This is the secret to everything; the secret to the art of romance; the secret to freedom; the secret to happiness. If you get this you won’t need a therapist, a coach, or anyone else.
You may believe that forgiveness is a thing reserved for very difficult situations like violence done to you or profound emotional betrayal, but forgiveness is a process that we can live every day.
Forgiveness is the letting go of the past.
It is the means for correcting our misperceptions. Once we are no longer in the thrall of the past, we are free to experience each present. When we are in the present moment, we are free from anger and resentment because we are connected to Spirit. Happiness arises.
Let me share an experience …
I have been dating a young man who I really adore. We have such a hot, fun time together: he’s complimentary, kind, generous, attentive, and all those good things. He’s tall, dark, and handsome. He’s half my age. He’s clever, hard-working, and whispers filthy things to me in two languages.
So, just recently, the day after we had spent a really intimate night together, I noticed that he’d blocked me on all the social media channels. Hmmm.
What would you do?
I know a lot of people would feel their stomach drop, get mad, get sad, and then share the news with their friends. Their friends would say something like, “that guy can go fuck himself; he’s not worth it; what an asshole; forget him; his loss; the right guy will come along one day…” And then a lot of people would block his number right after they cursed him out via text message.
Why would a lot of people do that? Because they are living in the past.
They have been taught somewhere by someone in the past that an awesome, sexy, intimate night with a guy means that he should text the next day with sweet little messages of affection, or ask them to meet his parents, or invite them back the next weekend, or whatever. And if he doesn’t do that… they should feel angry. Because if he doesn’t do that it means that he thinks they are… what? A slut? Trash? Ugly? Not good enough for a “relationship”? And if he thinks that, then he’s an asshole…
Have you noticed how far away from reality we are by this point? We do not know his thoughts and feelings; we are assuming that he did something because he thought something and that makes him something bad.
What a mess. We have just concocted all this in our own minds. All these thoughts and feelings have nothing to do with reality. Reality is the present moment. All these thoughts and feelings come from the past. Past lessons, past experiences, past conversations. All our thoughts are judgments about the past.
So, if forgiveness is letting go of the past, how do we do that?
Here’s what I did in this situation.
I saw he had blocked me. I felt my stomach drop, I got mad, I got sad, and then I breathed. I noticed the cascade of chemicals flowing through my body. I sat still and noticed myself present, in the present moment. I noticed my hand with my ring on it; I noticed the books lying on my bed; I noticed my thoughts coming and going. I noticed my thoughts change and change again. He’s an asshole. I’m an asshole. He’s scared. I’m gonna be lonely forever. I’m an idiot. He’s nuts. He’s wrong. And within a few minutes, all the emotions and thoughts had passed. I was calm and happy.
That is the process of forgiveness; that’s how you do it.
Then, I thought of my young lover. And because I had let go of believing that my thoughts and feelings were reality; because I had stopped wanting him to have behaved differently; because I had stopped wanting the past to be different, I could think of him as he is: a human who changed his social media settings.
And then I laughed out loud. I texted him, saying, “LOL. I noticed you blocked me… I guess I freaked you out again? Take care.”
I looked around my room, I looked at my cat, I observed my thoughts and I said to myself, all is perfect just as it is.