Acceptance and forgiveness are essential if we want to create a happy and fulfilling life. While acceptance is forgiving every moment that doesn’t go our way, forgiving someone is accepting what has happened. It doesn’t mean that we are condoning what was done. It means that we consciously choose let go of any feelings of resentment, anger and blame and move on.
Embedded into EVERY life will be challenges and opportunities to practise both acceptance and forgiveness, because we are here to evolve, and we evolve through challenge.
Acceptance is accepting everything that happens to you as given to you by God, the good stuff and the bad stuff. When we accept, we come into alignment with the present moment, as opposed to be in resistance to it. The most common way we resist the present moment is when we say or feel “Why me?” “This isn’t fair” or “This shouldn’t be happening”. That’s the ego mind. Accept that life is a series of challenges as well as wonderful experiences and miracles, because I can guarantee you that you will experience times of both.
When you’re in acceptance, you can see any unsavoury circumstances as –
- an opportunity to address the resistance within you
- an awareness opportunity
- an opportunity to feel whatever comes up
- an opportunity to let go of catastrophising (ego mind) and embrace creative thinking instead
- an opportunity to address the fear within you
- an opportunity to practise presence, non-judgment
- an opportunity to surrender to a much bigger picture that is really going on in your life.
In his poem “If”, Rudyard Kipling tells us “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same”. He is referring to our ego mind’s judgement of things being either good or bad – when in fact they may not be. I can honestly say that it hasn’t been all the fun times that expanded my consciousness and empowered me; it has been the painful challenges, and learning acceptance and forgiveness that have brought me to a place of mostly inner peace and neutrality no matter what is going on in my life.
The philospher and spiritual teacher Ram Dass said “Despair is the necessary prerequisite to the next degree of consciousness.” If you’re experiencing a lot of challenges, accept it, knowing that there is a far bigger picture going on and that you are getting an upgrade in consciousness!
Forgiveness is letting go of all toxic emotions and feelings of revenge towards someone else or yourself, so that you can move forward with your life. Forgiveness can heal even the most grievous offence; and It brings a blessed opportunity for a clean start. If someone has really hurt you, it doesn’t mean you necessarily allow them to stay in your life, but unless you forgive them, they and the wound will energetically draw to you similar experiences.
Be willing to forgive all members of your family of origin and/or anyone who wounded you in childhood, otherwise you will carry those wounds into future relationships. If you’ve been the victim of abuse this isn’t easy, but you can begin the process by saying “I am willing to forgive you”. Willingness is the key. The Universe will help things along from there. If you are judging and critical of any of your family of origin, beware, it will play out somewhere in your life going forward.
Some things that have helped me to forgive have been:
Don’t take anything personally – in his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz tells us that those who have hurt us would probably hurt others just the same, for that is who they are and how they operate, so there is no need to take their treatment of us as personal.
All that isn’t love isn’t real – in a Course in Miracles, we are told to ignore or let go of anything that isn’t love because it isn’t real.
Stay conscious – know that every person who upsets you is here to show you a wound you need to heal in yourself.
Forgiveness frees up karma – yours and the perpetrator’s. When we let go of anger, hurt and resentment, we free up the Universal energy for divine karma to take place for all concerned.
Self-forgiveness is an important part of forgiving someone else. We’ve got to forgive ourselves for judging the other person and not forgiving them, as well as forgive ourselves for past mistakes. If we don’t forgive ourselves for past mistakes or for having faults, the emotions of shame and guilt will unconsciously sabotage our lives. Self-forgiveness moves us forward, ready to do things differently, with compassion for ourselves and faith that we can change.
Forgiveness opens the door of hope. Robert H. Goddard told us:
Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.
Practising acceptance and forgiveness will create a beauty and a peace in your life that cannot be known unless it is embraced.