Why should I forgive her?

forgiveI was talking with a friend last night and I apologized for something that I could have done better.  He said he didn’t forgive me.  I was shocked. The parent in me thought about how I teach my kids to forgive people, but here is this grown man telling me that he wouldn’t forgive me.

Forgiveness means letting the energy of the situation go, so that the relationship can shift into a different space.  Not forgiving means that the relationship will keep playing out the same patterns over and over, because the energy is still being supported. It is ok to not be able to forgive someone; it just means that you still have emotions tied to the situation.  Thinking about what happened, and talking things through, can get you to a place where you can let go of the feelings and the situation.

If you choose not to deal with the situation, then you are taking the energy of the situation and tossing it into your subconscious backpack.  Most likely, you already have similar situations in your backpack and that’s why this one played out the way it did.  You wear your backpack everyday and it weighs you down.  A goal in life is to empty your subconscious backpack so that carrying what is left is effortless.  Adding more hurt feelings and unresolved situations to your backpack, or adding weight to the ones already in there, only makes it heavier.

Besides the obvious reasons to forgive, another reason is to let go of the energy of the situation so it doesn’t continue to weigh you down.  By forgiving you open space up in the relationship so interactions can shift and become more positive.

Sometimes you will find people who are unwilling or unable to forgive.  That’s their choice and it’s ok.  You can forgive them and honor where they are.  One day they might surprise you and be ready to forgive.

Everything is an exchange of energy

Today is my son’s 10th birthday.  I remember 10 years ago how big and awkward I was because I was sharing my body with another living being.  Pregnancy is really an amazing process, but it, like everything else, is simply an exchange of energy.

We are all made of energy. Why is this important? Because it is a way to depersonalize interactions so that a deeper level of understanding can be achieved.  Issues and situations can’t be solved at the same level of understanding that created them, so one needs to find deeper meaning for the solution to reveal itself.

Take the mother/child relationship; the mother lends her body to help support a new life.  Once the baby is born, the parents care for this baby, day and night, often neglecting their own needs to put the baby first.  The responsibility the parents feel is great, and necessary, for the baby to survive and thrive.  Issues come into play as the baby grows into a child and can take on more of their responsibility.

If you can imagine responsibility as a physical thing, it is easier to understand.  Imagine responsibility is a bag of marbles.  At birth, the parents are holding the child’s bag of marbles, and they need to.  As the child ages, the parents should be giving the child a marble or two every now and then so that the child has the amount of personal responsibility equal to their emotional and physical capabilities.  Since the parents started with the responsibility, some parents have owned it.  They have crossed their child’s name off the bag of marbles, and written their own.  It makes no sense to them why they would give one of their own marbles to this child.  They have kept all the child’s responsibility as their own, and have burdened themselves with much more responsibility than they need.  Think of all the teenagers who flutter around taking odd jobs and living at home off and on indefinitely; this is a classic case of a parent still holding their child’s bag of marbles.

The parent keeping the child’s responsibility isn’t healthy for either person.  Children who do their own thing, without a sense of responsibility, because their parents are still holding on it so tightly, lead irresponsible lives.  Parents who are so dedicated to their children that they have lost a sense of themselves feel devastated when their children grow up.  If you can be brave enough to see who’s marbles you are holding, who’s bags you have written your name on, you can start to unravel the situation.  Trust me, less responsibility can feel very good and is healthy for everyone involved.  If you really look, you may see that many people have given you some of their marbles, and maybe you’ve given some of your own away because of all the other marbles you are holding.

Since everything is an exchange of energy, there is a healthy way to give everyone back their marbles and take all of your back as well.  Just being open to the idea that you may have other people’s responsibility starts the process.