Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have gone any different. Oprah said that. I always liked that quote because it’s an expression of acceptance of not only the event but the response to the event.
The Self Judgement Cycle goes like this: event or circumstance or situation, time passes, a wiser smarter self begins self judgement on the past self, this goes on for months (often years). Forgiveness puts an end to it.
Unresolved self judgement turns you into the CEO of Self Attack: One thing often taken for granted is that we always talk about forgiveness in regards the PAST. This is extremely relevant because analysis of a past self from the standpoint of a present self is actually the act of setting us up to attack ourselves.
Often people have many different events, circumstances or situations co-existing at different stages of the Self Judgement Life Cycle (i.e. childhood events, school, peer, academic related, community).
Self judgement is a mental construct. Self attack are the thoughts, emotions and behaviors that result from operating within that mental construct.
Behaviorally, self attack presents in many forms. It could present as silent and invisible to the outside world, you just entertaining your mind as it perseverates or repeats a story, internalized angst that transforms into low grade anxiety. (Often people think it’s the anxiety that’s the problem, but it’s actually the self attack resulting from self judgement).
It could present as a mentally defensive stance about something unrelated because a circumstance, event or situation in work or school triggered an unresolved need to justify or defend yourself from the past.
It could present as unawareness that criticism of the self has spilled over to criticism of others, or self harm behaviors such not feeling worthy to address addictions.
It could present as obsessing over making things “right” with perfectionism, the activities of the ever allusive unattainable desire to correct something, an innate drive to over compensate. It could present as all of the latter or a combination of the latter.
The Sticky Story: perseverating on or retelling an event, circumstance or situation over and over arises from the mind trying to appease it’s angst. The re-going over the events, examining, scanning, seeking clues, trying out telling versions to yourself and others, to see if that will result in attaining peace with the situation or event.
Pervasive Ping Pong: general defensiveness in all matters is like a mental game of ping pong. The unresolved self judgement is pinging off whatever cell tower is lighting up in the social emotional brain in present circumstances. Any event, circumstance or situation that appears to be a criticism, attack or judgement from the outside world is internalized as an opportunity to defend the unforgiven event, circumstance or situation from the past.
The Sharp Knife of Perfectionism: reaching for something allusive, the urge for more, more, more, dissatisfaction or inability to derive joy from achievements is a sign of something more than a driven personality. Perfectionism is a sharp knife because it severs the ability of a person to connect to self or other in a genuinely appreciative way (seeing the good in self or others, being content when hitting milestones) and derive sustained positive states of joy and happiness without shifting instantly into a “BUT,” (“but this,” “but over here,” “but not until,” etc). It’s the experience of living in a state of not yet.
Forgiveness isn’t a band aid to The Sticky Story, Pervasive Ping Pong and the Sharp Knife of Perfectionism, it literally dissolves the entire construct of self judgement. The construct is the courtroom.
The trial is over.
The face of the Judge fades away.
People who forgive quickly get that. They get that they don’t want to exist in a consciousness courtroom for a day, month let alone years.
People who forgive get that a lot of energy goes into holding consciousness court, and once it’s dismantled, that energy is free to enrich other areas of life.
One Simple Requirement to Achieve Forgiveness:
Forgiveness requires one very simple thing: it requires a belief there is order amongst chaos in the world in which we all share. This belief can be derived from and strengthened by religious or spiritual means or it can be developed from observing nature itself and all the patterns that exist. However a person arrives at believing in order is irrelevant but holding onto this belief with absolute certainty is a requirement for experiencing once and for all, total forgiveness.
The reason forgiveness requires this belief is because it dismantles the entire mental construct of self judgement and all the related thoughts, emotions and behaviors cannot survive in a consciousness that knows there’s order. (Believing in order doesn’t require us to understand how it all works). Critical thoughts, emotions and behaviors that flourish under a self judgment construct cannot flourish into long term behavioral patterns because the mind is resolving it’s never ending questions about the past, our roles in it, even the reactions that felt knee jerk, spontaneous, unexpected (and totally chaotic) as all part of the order of our individual development and place in the world.
Trust in order and forgiveness will take you by the hand and guide you out of the consciousness courtroom.