sometimes it is
I’ve said before, all emotions are energy, and you can’t block just one emotion. They all come from the same place – the emotional body. Anger masks the whole emotional body and, if left untreated, will eventually treat every emotion as a threat… even the emotions we want to experience, because the fear of examining and experiencing years of suppressed pain becomes so paralyzing that anger becomes the only vivid source of feeling we allow ourselves to experience, in a desperate attempt to deny the existence of our wounds.
I challenge you to join me in the process of examining your anger for the powerless feelings underneath, and heal the wounds it is masking! We are meant to be beings of love and light!
Apparently, my higher self is trying to make a point to me about reclaiming my power, as this is the second post I’ve written on the topic this week!