Forgiveness is ESSENTIAL
After completing the first exercise and maintaining the practice of it for 4 – 6 weeks, it’s important to understand the role of forgiveness to be effective in utilizing the law of attraction; forgiveness toward others and ourselves.
We will start with forgiveness toward others since this is a bit more simple than trying to look inward for all the things we should forgive our self for. Being grateful eliminates the negative feelings of greed, lacking and dissatisfaction but some may need a little bit more help letting go of resentment, hate, anger, jealousy, bitterness, frustration, and being overly critical toward others.
First of all, maintaining the last set of negative emotions described above does nothing to any of the people you’re holding them toward; in fact, even if they do feel a little guilt for “wronging” you without an adequate understanding of why they should feel this way, the mind will make use of the defense mechanism of repression to protect itself until an adequate understanding can be obtained to release the negative feeling. If they feel really guilty, it may motivate behavior to seek out the “wronged” person to make amends but if they are more of the fearful and avoidant type of personality, the guilt may simply stay and eat them up inside until it is fully understood and approached.
Personal Forgiveness Experience:
About eight months ago, my 18-year-old next door neighbor who’s a senior in high school was always having the cops called on him by his mother, who was not very mentally and emotionally stable herself, so I felt for the boy; one night, my little dog peanut was barking furiously at something he heard next to our house, so I went and sat outside in the garage to smoke a cigarette when I noticed a spotlight shine down the dead end road my garage faces toward. I went out and saw that it was a police car which was heading in the opposite direction by the time I came out of the garage to see what was going on.
I knew my next door neighbor had ran from his house because the police were on their way and I decided to go to the far side of the house because I felt that peanut may had been barking so furiously because he had heard my neighbor next to our house. As I made my way over there I began calling out his name so that he would know it was me and I found him there. I brought him in the garage and closed it up so that he could relax and we could talk! I noticed he had his backpack full of his school books and work; I thought to myself that “this kid is running away but made sure he brought his school stuff in case he has to stay somewhere tonight so he would have them for school in the morning; he can’t be that bad of a kid.”
He couldn’t get back in through his window after waiting a couple of hours and I offered him my bed for the night and I would take the couch. He woke up before the alarm and went off to his house to shower and change clothes for school. After this, we began regularly hanging out because we both smoked weed at the time and he knew hookups that would deliver hydro (which I DO NOT do anymore); the weed was a common element which we could connect on and I had hopes of getting him to quit when I did.
Once, he had a friend that lived close meet him at my house and I got a bad vibe from this friend of his; his friend came and hung out with us a handful of times but after a while I realized I didn’t want a bunch of 18-year-old seniors hanging around in my garage smoking weed and bumming cigarettes from me; his friend’s eyes were always half closed because he was either smoking weed, smoking fake weed, taking his prescribed anxiety medication, taking pain pills, drinking codeine cough syrup or drinking a 40 oz.! When he was at my house, he was always telling my next door neighbor “man, we need get a hold of this or find some of that,” so I noticed his strong negative influence on my neighbor and began not letting him come to my house and I blocked his number from my phone. My neighbor seemed like a better person so I made sure to always be there to talk to him, bought him food on several occasions and even watched sports with him when I don’t particularly care to watch sports on television.
I went out of my way to help my next door neighbor because I felt like he was a good kid but one day I decided to test his loyalty! After getting my prescription of Adderall (which I also DO NOT take anymore), I made sure that he and I were the only ones who knew where I kept it in my bedroom and I trusted him to talk to his girlfriend on my cell phone in my bedroom a couple of times, only to find out two or three days later that 30 out of my 60 adderall were missing. I was FURIOUS and thinking, “how could that little punk steal from me after all I had done for him? He’s just a fake little butt hole and I can see why his mom calls the cops on him!” I cleaned up this thought of course because the words I was thinking at that time were not nearly as nice.
I felt betrayed after being so supportive and giving to him, and I held this anger, resentment and frustration with me for about a week or two until one day I decided that I didn’t want to continue feeling bad inside over this. I thought about how as a child it is the parent’s responsibility to teach the child moral character to know not to lie, steal, take advantage, etc.; I was judging him for doing wrong when he was never taught any better and he was a drug addict along with the lack of proper parenting. Now, I wasn’t just making excuses for his behavior but taking the factors in his life into consideration to ease my blind resentment, anger, and frustration towards him.
When we choose not to forgive a person it is because we are holding onto the judgment of their behavior towards us that we believe is wrong; when we treat someone a certain way, we automatically assume that they should notice and treat us the same way. However, this way of thinking will lead us to become frustrated and resent another for not behaving how we believe he or she should. Ask yourself these questions, “have you always behaved as you should?” or “do you EXPECT people to similarly behave as you do towards them?” The first question should make you aware that you are not always perfect in the ways you behave and therefore have no right to judge others, even if you have never behaved in the exact same way; we ALL make mistakes and we are in no position to be judging others for their’s. If you believe the second question is true for you, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment, frustration, and anger by holding this expectation.
It’s VERY important to remember that the ways we behave have to do with the ways in which we were raised by and learned from our family as a child, so to expect someone to automatically know how to behave towards you shows a lack of understanding on your part for their unique life circumstances that taught them how to behave in their past.
Expectation is an automatic mental process that allows us to better cope and prepare for future situations to reduce confusion and stress. For example, if I say the word “classroom” your mind automatically visualizes a room full of desks for students, a chalkboard and a large desk at the head of the classroom for the teacher, among many other possible things. Another example, “lecture hall” brings the mind to visualize a large room with a bunch of stadium seated chairs fastened to the floor all facing a stage where at the center is a podium with a microphone for the speaker. When it comes to things like this, expectations are an effective mechanism for planning out what may occur in the future. However, human behavior is not as predictable as the possible aspects of an environment are and should not be regularly used when it comes to the way you think people should behave towards you!
Let’s face it; modern society is rarely a forgiving society. From childhood, we have been taught that good behaviors are rewarded while bad ones are punished. There is no real middle ground. Judgmental attitudes stem from this basic belief that forgiving has no place in a progressive society. Why forgive if you can punish? Why bother forgiving somebody if you can ostracize the person and forget everything about the person?
When a person refuses to forgive someone or something (i.e. a bad event in one’s childhood) he or she must hold on to a lot of clutter and baggage so the person can remember why he or she doesn’t want to forgive in the first place; this causes the person to carry deep-seated negative emotions that only harm the person unwilling to forgive!
But stop and REALLY think about it: who is really the victim when you hold a grudge against a circumstance or a person? Who is being harmed on a daily basis?
Forgiveness is as easy as breathing fresh air (if you are finally willing to forgive, that is). Not forgiving someone or something takes a lot of effort, both mentally and emotionally. The majority of people on this Earth have a hard time forgiving because many fear that if they do forgive, they run the risk of being duped again. People associate forgiveness with weakness and uncertainty, especially if someone has really caused them harm or injury (in whatever form). You don’t gain anything from holding grudges and you are not strengthened by not forgiving people but are actually weakened.
When you hold onto a grudge for a long time, your mind dwells on anger and resentment. When you feel that you have been horribly wronged by someone else, you feel injustice throughout your entire being; feeling that people are really out to get you and that the world is an evil place. You feel and believe that you are a victim and justice will probably never be acquired. Forgiveness frees you from this mental prison of being a victim that feels resentment and anger about the experienced injustice, allowing you to begin healing inside. Just in case it is not that easy for you to forgive others, let’s look to understand forgiveness further, including forgiving yourself.