Forgive Anything… Yes, Anything.
You know that feeling you get when that person crosses your mind – like your guts are getting squeezed, or you feel an actual pain in your heart? Or your breath becomes shallow and you feel anxious and shaky, or a wave of fear and dread as that situation comes unbidden into your mind? Again?
I remember the first bitter heartbreak of my life when my boyfriend of 18 months – but who I’d been in love with for years – told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore. I didn’t even see it coming. And then it was a process of slowly and painfully tearing off a band-aid for another six months after the initial breakup as we continued to see each other every weekend. I couldn’t emotionally let go. He felt guilty, and I kept hoping he would miraculously change his mind. But he didn’t.
When I finally gave up, I walked away in a bewildered state of hurt, fragility, and helplessness. I dreaded any thought of him, which was hard to avoid because we still belonged to the same circle of friends.
I could not hear of him or speak of him without dissolving into bitter tears, and each instance sent me into an emotional tailspin that would last for days.
Ever been there?
It felt like I would never be free of him. And indeed, for years after, any moment of contact with him, even just in my mind, caused a feeling of inner contraction, like a wince as if I were bracing myself for a punch.
I erected a wall of sardonic humour between us. Over time, the pain gradually diminished and no longer dominated my psyche. But I never actively forgave him. That story became supplanted by other dramas of a similar character. And in reaction to that pattern, I learned to seek out situations where I could be emotionally in control.
Actually, I can trace the breakdown of my first marriage all the way back to my complete lack of understanding of what forgiveness really is.
So, how do we forgive the deepest hurts? The ones that feel so personal. How do we deal with the deepest wounds and the things that feel unforgiveable, even diabolical?
Here’s the proposition that will allow you to forgive anything:
Would you be willing to accept the possibility that absolutely everything that has ever happened to you was for your highest good?
What if we were able to look at every situation we never wanted and ask, “How might this be good?”
Now stay with me. I’m not saying that you could immediately see the good in something that any feeling person would call terrible, unjust, or tragic. There is real heartbreak and real injustice in this world. We’re not denying that or being deliberately perverse. But we are denying the power of darkness to bring us down or determine our character or our future, or how we’re going to live and show up in the world.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him”.
When we ask, “how might this be good”, we are asking to be shown the way to a greater life. We are asking to receive the gift that is implicit in every challenge. We are asking the universe to demonstrate its benevolence by trusting that every situation presents us with an opportunity for growth and greater freedom. We are acknowledging that everything is for us, and when we do that, we live in a different reality.
Try this process:
- Describe the event or situation, including the facts of the behaviour.
- Ask yourself, “how might this have been for my highest good?” Imagine that you had ‘hired’ the other people involved to behave exactly as they did, to play this role in your life so that you could grow into an even greater version of yourself. What valuable learnings or wisdom might you have been looking to receive through this situation?
- Commit to an experiment for 21 days, where every time this situation or person comes into your mind, you practice saying, “I wish them well and I wish myself well”.
- Finally, imagine how you will feel, when this situation no longer has a hold over you and your inner landscape. Feel those elevated emotions and imagine the greater life you are bringing in for yourself.
This is a forgiveness hack that can actually transform your relationship to anything in your life you might view as ‘bad’.
Lean into it, and you’ll discover a miraculous Truth: everything in this universe is conspiring for your good.
Claire Lautier is an inspirational speaker, teacher, spiritual coach and Certified Life Mastery Consultant who specializes in helping clients reclaim their creative power and consciously design deeply fulfilling lives in alignment with their highest purpose. For more information and resources, visit www.clairelautier.com.