Part 1:Forgiving Others // Part 2:Forgiving Ourself // Part 3:Forgiving Life (God)
FORGIVING LIFE (GOD)
Is there anything you’re angry, hurt or blame Life/God for? Whatever it may be, that “thorn in your side” might just be your “ticket to the good life!”
After years of working to inspire people to empower themselves and make healthy choices, I’ve found that the biggest blocks to success are unforgiveness (of others, self and/or Life/God) and belief in unworthiness. In today’s article, we’ll take a fresh look at “forgiving Life/God” so we may truly and richly enjoy what it has to offer!
What happened to “the life we wanted?”
We’ve probably all wished, hoped and/or prayed for something that we didn’t get to experience. Maybe we wanted to marry the homecoming queen, make the grand nationals in our sport of choice or become the next Madonna. When we focus on what is “missing:” a bigger home, a higher-paying job, a sexier someone, etc., we may also suffer with an ever-lingering feeling of disappointment. By choosing to hold Life/God responsible for what we didn’t get, we have passed judgment that we know “better” what life “should be.”
Instead of dwelling on the downer of what we didn’t get, let’s explore why we haven’t forgiven Life/God and what we can do to transform our unforgiveness into freedom—and a real chance at joy.
Two twisted reasons we don’t forgive Life/God
1) If we quit blaming Life/God for what we didn’t get and accept that life is what it is, we might have to accept that we are responsible for how our lives “turn out.” (Oh no, not that! :-0 😀)
2) If we accept that we are responsible for our lives, we’d have to grow and change. We couldn’t stay “small” anymore. We’d have the possibility of living fully, of truly experiencing success and failure based on who WE are and what WE do.
Judging life is a Killjoy
Judgmental thoughts like, “my life is not good enough,” and “things should have turned out better” are like a low-grade infection that burns within us. When we are irritated with life, how can we expect to experience joy? The irritation leaves a heavy residue that hangs over even the most joyful of events and opportunities, clouding our perspective. Instead of joy, we might feel isolated, misunderstood and in search of a “quick and dangerous fix.”
Learning to Love Life
So that we may allow ourselves to feel and experience joy and love of live, we might consider accepting life instead of judging it. Learning to truly love anything requires acceptance of it—as it is. This does NOT mean that life cannot change or be changed. It simply means that we accept what is presented to us, both right now and in the past, as LIFE.
The benefits of forgiveness of Life/God include but are not limited to: peace, openness, freedom, success, love and joy. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?
What is forgiveness and how do we do it?
As discussed in last week’s article, my perspective on forgiveness is considered shocking to some; If we choose to accept everything and everyone as it is and does, then no judgment and forgiveness is required. (Acceptance does not mean that all behaviors or situations are OK or tolerable.)
However, if we have judged someone, ourselves and/or Life/God, then forgiveness is required in order to heal and grow. Forgiveness in this sense is a deep, heartfelt apology—first to our creator for being so arrogant as to believe we know best how to judge how our lives “should” be and for holding onto that judgment. Next, is an apology to ourselves, and then to the beings whom have been affected.
How I judged life/God
In retrospect, my experience sounds silly—but at the time, it felt devastating. From childhood through my twenties, I allowed myself to suffer because I believed that life owed humans joy since it forced us to be alive. (I know ,you non-dualists are roaring!) It was my perception that people were rarely genuinely happy—they were pretending, faking, wishing or trying to be happy instead. I saw much suffering and little joy. In response to this, I angrily judged that I knew better and life should be different!
My choice to judge life in this way was a big thorn in my joy. I carried a chip on my shoulder about having to be alive when there were so many sad people and situations. I felt stuck until “life” changed or until death did us part. It was a powerless feeling: defeated, hopeless and lacking in faith. No matter how much “success” I achieved in life, I always felt the lingering “yuk” of disappointment in being alive—not joy!
Why I chose to forgive Life/God
I chose to forgive because I realized that I had passed judgment—which is not my place, and because I realized that my old perspective about life was a limiting me and causing me to suffer! I was not growing or becoming more alive, vibrant and joyful. I had enough.
How I overcame unforgiveness
First, I allowed myself to become willing and open to new ideas about life. I prayed and asked for guidance, help, healing, and hope. I said my apologies. I began “acceptance training,” of ALL of life (including suffering AND joy) through reading, meditating and following guidance even when it made no “sense.” I quit spending time with people who were angry and wanted to be unforgiving and complain about life. I allowed myself to let go of the need to protect myself from life’s suffering. I also allowed myself to be “saved” from dwelling on it, so I could experience joy.
And I found my ticket to the “good life”
When I released judgment and accepted that life IS and people experience life as they will, I chose to feel and experience life and myself more. I felt freedom like never before. I was freed from anger, freed from sadness that others were sad, freed to accept that some people are “happiest” being “unhappy,” freed to feel like it was no longer my fault for not being “unhappy” when others were and wanted me to be. I was freed to allow others to be “unhappy” while going my own “merry” way. My choice to forgive life for “suffering” has been a great tradeoff, and my health, happiness, attitude and friendships and relationships are living proof.
Is forgiveness is best for you?
If you’re not sure, could you try it? You can always go back to being hurt and angry if you want to. (But you won’t, it feels too good!)
You might also take time to pray and ask, “Is it best for me to forgive Life/God?” “What do I need to know?” and “Please show me how to forgive.” It’s amazing what we get when we ask in earnestness!
Tools for forgiveness
If you’re ready to try some tools that work for me and my clients, below are four that can help you take out that “thorn in your side” and find your “ticket” to a joyful, good life!
1) Willingness: When we are 100%, whole-heartedly open and willing to forgive, the rest of the process mostly takes care of itself. Check in with yourself. Is there any part of you that is unwilling? If so, ask yourself, “What would it take for me to become willing?” and move toward that.
If you’d like a few more tools, try these …
2) Humility: Let’s face it. We just don’t know it all, and that is OK.
3) Responsibility: As soon as we take responsibility for our experiences, we begin to become empowered. We acknowledge that we are no longer a victim of life, but a living, integral part of it, with the capability of spreading joy, hope and wonder.
4) Faith: When we choose to pray and have faith that life can be different, instead of always being the same old same, our “walls” crumble and we open the door to our heart and new possibilities.
Forgiveness and Willpower
When we chose to forgive Life/God, we are really forgiving our misperception of it and accepting it as it is. This helps us grow in strength and willpower. Once we forgive, we are also forgiven, and we know that we are worthy to receive all forms of goodness. We stop limiting ourselves with painful behaviors and addictions that keep us from intimately relating to life and receiving guidance, and our lives become fun, light and free. This allows life to shower us with goodness, because we are grateful and humble receivers. Of all the things we can do to empower ourselves, forgiveness is the most powerful.
What say ye?
Please share your thoughts and feelings on forgiveness with us, that we may grow in strength and willpower together …
Always with love,