The idea of forgiveness suggests that it is more harmful to hang on to negative feelings about someone else who we feel has harmed us, than to let go of that negativity. It is a wonderful concept designed for those who don't take responsibility for their own feelings, and since most of us believe that someone or something else is to blame for our hurt, anger, jealousy or hate, it's good that we're offered a way to deal with our need to blame. Forgiveness.
But what if we took it a step deeper, and look at why we feel like blaming other people or circumstances at all? We all have emotional reactions to things that appear to be harmful to us, but we also have the ability to interpret that emotion into a feeling that is something we will carry with us, positive or negative. An emotion is a pure reaction to a perceived event, but even here our personal perception is involved, a unique perspective that has developed out of our way of viewing the world, a series of choices we've made over time that color our judgment and affect our emotional reaction.
For example, I see a dog and it instantly makes me smile, and I think about how much joy dogs bring to us, and how wonderful it is to have my dog Tonka in my life. Someone else may see a dog and feel instantly terrified and panic-stricken, with thoughts of being attacked and harmed. I may walk down the street with an intention to smile and greet everyone one day, and get nothing but smiles and happy greetings back from the people I pass, but if I start out another day feeling badly, without setting an intention to smile, I get more of the same bad feelings reinforced as I pass others by.
The energy is tangible, as we are all made of measurable electro-magnetic energy, our hearts being the seat of power at 5,000 times more electro-magnetic energy than the brain. Each one of the cells in our bodies has an electro-magnetic charge, so we live our lives as powerful energy beings who have mostly forgotten those abilities in favor of what Toltec nagual and author Don Miguel Ruiz calls "domestication". (Thank you Kris and Kalyn, and to the Toltec Mystery School).
So we can see how even our pure emotional reaction is colored by who we are, our past experiences, and our personal intentions or lack thereof. But the good thing about emotions is that they are meant to be experienced only in that moment, and after that our choices begin. Our brains get involved with a series of thoughts on the subject, and our hearts supply us with an engine to amplify those initial emotions into feelings that we carry with us over time. Here is where we can make the choice to love or to hate, to empower or belittle, to bless or curse, to understand or to blame. Here is where we create our heaven or our hell.
I remember walking my dogs in the Malibu bluffs, where they could run free and play. Most of the time they met up with other people who were dog lovers, and got lots of love and positive attention from them. But one day I heard screaming, and ran around the path to discover a woman who was a local college student, screaming at the top of her lungs in sheer panic, face bright red, gasping in between her screams, as my dog tried to get her to pet him. She told me between gasps that she had once been attacked by a dog. She carried that with her and could never see the unconditional love of a dog she encountered on that path.
Forgiveness is only necessary when we forget who we are, how powerful we are, and that we are not only capable of changing our experience, but we do it every day without a second thought. Once we start to take responsibility for the energy we project as a result of the thoughts we choose, we can start to take advantage of intent, and practice setting intentions.
Practice and habit is what it's taken for us to get where we are today, from the teachings of our parents, our schools, our friends, our lovers, and our enemies. Practice will change your life if you choose your intention to love over and over again. It may feel foreign at first, and it may feel vulnerable, but it is our place of power, of creation, if we choose to honor the purpose of our hearts and radiate love through our entire being, where it will attract the same from others everywhere, including strangers, as we find ways to mingle that energy and let the Universal energy we all share begin to create for us the world we desire.
So in the end, any time we look back and feel the need to forgive in order to move forward, look to the source of that need, and forgive yourself, let go, take your power back, intend an open heart filled with love, and move on in peace and love in a world where your heart energy opens the doors.