Many people say that to have peace we need to forgive those who have hurt us, to let go of the pain and any resentment, judgement, hate or anger we may feel towards the other person. It is true if we hold onto these emotions we are keeping our self stuck in the energy of the past events and keeping it alive in our body. By focusing on the “wrong doing” we keep our self reliving it and replaying it in life, as we attract in other similar situations – in a subconscious attempt to heal the wound.
If we have formed beliefs that the world is dangerous or people can’t be trusted or everyone’s out to get me, then we live life with that viewpoint. Our eyes can’t perceive all the data that is there when we look at a scene. Millions of bits of information is sent to our brain which filters it based on our beliefs of what is most vital for us to see for our survival, our well being. So if we are locked in fight or flight or trauma from the past with beliefs that we are in danger all the time, then that is what the data gets searched for and we only see that subset of infomration about the scene we are viewing. We don’t notice the beauty, the love being shown between people or animals and their owners, etc, we just see the potential dangers, threats and situations to avoid in order to best protect our self. It is a self protection mechanism called a ‘negativity bias’. It is an evolutionary tool, a mechanism that makes sense biologically to keep us alive.
The sad part is that if you have those type of negative beliefs or buried trauma inside your body you miss out on seeing and feeling all the goodness in life that is their waiting for you to see it, to let it in, to trust and believe it is possible, that you deserve it and to accept it. You are worthy of good things, of fun, of love, of laughter and joy. You are worthy of wealth, abundance of food, shelter, clothing, health, etc.
The world is abundant, there is goodness out there, all around us, we just have to do the work to heal our programming – our negative beliefs and to shift out the pain and trauma in our bodies so it knows the war is over and can relax and start to enjoy life more.
If you are holding on to a grudge about what has happened to you or onto what you have missed out on because of your experiences – then you are keeping yourself caught in that dynamic of feeling bad, victimised, empty of joy and vitality. You are punishing yourself with your choice of thoughts and actions that will result from that level of thinking.
Forgiveness is not about letting go of wrongdoing, it is about realising that whatever has happened in your life has happened and accepting it and getting on with your life to let more goodness in. You accept what is and turn towards life, to focus on the now and what is to come, instead of being turned away from life focused on the past, entangled with it and missing out on your now. Focus here, now and move forward, you can do it. It is a choice you have to choose to make.
Many people hold on as they think it is punishing their parents or those that hurt them. They don’t want to let them off the hook, but doing this just keeps you caught up in the pain. You need to choose to let it go for your own sake, so you can move on and enjoy life. Your parents may not have been perfect parents, but they did what they could for you with the knowledge and emotional maturity they had. They too may have been suffering and caught up in the pain of their past.
Family Constellations shows us that when people are entangled with ancestors and the traumas or unfinished business within the family system, their energy is literally stuck there in that event or with that ancestor who may have been rejected, died young or suffered some tragedy that wasn’t spoken about or fully grieved. That stuck energy, that trauma occupies their energy, they are bound to it, turned towards it, enmeshed with it and literally unable to look away and focus on their now.
If your parents were entangled in the past in this way, they simply could not focus all their energy on being present with you, giving you the love and nourishment that children desire, hunger for. They literally were not available to live their lives fully and you missed out on their attention, the full connection with them that you wanted. They too missed out on being fully present in their life and on being an attentive, loving parent with their children. They missed out too.
See how the trauma continues down the line. If you judge your parents and turn away from them, reject them, assume you are better than them or know more than them – then you too turn away from being present fully in your life. A lot of your energy is caught up with your past and what you missed out on, on the pain and disappointment or anger over what happened. You say no to them and in essence no to life. You stop letting whatever goodness they can give you in. When you have kids they too will feel the lack of your presence and feel like you are not fully present or available for them. They too will feel they have missed out and they may judge you and turn away as they get older. The pattern repeats unless you heal the trauma, so that all who are entangled can finally let it rest and turn to focus on their own lives, to live them fully, joyously, focused on creating and accepting the goodness of life.
Family Constellations can help to untangle the traumas and past hurts, it can help free everyone involved, so they can focus on the now and enjoy it.
Your parents didn’t deliberately hurt you. If it seemed like they did, this was just their pain seeping out, being projected onto you. They too have wounds from their childhood and from their ancestors which they carry. They too are burdened and lived out all this pain the only way they knew how to do so. The result was what you experienced as their child. They didn’t have the tools to do it differently. Now we can. Now we can set ourselves and them free, to enjoy life more fully.
Do the work to heal and let go of the pain, accept what happened and see your parents for who they truly are, and thank them for your life. Focus on the goodness they gave you and let it in. Even if there was trauma and abuse, they gave you life and that is a great gift. Accept that and honour them for that.
If your parents are still alive and you interact with them, let yourself receive their love in whatever way they can show it to you. They may not be able to express it, but perhaps you can see it in their gestures, their gifts, their contact with you and wanting to spend time with you, their compliments or money or food – whatever it is, let them give to you, let yourself receive the goodness, love and energy from them, so that your cup is filled, so that you are nourished and can live your life from a place of fullness, not emptiness, barrenness, darkness.
If your parents are dead or are not able to give you love then you can visualise receiving the love and goodness from them and from other relatives who you may have had more positive interactions. Recall positive times and relive those memories, anchoring in the fun, the love, the goodness. See those ancestors around you in Spirit, supporting you, encouraging you, cheering you on as you live your life.
Let the goodness in. There is much waiting for you to receive it, but to do so you have to let go of the old emotions and traumas, so your arms are free to receive the new. You can do it! You can do it for yourself, for your children, for your family. All will benefit when you heal and let go of the past burdens that you have carried. The whole family system is affected when a member of it chooses love and does the work to heal. It is a true gift that you can give to yourself and your family, so all can live more peacefully.
Forgiveness is not about right or wrong, about who did what and atoning for it, making up for it. It is simply about accepting what occurred and healing the wound so you are free from the pain. It takes effort to heal and become free. Simply saying “I forgive you” does nothing, very little. It actually has a negative effect because in essence it is a judgement on the person and their action. It says “I know you should have done better, but you didn’t, and I begrudgingly accept that and I will forgive you because I am a better person, a bigger person than you”. See the judgement in this, feel how it stops the flow of love.
It is like putting a boulder in the river, disturbing the flow of life force energy from your ancestors, your parents, to yourself. It is like you are trying to politely cover up something that is disgusting and pretending it is no longer there – like putting a white cloth over the top of some vomit or dog poo. It still stinks, it is still there, but it appears to be gone, buried, hidden. You then tiptoe around it, trying not to look at it or step in it, but it is still there, just waiting to be seen, festering, decaying and having a negative impact on your vitality.
You are not bigger than or better than your parents. They are the BIG ONES and you are the LITTLE ONE. They came first, they gave you life and the life force flows from them to you. If you resist them, you resist life. Let the life force flow to you unhindered. It is not about forgiving them, it is more like accepting them for who they are and letting them stand there with no judgement or condemnation. Just let them be who they are and thank them for what they did give you. Anything they couldn’t give you, you can get from elsewhere. You can make something good out of what they gave you, make something good out of your life and the opportunity presented to you. In this sense forgiveness is about peace, acceptance and harmony, and restoring these to the family system for the wellbeing of all. Blessed BE, Amen.
By Jodi-Anne M Smith (21 October 2017).
Further free guidance on healing techniques and self love are available on the Life Insights and Healing from child abuse pages of this website.