Forgiveness is a huge topic that often strikes a tender chord within our hearts. To say we want to forgive an event, another person or ourselves means to admit to that we’re ready to let go of the pain we feel. Completely. Without reservations, blame, or the urge to bring it all back up (to ourselves or others) in the future.
Deepening further into forgiveness, it also means that we sincerely desire the spiritual wisdom that lies hidden within even the worst things that have happened. We want to retrieve our soul gifts from the wreckage and move on with our lives. This is an expanded form of forgiveness that brings us directly to inner peace. It opens a doorway that links us to the grace of divine love.
Forgiving Someone — What If You Feel Stuck?
Even if you truly want the relief that forgiveness brings, you may feel unready to go through with it, or blocked by thoughts and attitudes you don’t realize you’re carrying.
In order to bring greater awareness to your process, I’m going to list some common blocks to forgiving someone. Do they feel familiar to you?
1. You are waiting for an apology
This hindrance is so huge that I’ll write more about it in a later post. For now, just be honest with yourself. Are you waiting for an apology before you can begin your forgiveness path? If so, you’re blocking your own happiness. Forgiveness is distinct from receiving any apology. It lives on its own and doesn’t depend on an apology because it’s a spiritual practice of releasing suffering from your heart and mind.
Forgiveness does not fix the past—because there’s no way to hit the rewind button and change what happened. Forgiving someone changes the way you understand what happened, and gives you blessings of love and compassion in exchange for your pain.
Pride is a tricky emotion. It’s great to have pride in your accomplishments (as a co-creator with God). But if you feel superior or your ego just doesn’t want to budge because you’re holding on to being right, you have a problem. Forgiveness invites you to let go not only of painful memories, but also of being self-righteous about what happened. “I’m right and you/he/she/they are wrong. It’s so obvious!” you may say to yourself. Yet on a soul level, each being is following a unique path, full of mistakes at times. This is true for you, me and everyone who has an intact ego. Release your pride and find humbleness. It is a necessary ingredient for forgiveness.
3. Fear of the trauma happening again
Perhaps you are open to forgiving someone and finding your freedom from a painful situation, but you’re afraid. If you forgive, does that mean you’ll put yourself in harm’s way? Will you be too vulnerable to future attack if you forgive? This is a common fear and it’s important that we view it with compassion.
Most of us have lots of walls around our hearts, erected to protect us in the future from the harm of the past. The trouble with this situation is that we keep recycling the same patterns of retreat and ducking for safety over and over again, without any relief. So nothing changes. In fact, you may feel increasingly desperate as you realize how mighty your fortress walls have grown. In order to feel the vitality of life as Spirit gives it to you, moment by moment, you’ll have to dismantle the fortifications you’ve made. Forgiveness will show you that a new way of living and loving awaits you. Trust is required!
4. Fear of speaking up or looking bad to others
If you think that forgiving someone needs to be public and you’re afraid that friends and family won’t approve, you may hesitate because of your fear of the backlash you’ll encounter. If so, you’re blocking yourself from what is actually a very intimate and personal process of healing.
Even if others want you to hold onto grievances (and thereby keep your suffering in place), you can make a bold, independent move inside yourself. It really is no one’s business but yours. You don’t have to tell anyone about it until you are ready. In fact, I suggest that you don’t talk about your deep forgiveness experiences for quite a while, and then only when guided by Spirit. Your ego will always want to look good in front of others, but your soul begs you to be courageous for peace.
Be an Explorer for Truth
What obstructions can you find and explore in your process of healing? It’s essential that you look honestly at what may be stopping you from feeling centered and whole, so you can remove your blocks and enjoy the goodness of life. Deepen your faith, trust and intention. Your heart will show you the way.
Follow our FORGIVENESS series here . . .
1. Forgiveness – Your Path to Inner Freedom
2. 4 Common Blocks to Forgiving Someone (this article)
3. 13 Health Benefits of Forgiveness
4. How to Forgive Someone Even When It Feels Practically Impossible
5. Are You Waiting for an Apology Before You Forgive?
6. Are you Ready to Forgive?