Continuing with the question I presented to you as we began 2016: Who will you be in 2016 and at what level are you going to play, this question may boil down to you asking yourself: are you willing to forgive, everyone, for everything?
As I said last week, we have an almost desperate desire to be right, thinking that will make us happy. The problem with that kind of thinking is that it is fundamentally flawed. Being right and being happy are mutually exclusive. You simply can’t be happy making others wrong, just so you can be happy. It might feel good for a moment but it never works in the long run and everyone ultimately suffers, including you.
This desire to be right also has us, generally speaking, choose not to forgive. After all, forgiving someone who has done us wrong “lets them off the hook” for their behavior and why would we want to do that? Simple answer: because if you don’t forgive, you’re the one who is stuck with the anger and resentment while the other person goes on their merry way. So who’s suffering?
Let’s examine the concept of forgiveness. In this three dimensional world in which we live, we think forgiveness is all about letting go of our anger and resentment for whatever undesirable or unacceptable behavior we feel was done by another toward us. I want to suggest that this is not forgiveness. The whole bases of this approach is that we are justified in our judgments of another, they deserve to be condemned, and we are the appropriate person to condemn them. How sad that viewpoint is. It is clearly not compassionate and certainly not loving.
When you are judged or criticized by another, or you hear them being negative, fearful, or critical of others, you will be tempted to judge them and see yourself as better than they are. You must resist this temptation if you would like to be free of judgment and negativity. And as I keep saying, why do this?: So you can be happy!
What makes this approach truly invalid is our failure to recognize that all we are ever looking at is the result of our own thinking and beliefs. We are the producer, director, and star of the drama that our life is and everyone else is sent by central casting to help us play out that drama. If you want to take charge of your life, you have to understand that these “actors” are simply acting out the script YOU gave them and, in most cases, they are showing you some unhealed beliefs that you have about yourself.
So instead of condemning people who treat you badly, it is far more appropriate to bless them for playing the role that YOU HAVE ASKED THEM TO PLAY. True forgiveness lies in an understanding that nothing really happened that needs to be forgiven. Instead of judging and condemning the other, the opportunity is to listen to what they are saying or doing so you can declare your judgments as false and then choose love for yourself instead. Stated very simply, people will not stop attacking you until you stop attacking you!