Forgiveness means to live in the present.
If you have been reading our glossary in these past few months, you probably realized that the present is the magic place where sustainability happens. Forgiveness is that internal action that opens us the doors to the experience of a full present and to the power of consciousness. By being conscious of our actions, we can choose what we want to do, how we want to live – ultimately – who we want to be. Only through consciousness, we can really be free.
How is forgiveness such a powerful tool to live in the here and now? Indeed, we generally relate forgiveness to guilt, redemption, morality, patience and magnanimity. But is that really what forgiveness is about?
How forgiveness can help us?
When we forgive, we choose to love – first and foremost, we choose to love ourselves. Because we choose not only to free ourselves from the past and from all the negative feelings it provokes us, but we also choose to unleash our future.
So when we forgive, we live, because exactly like forgiveness, life is an unconditional gift. What’s the gift? Love. Pure, unconditional love. First of all for ourselves, because we are giving ourselves the chance to feel that love, to soak our life in it, and to let go of negative emotions. That’s why it has nothing to deal with guilt, or sins, or mistakes, or negative actions. We can forgive every day, everything, every time. And make ourselves a gift.
When we let the past go and we choose to love, we manage to live in the present. We open our lives to the endless possibilities it has in store for us, if only we allow ourselves to be more than just our past.
How forgiveness can help us live more sustainably?
The only moment when change can happen is now.
We can’t change the past, we can only let it go. We can’t change the future, we can only imagine how we would like it to be. To be honest, we can’t change the present either, because the present can be everything and nothing at the same time: a multitude of possibilities. So there’s no change, only choices.
All we can change is ourselves and our actions.
We can prevent the past from determining our actions, and we can make sure that our actions lead us to the future we want: to do that, we have to forgive us with the gift of the present.
“It is now, in this moment, that we can find the courage [from the latin cor-habere, “to have heart”. To think, live and act through the heart] to free ourselves from hate, suffering, resentment and fear. It’s in this present that we have the chance to dare to feel love”LUMERA
Now…how does one forgive? There’s a magic word, the same you say when you receive a gift – of all words!
To forgive, we thank.
We thank whatever or whoever happened. Even the nastiest, most painful, most annoying thing: we thank it, because that’s an opportunity to learn something. Which doesn’t mean we’re happy about it, or that we would’ve hoped for it. However, we thank it, because we can learn something from it. And of course the same goes for positive emotions. We thank them, we learn from them, and then we let them go.
That’s why we can forgive anything. Actually, that’s why we should forgive everything. Especially the best things and the best people that happen to us.
We should give them love, unconditionally. And to the bed ones, so that they can make us wiser and stronger. And to ourselves, so that we can be free to have the future we envision.
Invitation to Journal
- What emotions from the past still have an influence on your present actions, moods and intentions?
- Why do you think you still feel them?
- If they could be a teaching, which would they be?
- What happens when you envision yourself without these emotions? What would you do if you could not feel them anymore?
Take 10 minutes of your time, close your eyes and just let yourself breathe. No judgement, just observation.
Whenever an emotion arises, especially if it’s a bad one, just thank it.
Repeat in your mind (or out loud, if you prefer): “thank you”.
Keep thanking it until you will feel gratitude in your heart for it. Then let yourself experience that gratitude, and thank it too.
After a few minutes, let it go. Donate it to your life and trust that it’ll be in good hands. And move to the next emotion.
If you feel comfortable, dedicate to this exercise a longer period of time, up to 30 minutes if you can – of course, you don’t have to get there all at once. Baby steps!